This might be the most stunning one minute video I’ve seen.
The Republican Co-Majority Leader of the Oklahoma House of Representatives casually apologized yesterday for casually using an antisemitic slur during a debate on a bill to repeal an old law prohibiting retailers from selling their items at a loss.
"[Customers] might try to Jew me down on the price," Johnson added. "That’s fine. You know what? That’s free market as well."
After it was pointed out to him that the phrase “to Jew down" might be considered offensive by, say, Jewish people, Johnson half-heartedly apologized.
"I apologize to the Jews," he said, to laughter from his colleagues in the House. "They’re good small business men as well."
It’s worth noting that there isn’t a single Jewish member in either house of the Oklahoma Legislature.
Reached for comment by the Tulsa World, Joe Griffin, spokesperson for Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton), said Johnson “is not the first person to make a comment they regret. The chamber accepted his apology and has moved on.”
You watch and tell me if he’s actually apologizing here, seconds after using a slur and learning from a slip of paper someone hands to him that it is, in fact, offensive to use such a slur.
Oh, I’ll just tell you: He isn’t apologizing. He doesn’t care in the least. It’s actually funny to him. His colleagues, you’ll note, are laughing too.
HT: Michael Tofias.
Johnson later issued a longer apology:
"I 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," he said. "I’m almost 60 years old, and it’s a phrase that was used when I was kid, and it was used often.
"It was just something that came out from the wrinkles of my brain. I certainly did not mean to offend anyone, and I apologize to the folks that I did offend."
For those who remember as far back as three weeks ago, this is almost identical to Rep. Don Young’s apology for his slur about Latinos:
“During a sit down interview with Ketchikan Public Radio this week, I used a term that was commonly used during my days growing up on a farm in Central California,” Young said in the statement. “I know that this term is not used in the same way nowadays and I meant no disrespect.”
I tell ya, the good ol’ days when these guys were growing up must have been fun as hell. You could be as much of a racist or anti-Semite as you wanted and no one thought for even a second to bother you about it. It’s a lot less fun today, since you have to pretend to apologize for things that everyone used to say out loud in good fun.