NEW YORK -- Jesse Jackson says his remark referring to Jews as 'Hymies' was not meant to be an offensive statement with religious or political overtones, but was 'non-insulting colloquial language.'
In this week's edition of Newsweek, Jackson again apologized for use of the term and for referring to New York City as 'Hymietown.'
'This matter was obviously a campaign mistake and the handling of it reflected the fatigue of the campaign,' Jackson said. 'If one had used something as derogatory as 'kike' -- that's mean spirited.
'When you look at the number of Hymans or Hymies in the telephone book, it's clear that's not an offensive statement with religious or political overtones in our vernacular,' he said. 'It's non-insulting colloquial language.'
'So many times we've said, 'we're going to New York, we're going to Harlem, we're going to Chocolate City. We're going to see Mose and Mosella,' which are certain characterizations of blacks. Not quite like nigger.
Jackson said he first heard the term 'Hymie' used about 20 years ago when he arrived in Chicago.
'There's a place down off Maxwell Street called 'Jewtown.' Understand? 'Jewtown is where Hymie gets you if you can't negotiate them suits down.' You understand? That's not meant as anti-Semitic. If you can't guy any suits downtown, you go down to Jewtown on Maxwell Street and you start negotiating with Hyman and Sons.
'And if Hyman and Sons show up they're called Hymie. There's no insule even to them. This thing took on a life of its own. Now that is there it is.'