Dennis Johnson Says It’s OK If People ‘Try To Jew Me Down’
Immediately apologizes, saying he thought it was a compliment
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.”
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.