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Ok state rep uses anti Semitic slur during debate


Buzzard

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Apparently the word "negotiate" is not in his vocabulary. Good to know that "haggle", "dicker," "bargain" are equally ineffective. The appropriate term, according to Representative Dennis Johnson is "jew me down."

uJlws6SWviI

While speaking on the virtues of small business in debate over a bill Wednesday, he said, "They might try to Jew me down on a price. That's fine ... that's free market as well." He was then handed a note about fifteen seconds later.

"Did I?" he said to a colleague.

"I apologize to the Jews," he said to laughs. "They're good small businessmen as well."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/1 ... 10754.html

I'm so glad that the rest of the elected officials seated in the house chamber recognized his comment enough to snicker along like children when someone says "butt" in kindergarten... and that the Jewish members accepted his apology. Oh wait, there arent any Jewish reps in Oklahoma...

“I made an offhand reference that was inappropriate and I know that it hurt some folks,†said Rep. Dennis Johnson, R-Duncan, after lawmakers adjourned for the day. “I acknowledge that. I regret that. I apologize for it. It was unintentional.â€

http://newsok.com/oklahoma-lawmaker-apo ... le/3787207

Lets discuss your "offhand reference," shall we? The phrase "Jew me down" or "jewed down" has significant historical weight. This is similar to many other phrases, like "gypped," or "indian giver." I'd say we didnt need to discuss the phrase "wetback" but...

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03 ... -wetbacks/

Did Dennis Johnson go to college plus? Short of receiving his education at the dining room table and printing out his degree I'm not quite sure how one can achieve elected office without learning that there are a number of phrases that are simply NOT USED, "offhand" or not. These phrases are INAPPROPRIATE whether you are shootin skeet and chewin tabacky wit yur frendz or, I dont know, ARGUING LAW ON THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE. :angry-banghead: Shit doesnt "offhand" come out of your mouth if its not in your vocabulary.

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And Ruchi thinks the response is good because... it reminds Jews that they're different. Sigh.

I should have guessed one of them would pick this up. Ugh... Ruchi...

At first I wondered if Senator Johnson were perhaps unaware of the meaning of the slur. For example, I used the term "gypped" until recently, having been totally clueless that this term is a pejorative against Gypsies (Roma). I was likewise unaware, until recently, that "midget" is derogatory while "dwarf" is preferred, and that the Deaf community prefers Deaf with a capital "d."

outoftheorthobox.blogspot.com

I dont even understand what she's saying. She's OK with it because maybe he didnt know what it meant, much like she didnt know about other slurs? And she's "out" as a jew so it doesnt bother her? :cray-cray:

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These apologies always sound insincere. I'm pretty sure they only thing these politicians are sorry about is that they got caught.

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I don't know of it even got discussed here, but last week a tea partier used the term "nigger rig" to describe bridge construction. Someone immediately questioned him and he said, "I mean african American rigged" like that was some sort of appropriate response.

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Apparently the word "negotiate" is not in his vocabulary. Good to know that "haggle", "dicker," "bargain" are equally ineffective. The appropriate term, according to Representative Dennis Johnson is "jew me down."

uJlws6SWviI

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/1 ... 10754.html

I'm so glad that the rest of the elected officials seated in the house chamber recognized his comment enough to snicker along like children when someone says "butt" in kindergarten... and that the Jewish members accepted his apology. Oh wait, there arent any Jewish reps in Oklahoma...

http://newsok.com/oklahoma-lawmaker-apo ... le/3787207

Lets discuss your "offhand reference," shall we? The phrase "Jew me down" or "jewed down" has significant historical weight. This is similar to many other phrases, like "gypped," or "indian giver." I'd say we didnt need to discuss the phrase "wetback" but...

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03 ... -wetbacks/

Did Dennis Johnson go to college plus? Short of receiving his education at the dining room table and printing out his degree I'm not quite sure how one can achieve elected office without learning that there are a number of phrases that are simply NOT USED, "offhand" or not. These phrases are INAPPROPRIATE whether you are shootin skeet and chewin tabacky wit yur frendz or, I dont know, ARGUING LAW ON THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE. :angry-banghead: Shit doesnt "offhand" come out of your mouth if its not in your vocabulary.

Well, if it makes you feel any better he is the Majority Leader (per this website)

http://www.okhouse.gov/District.aspx?District=50

He first was elected in 2006, and has run unopposed in 2010 and 2012.

http://www.okhouse.gov/District.aspx?District=50

He has a degree from "Weber State University" which appears to be in Ogden, Utah.

http://www.weber.edu/AboutWSU/

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I see three types of people who "slip up" like this, and all of them make me nervous in their own way.

Some of them, I think, are just that dense. They don't realize they've said something wrong until someone points it out to them, and you can almost see the confusion swirling around their heads like a swarm of gnats.

Then you have the ones who know exactly what they're saying. Some are like that first kid you knew in school who stared with the swear words or farting in class. Anything for that attention and headline, good or bad.

The last also know exactly what they're saying. They though, don't just want the attention. They are generally a bit more subtle. Almost like they are feeling out their audience for how much they can get away with and how many people agree with them.

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"I apologize to the Jews," he said to laughs. "They're good small businessmen as well."

Because making generalisations about an entire ethnic/religious group is SO much better :roll:

I find it disturbing that he called it an "off-hand" comment. That makes it sound like it's something it would be OK to say in a casual situation. I concede that sometimes people really do make off-hand comments, usually intended to be humourous, that fail epically, but they generally do so using their everyday vocabulary. Unless "Jew me down" is in your everyday vocabulary, you're making a conscious choice to use that phrase. Either way, you're a jerk.

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I should have guessed one of them would pick this up. Ugh... Ruchi...

outoftheorthobox.blogspot.com

I dont even understand what she's saying. She's OK with it because maybe he didnt know what it meant, much like she didnt know about other slurs? And she's "out" as a jew so it doesnt bother her? :cray-cray:

I don't think that the. majority of people understand what the word gypped is. I thought it was jipped and a legit word until I came to FJ, and people often use it as such, without realizing that it's a racial slur. The problem often isn't racism, but lack of knowledge. I don't understand how "Jew me down" could possibly not be understood as a racial slur! I've never even heard it used, except maybe by my kind-of-racist losing-their-filter grandparents- it's certainly not part of many people's vocabulary. And if, by chance, he didn't know what it meant, he shouldn't be a sate rep.

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And Ruchi thinks the response is good because... it reminds Jews that they're different. Sigh.

I don't think she LIKED the comment. She wrote:

So why am I not shocked or outraged? Mostly, because I am very "out" about my Judaism and am therefore totally aware, and even expect, to some extent, anti-semitism. I remember my grandparents telling me how some of their best Hungarian and Polish neighbors turned on them with a vengeance during the Holocaust. In taking a long view of Jewish history, this is the norm rather than the exception.

She's not saying it's good. She is saying that she has no realistic expectation that people WON'T be anti-semitic. For her, this slip simply reveals in public the anti-semitism that she assumes is lurking beneath the surface.

I don't think this view is a matter of religious observance, but it is more common in some Orthodox communities because of the demographics of those communities.

In the United States, there was a huge wave of Jewish immigration between 1880 and 1920, and a smaller wave after WWII. Those who were part of the first big wave are generally not ultra-Orthodox today. The typical family narrative is: "We fled from pogroms in Russia, we came to America, we struggled at first but we've been blessed to live in a free country where we could live and prosper".

In ultra-Orthodox communities, most people were part of the post-war immigration wave. The typical family narrative is: "We faced pogroms in Russia. Some thought that overthrowing the Czar and supporting the Bolsheviks was the answer, but then we were persecuted by the Communists. Some thought that the freedoms of western Europe and advanced culture of Germany were the answer, but then we were persecuted by the Nazis. We used to be friends with non-Jews in our village, but then our former friends tried to kill us. You can't ever get too comfortable and think that it can't happen again."

Where I live (just north of Toronto, Canada), I'm considered unusual because my family was part of the first wave. The demographics are different here. Most people around me - religious or not - come from families that immigrated later. Views like Ruchi's are very common, not just among the Orthodox.

For Ruchi - and for me - the concern isn't that this state rep is a hateful outlier who is unusually anti-semitic. The concern is that he is so steeped in an environment in which casual anti-semitism is a fact of life, to the extent that he could say this without realizing that it's wrong, and then follow it up with an "apology" that simply trots out more stereotypes and makes things worse.

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I had a college professor who thought the phrase was "chewed him down", which kinda makes sense. It wasn't until he said it front of a Jewish coworker, who took him aside and explained what was what that he realized it was "Jew him down", and he was horrified.

That sort of slip I can understand.

This asshat's "Oh, is that offensive? Hahahaah [insert racist stereotype]" fauxpology just makes it that much worse.

And I don't get people who can't keep up with changes in language. When I was a kid, "retarded" was a diagnostic word. "Midget" was totes okay. I had teachers in elementary school chide children not to be "Indian givers". (I never understood that one. We stole the whole damn country from them, and then blame them for what, exactly?) I heard "gypped" so often, it didn't occur to me it referred to people.

But as soon as I learned those words hurt peoples' feelings, I didn't go "Oh, but I like them! How can you steal my words from me? There's only 500,000 words in the English language and you took away one, you thief!" No, I apologized and moved on.

Is it really so hard?

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I don't know of it even got discussed here, but last week a tea partier used the term "nigger rig" to describe bridge construction. Someone immediately questioned him and he said, "I mean african American rigged" like that was some sort of appropriate response.

We know he meant "African American" rigged. He knew exactly what he was saying and he wasn't the least embarassed by it.

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We know he meant "African American" rigged. He knew exactly what he was saying and he wasn't the least embarassed by it.

I just... How could anyone thing that anything with the word "nigger" in it could be acceptable? Ever? Any variation of a phrase with it should be a red flag.

There should be a basic education course taught by the republican party titled "shit not to say."

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I'm baffled as to how changing the phrase to "AA-rigged" makes it any better. Sure, the slur is removed, but it's still derogatory. The only acceptable version I knew is "jury-rigged" because at least that makes sense and is not derogatory to an entire race, in more ways than one.

But as soon as I learned those words hurt peoples' feelings, I didn't go "Oh, but I like them! How can you steal my words from me? There's only 500,000 words in the English language and you took away one, you thief!" No, I apologized and moved on.

Is it really so hard?

This. Seriously. I used to say gypped. I even knew how it was spelled. But I never put two and two together until someone pointed it out to me as a young adult, and now I don't say it. It's really not hard if you're a decent human being.

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Ruchi (I address her rhetorically in her absence), not all people of short stature prefer "dwarf". There are growth syndromes other than dwarfisms that result in short stature for adults. Yes, "midget" is universally deprecated, but using "dwarf" unless you know that that's the preferred term of a person with dwarfism (as it is for the brilliant Peter Dinklage, for instance) is rude.

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The only appropriate response to this guy is to facepalm about seven times.

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