Republican Rep. Burgess Owens of Utah

Utah Republican Burgess Owens Pulls Out Of Debate After Debate Commission Refuses To Remove Moderator

Burgess Owens Pulls From Debate

Utah Republican Congressman Burgess Owens has pulled out of a debate that was to take place on Wednesday.

The reason – Salt Lake Tribune Executive Editor Lauren Gustus would be serving as a moderator of the event.

Owens said that Gustus not only supported a racist cartoon that was published by the paper in April of 2021 but “doubled down” and defended it.

“Last year, The Salt Lake Tribune published a racist cartoon depicting me as a KKK member, the very same hate group that terrorized my family and my race as a youth in the south,” Owens said.

“I expect bias from liberal media, but racism is where I draw the line,” said Owens.

In April of 2021 U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Representatives Chris Stewart (R-UT), John Curtis (R-UT), and Blake Moore (R-UT) issued a joint statement on The Salt Lake Tribune’s insulting “cartoon” depicting Congressman Burgess Owens (R-UT).

“The Salt Lake Tribune recently published a repugnant ‘cartoon’ comparing Congressman Burgess Owens, our esteemed colleague and only black member of the Utah delegation, to a member of the Ku Klux Klan. This racially charged, perverse political statement is beyond the pale. We ask that The Salt Lake Tribune immediately take down this horrific image, issue a formal apology, and hold themselves to a higher standard,” the statement read.

The cartoon, by Pat Bagley, who is white, titled “Sounds Familiar”, depicts Owens pointing to the border saying “coming to your neighborhood” while a KKK member is pointing to Owens saying the same, “coming to your neighborhood.”

In April of 2021, Rep. Owens visited the southern border and said during a TV broadcast, “Believe me, the borders are open right now. We are seeing every single day, people coming here and within hours getting on a train or a plane and going to your neighborhood. So, no Americans, this isn’t a border issue anymore.”

“They are coming to your neighborhoods, not knowing the language, not knowing the culture, and there is a cartel influence along the way. So be aware, don’t think this is a distance from you now, this is coming your way and it is done on purpose by a party who could care less about we the people,” said Owens.

Between October 2021 and August 2022, the US Border Patrol and Field Operations have seen 2,150,639 migrant encounters at the southern border, according to data from the USBP.

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