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Dennis Johnson Says It’s OK If People ‘Try To Jew Me Down’

Immediately apologizes, saying he thought it was a compliment

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Republican Co-Majority Leader of the Oklahoma House of Representatives Dennis Johnson(Dennis Johnson Campaign/Flickr)

Here we go again: not even 18 months after a state representative in Texas admonished his fellow lawmakers not to “Jew down” windstorm victims by scrimping on assistance, a member of neighboring Oklahoma’s state legislature used the same anti-Semitic phrase in a floor speech Wednesday. In a debate about a bill on price controls, Dennis Johnson, a Republican who is one of three co-majority leaders in the state’s House of Representatives, said of his customers, “They might try to Jew me down on the price. That’s fine. You know what, that’s free market as well.”

Johnson immediately responded to objections from his colleagues by offering this additional observation: “I apologize to the Jews. They’re good small businessmen as well.” Which is the kind of apology that makes it clear Johnson wasn’t really sure how he was being offensive.

Video is here.

Later, Johnson told reporters that he’d heard the phrase often as a child, and that it “was just something that came out from the wrinkles of my brain.”

Oklahoma House Leader Utters Derogatory Slur During Debate [Tulsa World]

Oklahoma Republican Rep. Dennis Johnson Apologizes for Anti-Semitic Remark [AP/KJRH]

Earlier: Texas Politician Uses His Words, Fails

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Almost funny. Judging from my 7-year stint in the Midwest, I doubt that he even knew that it was a slur. I heard it fairly often from various former acquaintances, who were completely clueless about it.

I Erbs says:

Pathetic. It’s no more true that all Gentiles are ignorant anti-semites, Or all Gentiles pay retail.
What a Putz

majii says:

Very nice blog. Bookmarked for a return visit.

Years ago an au pair from North Dakota walked out when I objected to her telling me that her father had “Jew’ed down the guy who sold him his used car.” I hope it was because she was embarrassed, probably not. Johnson should take a tip and resign.

What an ignoramus. Hopefully he is just dumb and not a bigot. Regardless I will always love my Jewish people, Israel, and Arizona. Oklahoma go F yourself!!

We do not know what his intentions were. Statement like this mean different things depending who says them.We should give him the benefit of the doubt.

In honour of the Distinguished Gentleman from Texas, whenever I make a basic error in mathematics, grammar, or anything else, I shall refer to it as having “Johnsoned.”

-Z

altershmalter says:

Now I know why the male sexual organ is called a Johnson. “What a Johnson” will now be acceptable language when describing someone whose a real p***k!

roipolloi says:

My mom’s sister and I took a space at a flea market in New Jersey and
when the lady came around to collect my aunt asked her how to price
things. She replied “just price them high and let them Jew you down”.
We were not amused. I wonder whether she would have said that if she
knew.

Boris Krivy says:

An offhand apology like this doesn’t cut it. This is a mindset, not an innocent remark. Unfortunately, his is an opinion of Jews shared by too many.

mildmannered says:

I realize the man is from Oklahoma but if he’s made it this far in politics so he has to have some smarts. But not enough.

I lived in Western Nebraska for 3 years, and that phrase is so common that people don’t even hear themselves saying it, let alone the fact that it is offensive. I would always call them out on it when I heard it, and people would immediately apologize when I explained the reason it was offensive, but for them, it’s just part of the language they grew up with. Not enough Jews in the middle part of the country for them to even know what we are — many of them have never even met a Jew before, so why WOULD they know?

    Well it is a big world and the internet has been available for quite a while – and they can read, right? At this stage of the game you’d hope people would realize using a race, ethnicity or religion in a slang term is most likely a pejorative… But maybe the thought process is too difficult for them.

This kerfluffle can bring folks together, too. What would Jesus do……pay retail?

    Sonneofman Israel says:

    Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. Johnson repented when he was told that Jew is not a verb. To keep harping on the offense is mental disease.

what an effing drooling moron.

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Dennis Johnson Says It’s OK If People ‘Try To Jew Me Down’

Immediately apologizes, saying he thought it was a compliment

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