Kentucky GOP lawmakers apologize after making a request to the government to 'Jew down' lease
Two Republican lawmakers in Kentucky are backpedaling and apologizing for making an anti-semitic remark while discussing a state leasing agreement.
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Rep. Walker Thomas (R-Ky.) was overheard suggesting the state could “Jew them down on the price,” while discussing leasing agreements with the Kentucky Capital Projects and Bond Oversight Committee.
Sen. Rick Girdler (R-Ky.) echoed Thomas' remarks “We’ve got a representative up here [asking] if you could Jew them down a little bit on the price,” Girdler said.
However, Girdler paused and quickly attempted to change his choice of words. “That ain’t the right word to use,” he said. “‘Drop them down,’ I guess.”
Almost immediately after the audio of the discussion was made public, the lawmakers were met with opposition. The American Jewish Committee sounded off with a critical response to the lawmaker's choice of words.
According to HuffPost, the committee argued the phrase “Jew down” is an anti-Semitic expression that “'plays into the trope of Jews as greedy money handlers who are unwilling to part with their earnings.'”
Kentucky legislators apologize after using anti-Semitic phrase during committee meetingyoutu.be
In the wake of controversy, Thomas issued a statement of apology to the Herald-Leader for his offensive remarks. At one point in his statement, Thomas admitted that the phrase was one he'd heard many times before. However, the criticism he is currently facing has forced him to look at the phrase more objectively.
“I sincerely regret using that term and apologize to anyone harmed by my use of it. This is not who I am, nor is it what my faith leads me to be,” Thomas said, according to the newspaper. “It is a phrase I have heard throughout my life, but this experience has provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the impact that words have and the fact that we must be smarter today than we were yesterday.“
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