When former NFL star Burgess Owens took the microphone this week at a congressional panel on reparations for slavery, he turned a quick lesson in American history into a political tour de force.
For Democrats, it had to be tough to listen to. But it’s what the party needs to hear.
But the message Owens carried turned the Democrats’ idea on its head.
“The history of our black country, black America, has been stolen from us for decades,” Owens told the panel.
Check out the testimony here:
Wow, Burgess Owens just stunned everyone:
“I used to be a Democrat until I did my history and found out the misery that that party brought to my race… Let’s pay restitution. How about the Democratic Party pay for all the misery brought to my race…” pic.twitter.com/ZXuwncFreV
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) June 19, 2019
Owens talked about a country based on “Judeo-Christian values” (when was the last time you heard a Democrat mention those words?), then he talked about post-Civil War America and the leadership of Booker T. Washington, founder of what is now Tuskegee University.
Then he moved on to the middle of the 20th century when the black nuclear family – married men and women parenting children – was far more stable than it is today, when more than 70 percent of black children are born to single mothers.
And those are the babies that live to be born. Black women, about 6 percent of the U.S. population, account for about 35 percent of the country’s abortions, according to the pro-life group Life Site.
And what party is responsible for the misery that plagues too many black communities in the country today?
Owens — and his history lesson — had the answer.
“I used to be a Democrat until I did my history and found out the misery that that party brought to my race,” he told the panel.
“I do believe in restitution. Let’s point to the party that was part of slavery, KKK, Jim Crow, that has killed over 40 percent of our black babies, 20 million of them.
“State of California, 75 percent of our black boys can’t pass a standard reading and writing test. A Democratic state. So yes, let’s pay restitution. How about a Democratic Party pay for all the misery brought to my race and those — after we learn our history — who decide to stay there, they should pay also.
“They are complicit. And every white American, Republican or Democrat, that feels guilty because of your white skin, you should need to pony up also. That way, we can get past this reparation and recognize that this country has given us greatness.”
Then he gestured at the others testifying.
“Look at this panel,” he said. “Doesn’t matter how we think. Doesn’t matter our color. We have become successful in this country like no other because of this great opportunity to live the American dream. Let’s not steal that from our kids by telling them they can’t do it.”
Was Owens, a well-known spokesman for the conservative cause, serious about Democrats alone paying reparations?
Of course not. His point was that the damage the Democratic Party has caused blacks has been incalculable — whether through slavery, Jim Crow or its more modern manifestations of liberals presuming black helplessness. It’s a point no one familiar with American history can dispute.
It’s doubtful any Democrat who favors “reparations” listened to a word Owens said. The arrogantly ignorant Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas sponsored H.R. 40. The chairman of Wednesday’s hearing was the loathsomely liberal Steve Cohen of Tennessee.
Those two aren’t candidates for anybody’s idea of an intelligent, open mind — and neither is the party’s increasingly powerful progressive wing.
But it was a message the Democratic Party – and the country as a whole – needed to hear.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.