“Jewing Down The Price” In The Oklahoma State House

Meet Oklahoma House Majority co-leader Dennis Johnson (R – Oklahoma District 50).

Johnson, Dennis

According to his official Oklahoma House Website, he sits on six house committees, including the Judiciary and General Government committees. He was elected in 2007, and can continue serving in the house until 2018, at which point his term limit expires. He also is a strong proponent of Oklahoma SB550, the “Unfair Sales Act”, which rolls back a decades-old ban on a Big Box store tactic to crush smaller competition through “loss-leaders”. In fact, Representative Johnson is such a fan of SB550, his excitement must have shorted-circuited the “good decisions” part of his brain. How do I know? Because, while arguing for SB550 on the floor of the Oklahoma State House, Rep. Johnson said:

 There’s such a thing as niche marketing. That’s what you do as a small business. People come back and like what you do but they might Jew me down on the price that’s fine. That’s free market.

See folks? That’s fine! That’s free market.

Johnson, who sorta-kinda-regained his sense of “not being a complete jackass while speaking on the floor of a statehouse” did an interesting little mea culpa a few sentences later.

People don’t come to me for price. They come and they trust my advice. I apologize to the Jews. They are good small business men as well. Lets get back to this.

Ah-ha! He apologized! Jews are good businessmen! All is forgiven! Democracy! Now, can we please get back to this?

Here’s the video of Rep. Johnson making an ass of himself representing the people of Oklahoma, on the floor of the house:

If you’d  like to thank Representative Johnson for his thoughtful comments, he can be reached at [email protected].

[h/t Talkbackskvia]

What do you think?

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24 Responses

  1. Eric

    Here’s his office phone number: (405) 557-7327

    I left him a message suggesting he make a healthy donation to the Anti Defamation League.

  2. MrVertigo

    So all is forgiven, let’s forget about it, he really didn’t mean it as it was just a simple slip of the tongue. Oy, it’s not like he really thinks this way, is it? Nah, just a bunch of jews kvetching about a little “jew business” why make a big deal of it? We jews are just too sensitive and overly concerned w/seemingly small and irrelevant issues such as blatant Anti-Semitism like the above idiot stated.

  3. jgogek

    I heard that he apologized to “the Jews.” He needs to apologize to his mother for being such an ignorant child.

  4. NYdolly

    I knew there was a time difference between New York and Oklahoma, but I didn’t realize it was 60 years.

  5. Daleks

    Watch the reaction of the guy in the back row, in the upper left corner of the screen. He can’t believe what he just heard.

  6. Tom Musto

    I’m kinda ambivalent about it. I have Jewish friends who say themselves that they “Jewed” somebody down on the price of something. Like a black person calling another black person:”Nigga” but if a white person says it, its racist. I prefer to think of the expression as relating the impression that Jewish people ARE good business people and they ARE good hagglers. They have Chutzpah: the gonads to do it. That’s a good thing. I wish I had it! That’s what the expression conveys to me. I think we’ve all become so PC that we can’t enjoy even the slightest ribbing of our ethnic differences without someone crying “foul”.

  7. ItsMe

    Unfortunately, Tom, you have the right attitude but are one in 10 that may believe that connotation. Wish it were different

  8. Eric

    He had to be told that his remark was offensive and he laughed during his apology. Hardly heartfelt,

  9. Dovid

    Everyone else was laughing both when he said it and when he apologized. Apparently it was a big joke in the Oklahoma legislature. To be honest I find that even more offensive than the original statement.

  10. kc

    disgusting remarks by a politician who clearly is uneducated and needs sensitivity training. my apologies to the people of this great country

  11. Lukyanov

    Welcome to America, folks.

    I grew up in central NJ, and lived there as a teen in the early 2000s.

    Yes, NJ has its own stereotypes of being a cultural desert wasteland. In other words, it’s a beautiful state – if you remove all the people out of there. But the kind of background racism, anti-semitism, sexism, and every other form of bigotry nurtured by this country for the last 300 years (including the more recent, post-911 “nuke all the sand&*#@$%” remarks) lives there as if nothing ever changed. And it’s not isolated to NJ, as I learned during my travels later. At various rest stops, bars, bus stations, and other public places where people from different places come together, I heard echoes of the same things I’ve been hearing from my peers (and their parents) for all of my teenage years.

    I do not belong to any group that has a crosshair around it, so people felt no need to guard their tongues around me. And why should they? I wouldn’t want anyone to censor themselves in front of me. Otherwise, how will I really learn anything about them? So I didn’t grow up crusading for equality & social justice – I just wanted to do my thing, learn and observe as much as I could, possibly get laid, and most importantly get out of there as soon as possible. But the casualness of it all still staggered me. Every racial slur you can ever imagine was thrown around on a routine basis, including the expression this state rep used. Casual racism abounded, and expressed in private conversations in ways that were not casual at all. When I was in 7th grade, I remember talking to a classmate’s father who was taking us out trick or treating. During the conversation, he let on that his family has a special codeword they use to discuss black people in a derogatory manner. As in, they would be walking down the street, and the father would go “look at that stupid peach!” or whatever the word was, and the kid would laugh, noticing the person of color his father was referring to.

    Want another one? I remember a family friend of my high school buddy coming up to us on the street one day to say hi, and proceeding to tell us about his trip to Poland – the highlight of which was a visit to some roadside brothel, where all the women were gorgeous and willing, and $20 buys you everything you ever wanted from one. He then proceeds to explain to us his theories as to why there are so many gorgeous “hot blondes” there: the Holocaust! Apparently, the legacy of a massive genocide in which millions of (ostensibly dark-haired) people were killed by murderous psychos is a great selection of blonde prostitutes that American tourists can enjoy for as low as $20!! At least he had the decency to lower his voice when he was saying this.

    Again, as I left the state and travelled around the country, I must reiterate: the problem is not isolated to NJ, or any other pocket of ignorance! These are still the background attitudes held by millions of ordinary Americans, and are still being passed down generation to generation! This is why the only thing that surprises me about the incident in the OK statehouse is that the guy even bothered to apologize.

  12. Bruce Howell

    How about throwing in a quick resignation with that sincere apology!

  13. Megdutchie

    “he needs to apologize to his mother for being such an ignorant child” Unfortunately, the apple usually doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  14. Megdutchie

    Racism and bigotry is taught. Current and future generations are no longer just limited to the exposure of racist and bigoted views of previous generations…social media is rapidly changing that. But when it shows its ugly head….it is imporant to expose it, and call it out!

  15. William

    One might think that those who serve the public would be more cognizant of their language. Mr. Johnson’s remarks are detestable and someone in his position should be careful when speaking in public. I am not Jewish and I was highly offended by Mr. Johnson. Some type of serious public apology is in order. People are not perfect. Let’s see what Mr. Johnson does in the coming days. Will he offend us all again??

  16. Rick S

    Dennis, I call you that because I think you only represented yourself with your comment. To make that comment so easily,tells me that you were brought up in an ignorant and insensitive home. Then, to shake it off as though it were nothing, further indicates your ignorance.
    This is from a California Jew who wishes he had Oklahoma voting rights.

  17. Steve L

    I never thought of that as a derogatory term. How do the Jews feel about it?


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