WASHINGTON, D.C. (ABC4) – U.S. Senators Mike Lee, (R) Utah, Mitt Romney, (R) Utah, and Representatives Chris Stewart, (R) Utah, John Curtis, (R) Utah, and Blake Moore, (R) Utah issued a joint statement on The Salt Lake Tribune’s “insulting cartoon” depicting Congressman Burgess Owens, (R) Utah.

The statement reads as follows”

“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.”

Congressman Owens called the cartoon “pathetic.”

Owens went on to say in a tweet, “The Salt Lake Tribune and Pat Bagley compare me to the KKK, the radical hate group that terrorized me in my youth because I am one of many sounding the alarm of the trauma being faced by women and children crossing the border.”

Owens and Bagley went back and forth about the cartoon on Twitter.

“We have heard of ‘mansplaining,’ now we have ‘whitesplaining’ from a white man comparing a black man, who grew up under Jim Crow laws, to the KKK. Awful tone-deaf @sltrib@Patbagley. Expect an apology, but I won’t hold my breath,” Owens continued to say in a tweet.

To which Bagley responded, “My problem with Burgess Owens, as with so many Republicans, is his promotion of dangerous conspiracy theories totally divorced from reality.”

Bagley says though he can’t speak to the Black experience, he can speak to the effect the words Owens used have on white people. “From time immemorial they have been used to stir up irrational fear and animosity.”

In 2020, a protest of the Salt Lake Tribune was held over a controversial cartoon that some say appeared to associate police officers with the KKK.