Congressman Burgess Owens (R-UT) on Tuesday slammed Democrats’ claims that Georgia’s new voter integrity laws are somehow comparable to Jim Crow laws. The freshman congressman shared his personal experience under Jim Crow, saying that it’s “extremely offensive” to make the assumption black Americans aren’t capable of getting a form of identification.
“As someone who’s actually experienced Jim Crow laws, I’d like to set the record straight on the myth regarding the recently passed Georgia State law, and why any comparison between this law and Jim Crow is absolutely outrageous,” Owens said during a congressional hearing. “I’ll give you a few examples from my own life of what Jim Crow laws actually looked like.”
“At the age of 12, my father allowed me to participate in a demonstration with college students in front of the segregated Florida State Theater, where because of our color, we could not enter. I was the youngest participant there,” he recounted. “Only 50 years later did I learn that my father parked across the street to watch and make sure I was safe.”
“In the seventh grade, my school never received new books. Instead, we received books from the all-white school across town,” the Utah congressman said. “At service stations, there were white-men-only restrooms, white-women-only restrooms, and a filthy restroom in the back of the station for black Americans designated as ‘colored.'”
“In addition, Jim Crow laws, like poll taxes, property tests, literacy tests, and violence and intimidation at the polls made it nearly impossible for black Americans to vote,” Owens stated.
According to the congressman, Democrats are disingenuous when they mention Georgia’s voter ID laws, saying it’s a form of suppression. Residents have the ability to provide other government-issued documents to prove their identity, including utility bills, bank statements, or paychecks that include the person’s name and address. Even if a voter doesn’t have one of these documents, he or she can still vote provisionally, Owens stated.
“By the way – 97% of Georgia voters already have a government-issued ID,” he explained. “What I find extremely offensive is the narrative from the left that black people are not smart enough, not educated enough, not desirous enough of education to do what every other culture and race does in this country: get an ID.”
Owens stated “true racism” in the United States comes from the Democratic Party having low expectations of black Americans. That same thought process, according to the congressman, is also coming from the White House.
“President Biden said of the Georgia law, this is ‘Jim Crow on steroids.’ With all due respect, Mr. President, you know better,” the congressman said. “It is disgusting and offensive to compare the actual voter suppression and violence of that era that we grew up in with a state law that only asks that people show their ID. This is the type of fear-mongering I would expect in the 1960s, not today.”
Rep. @BurgessOwens rips comparisons of Georgia's voting law to Jim Crow:
"What I find extremely offensive is the narrative from the left that black people are not smart enough, not educated education… to do what every other culture and race does in this country: get an ID." pic.twitter.com/oZzSD3wovB
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 20, 2021