Oklahoma state Rep. Dennis Johnson apologized after the phrase "Jew me down" during a debate Wednesday.
An Oklahoma Republican lawmaker apologized Wednesday after using the phrase "Jew me down" during a debate on the floor of the state House.
State Rep. Dennis Johnson (R-Duncan) was touting small businesses and saying they could compete with larger stores and chains because of their customer service, even though customers "might try to Jew me down on a price. That's fine -- that's free market as well."
Members seated behind Johnson quickly reacted to the comment, which is considered an anti-Jewish slur. Seconds later, someone passed Johnson a note about what he said.
“Did I?” Johnson asked. “I apologize to the Jews. They're good small businessmen as well.”
Speaking afterward to The Oklahoman, Johnson said he "made an offhand reference that was inappropriate and I know that it hurt some folks.”
“I acknowledge that. I regret that. I apologize for it. It was unintentional," Johnson said.
He said "negotiate" would have been a better word to use.
“It just came out of one of the wrinkles of my brain and it was not something that was intentional,” Johnson told the newspaper. “I certainly didn't mean to offend anyone and I apologize for the folks I did offend. It is a comment that should never be made. I will never do it again.”
(h/t Huffington Post)