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‘We are not in Jim Crow’: Burgess Owens blasts comparison to Georgia election law

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At a Tuesday hearing on voting rights titled “Senate Judiciary Hearing – Jim Crow 2021: The Latest Assault on the Right to Vote,” Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah) slammed the notion that Georgia’s new controversial election law was similar to Jim Crow.

“As someone who’s actually experienced Jim Crow laws,” Owens said, testifying before the committee, “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.”

Talking about his experiences with Jim Crow, Owens explained that when he was only 12 years old, his father let him participate in protests with college students against segregation at the Florida State Theatre.

“I was the youngest participant there,” Owens said. “Only 50 years later did I learn that my father parked across the street to watch and make sure I was safe.”

The Utah Republican also brought up the segregation in schools, bathrooms, and gas stations, adding: “Jim Crow laws like poll tax, property tests, literacy tests, and bias and intimidation at the polls made it nearly impossible for Black Americans to vote.”

“The section of the Georgia law that has brought so much outrage from the left, it simply requires any person applying for an absentee ballot to include evidence of a government-issued ID on the application,” he said next.

“If a voter does not have a driver’s license or ID card, that voter can use a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or any other government document that shows a name and address of this voter,” Owens continued. “If a voter somehow cannot produce one of these forms of ID, that voter can still vote and cast a vote, a provisional ballot. By the way, 97% of Georgia voters already have a government-issued ID.”

“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,” the congressman said. “True racism is this, it’s the projection of the Democratic Party on my proud race. It’s called the soft bigotry of low expectation.”

He also criticized President Joe Biden for calling Georgia’s new election law “Jim Crow on steroids.”

RELATED: Biden: Georgia needs to ‘smarten up’ to avoid losing business

“With all due respect, Mr. President, you know better. It’s 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,” Owens said. “This is the type of fearmongering I expect in the 1960s, not today.”

“To call this Jim Crow 2021 is an insult, my friends,” he later said. “For those who never lived Jim Crow, we are not in Jim Crow.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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State officials, CDC investigating monkeypox case in Florida

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with Florida state health officials, are investigating what is believed to be a case of monkeypox. A statement from the Florida Department of Health in Broward County stated the “case is related to international travel, and the person remains isolated.”

Late Friday a New York City resident also tested positive for the virus that causes monkeypox, and is the state’s first confirmed case. On Sunday, President Joe Biden made his first public statements about the outbreaks, saying the recent spread of monkeypox in at least 12 countries are “something that everybody should be concerned about.”

Axios reports a person was confirmed positive with the virus in Massachusetts, New York and “roughly a half dozen other cases” are “being monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

 

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