Last week, I was invited to meet with the Utah House and Senate Democrats to both introduce myself and give them insight into the conservative values I hold dear. Serendipitously, it gave me the opportunity to discuss my upbringing only a few days ahead of the federally marked “Black History Month” of February.
I was fortunate to have been raised during the 1960s south in a remarkably successful black community. At that time, my race — in much the same way as many others — was decades away from experiencing anything close to the present cultural assimilation we see today.
Although segregated, each community shared common ground; they were proud Americans who felt meritocracy was the pathway to respect. These past generations framed their cultures on basic truths: love of God, family, country and a respect for women and authority.
Nationwide, the black community commanded respect through their commitment to education and success. Across two decades after World War II, they represented our nations’ most competitive community by leading the nation with its growth of the middle class, men graduating from college, men committed to marriage and the percentage of risk-taking business owners. Growing up with this experience has given me a platform to speak in real terms, not hypothetically, about the present state of the black community and the lessons that apply to our nation today.
For the last six decades, this community of promise has been in a precipitous free-fall. The death, destruction and systemic racism found in every majority black communities — such as Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, and Oakland — is not caused by some form of 1960’s-style white supremacy. Instead, responsibility lays at the feet of the radical leftist ideologies of politicians, both black and white, who wielded complete policy control over these communities. The same policies that upended my community of promise are now being unleashed by what I call the “AOC and Bernie Wing” of government.
Thinking of my younger self and the liberal philosophy I believed in over 30 years ago, I realized that, though we seek a different path, conservatives and traditional liberals have the same general objective: a bright future for our children where they can thrive in a society of sensible foreign policy, freedom of religion and thought, access to quality education, opportunity for rewarding careers and successful businesses, respect for the nuclear family unit, criminal justice reform, and safety.
This realization also lead to the recognization of the ever-present existence of the dark, destructive and divisive side of the Democratic party. Having failed to articulate this more effectively earlier, I took the opportunity to apologize to my many liberal friends last week in the Utah State Capitol building, for inadvertently mischaracterizing them as members of the aforementioned “AOC & Bernie Wing,” something which never have been done.
What exactly is the “AOC & Bernie Wing?” It can be summarized within the tenants and action items of the Marxist organization, Black Lives Matter. Their goal has been to disrupt the nuclear family, destroy capitalism through global liberation movements, defund the police and end our right to worship God. Its strategy remains consistent over the decades: to impose misery upon those they claim to protect in exchange for political power.
President Biden’s first week of executive orders exposed the callus heart of the “AOC & Bernie Wing.” With the stroke of a pen, Biden eliminated tens of thousands of good paying jobs, disrespected the sovereignty of thousands of Ute Native Americans, forced the American taxpayer to fund abortions worldwide, and opened our southern borders to illegal immigrants, thereby exposing Americans to COVID-19, crime and lethal drugs.
Emboldened by this wing, millions of Americans have been labeled as domestic terrorists, Big Tech has cancelled free speech, and Big Hedge Funds have eliminated main street investors.
It was this wing that allowed small businesses in their minority communities to be destroyed while giving rioters room to “express” themselves.
It is this wing of heartless, greedy and wealthy teachers’ union leaders who seek to use our children as bargaining chips as they refuse to go back to work, although they’ve already been paid over $64 billion to do so.
It is this wing that — through edict — took away the American Democrat, Independent and Republicans’ right to worship, or to open their small business or schools.
My liberal friends, it is the “AOC & Bernie Wing,” deep within your ranks, that has given you a bad name. Hidden for decades behind the mantra of a “caring” Democratic party, it works to destroy our fellow Americans under anonymity of white sheets, behind black masks, behind the safety of college tenures, behind bureaucratic titles and the credibility of once respected brand name companies or newspapers.
To this wing which has become well ensconced within the Democrat Party, I will never apologize, but will instead do all within my power to defeat. To my liberal friends who love this country, I hope you’ll take the time to recognize that we have a common goal, and that your Republican friends are not your enemy when it comes to achieving such an objective.
Let’s not allow the extremism of the “AOC & Bernie Wing” to divide us. Let’s continue to talk, debate and respectfully “agree to disagree” as proud Americans. As we do so, we will defeat the dark and destructive anti-American ideology that has kept us divided for too long.
United, “We The People” can give our children the American promise fought so hard for by every previous generation.
My liberal Friends, welcome to the party.
Burgess Owens is a former NFL star and Super Bowl Champion who now serves Utah’s 4th District in Congress.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.