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Oklahoma pol says he regrets 'Jew' insult

okhouse.gov

Oklahoma State Rep. Dennis Johnson

An Oklahoma lawmaker says an insulting comment he made about Jews "came out of the wrinkles of my brain" and he regrets it.

State Rep. Dennis Johnson was talking about bill on sale-pricing at retail outlets on the House floor on Wednesday when used a derogatory turn that refers to bargaining down a price, the Associated Press reported.


Several of his colleagues objected and Johnson offered an apology, albeit tin-eared, saying, "Jews run good small businesses, too."

Johnson told the AP he later apologized to the House speaker and offered to apologize again on the floor.

"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."

Rabbi Vered Harris of the Temple B'Nai Israel in Oklahoma City said the term Johnson used is hurtful because it suggests Jews are cheap.

"I'm very grateful that he realized he said something hurtful and was willing to apologize," the rabbi said.