Okla. lawmaker apologizes for 'Jew' slur

April 18, 2013 at 2:38 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY, April 18 (UPI) -- An Oklahoma lawmaker has apologized for an ethnic slur about Jews during debate on a bill that would allow retailers to offer deep discounts on merchandise.

Speaking on the floor of the state House of Representatives, Rep. Dennis Johnson, R-Duncan, said customers of small businesses might try to "Jew me down on a price," The Oklahoman reported Thursday.

He continued talking until a fellow lawmaker told Johnson what he had said.

"Did I?" Johnson asked. He apologized, saying that Jews were "good small businessmen as well."

Johnson apologized again after the House had adjourned.

"I made an offhand reference that was inappropriate and I know that it hurt some folks," he said. "I acknowledge that. I regret that. I apologize for it. It was unintentional."

The lawmaker said he grew up hearing the term and that "it just came out of one of the wrinkles of my brain."

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