Burgess Owens

Opening Statement on Slavery Reparations to the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary

delivered 19 June 2019, Washington, D.C.

Audio AR-XE mp3 of Address


Thank you so much for -- for this opportunity. Iím going to take a different tack from [the] beginning. We are at this point -- this is not about black and white, rich and poor, blue collar, white collar. We're fighting for the heart and soul of our nation. We have a very, very special country [instilled with] the Judeo-Christian values that allowed every single generation to become better than the last and that has not ended, that has not stopped -- until now. Weíre telling our kids a little bit something different, that they donít have the opportunities that we had.

Iím going to talk about some ideologies, and when I talk about them Iím not talking about people. People change. I used to be a Democrat until I did my history and found out the...misery that that party brought to my race. So when I talk about these ideologies, ideologies donít change -- people do. We are fighting for the heart and soul of our nation against socialism, Marxism, and the evil it has brought to us and the stealing of our history. Karl Marx said it best...the father of socialism, an atheist, anti-Semite, and a blatant racist. We teach his philosophy in our school systems today. He said that, "The first battleground is rewriting of our history." You steal our history, you steal our pride and our past, our appreciation for our present, and our vision for our future. And every single urban city in our country is now experiencing that loss.

Real quick history -- because these things were not taught. Iím blessed to [have] a great, great grandfather, Silas Burgess. Came here in the belly of a slave ship; sold in Charleston, South Carolina with his mother to the Burgess Plantation. An evil, evil man that drove my -- my great, great, great grandmother either to leaving her family, her kids, or committing suicide. I donít know, she disappeared. When Silas at the eight of age -- age of eight, was blessed to be surrounded by men who believed in freedom. Even though they were shackled, they escaped. They went the southern route of the underground railroad, facilitated by white and Mexican Americans.

And he's made his way south to Texas, end[ed] up being a successful entrepreneur, owned 102 acres of land, paid off in two years. Started the first black church, the first black elementary school; a pillar of his community -- eighteen kids, Christian, Republican. His first song was "Alpha Omega." Proud American. An example of what happens when any race, any culture is given hope, opportunity, and freedom.

It didnít end there by the way. The history of our black country, of our black America, has been stolen from us for decades almost over a century. Booker T. Washington, 1882, began Tuskegee University. By 1905, it was producing more self-made back millionaires than Harvard, Yale, and Princeton combined.

The í40s, í50s and í60s -- it was the black -- black community that lead our country in the growth of the middle class; lead our country in terms of men committed to marriage -- over 70 percent, now itís 30 percent; lead our country in terms of community business ownership -- 40 percent, now itís 3.8 percent; men matriculating from college, we now have more -- a higher percentage of men incarcerated [than] in college. It is -- by the way, my degree was Biology and that -- I learned a long time ago that slavery is not a gene in the DNA [double] helix. Itís our actions, itís our attitude, itís our belief.

I do not believe in reparation, because what reparation does, it points to a certain race, a certain color and...points to it as evil and points the other race -- my race -- as one that has not only becomes racist but...also beggars.

I do believe in restitution. Letís point to the party that -- that was part of slavery, the 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 cannot pass standard reading and writing tests, a democratic state. So, yes, letís pay...restitution.

How about the Democratic Party pay for all the misery brought to my race. And...after we learn our history, [if] they decide to stay there they should pay also. Theyíre complicit. And, every white American, Republican or Democrat, who feels guilty because of their white skin -- you just need to pony up also. That way we can get past this reparation and recognize that this country has given us greatness.

Look at this panel. It doesnít matter how we think. The fact is -- it doesnít matter our color. We have become successful in this country like no other, because of this great opportunity to live the American Dream. Letís not steal that from our kids by telling them they canít do it.

Book/CDs by Michael E. Eidenmuller, Published by McGraw-Hill (2008)

See also; Burgess Owens Official Website

Original Audio and Video Source: C-SPAN.org

Transcript Note: Principal transcription by South Transcription Unlimited, Inc. | www.southtranscription.com | info@southtranscription.com | (+63) 920.921.8709. Supplementary transcription work and editorial oversight by Michael E. Eidenmuller. Diction and syntax in the verbal delivery of this speech are irregular in places. Consequently, the transcript's authenticity cannot be clearly specified.

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Page Created: 2/26/20

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