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Republican Oklahoma Lawmaker: Customers “Might Try To Jew Me Down” On Price (Video)

This past week, Oklahoma State Rep. Dennis Johnson was talking about small businesses during a floor debate, and said that sometimes customers will “try to Jew me down on a price, that’s fine. You know what? That’s free market as well.”

...Johnson then jokingly added, to laughter from the room: “I apologize to the Jews. They’re good small businessmen as well.”

Yeah. Fucking hilarious, asshole. How's that Republican Rebranding Effort® going again?

Anyway, once again, I get to dust off and re-post two real-life incidents that happened to me:

The time: December, 1993

The place: The AMC Maple 3 Theater, Birmingham, Michigan

At Michigan State University, I had become a wannabe filmmaker, had teamed up with a group of talented fellow students, and had helped produce a couple of shorts that won some acclaim. After college, I spent several years pursuing the film producer role, and went to the movies all the time with this same group of friends. On this evening, we were attending the first evening showing of Steven Spielberg's Holocaust masterpiece, Schindler's List.

So, we all go into the packed theater, to watch a sold-out showing of the film. If you've seen it, you know how incredibly emotional and heavy it is; not exactly a "popcorn movie".

Afterwards, we all shuffle out into the lobby in dead silence, feeling the weight of the films' impact. As the other patrons left the theater, our group stood in a rough circle in the lobby, no one saying a word. All eyes were on me, waiting for me to say something, anything to break the ice.

I should note two things at this point: One, the Birmingham/Bloomfield area of Michigan has a very high Jewish population. Two, I was the only Jewish member of our group (about a dozen people), which meant that they could very well have been the only non-Jewish people in the theater.

It kind of felt like they were waiting for me to give them my 'blessing' to say something, so I finally asked whether anyone wanted to go grab a bite to eat. They all visibly relaxed and a quick discussion started about whether to go to this restaurant or that one.

Someone suggested a particular place, and another member of the group, named Joe, said, without thinking or batting an eye:

"Nahh...the last time I went there they Jewed me."
To repeat: We had just left the opening day showing of Schindler's List, in a theater packed to the gills with Jews, myself included.

Silence. Utter silence, with widened eyes and gaping mouths all around, like out of a bad sitcom episode.

After a half a second, Joe's own eyes widened and he started to frantically apologize to me, hemming and hawwing and falling all over himself.

Given the situation, the fact that I didn't want to see the evening spoiled, and that I knew he was an OK guy overall, I facepalmed, sighed, took pity on him and said "Shut up, Joe. Let's just go eat, OK?"


The Time: mid-May, 2000

The Place: My home office

My website development business partner and I had entered into an ill-fated subcontracting arrangement with a small networking/IT company. After one too many "misunderstandings" about our work and payment agreements, we'd finally had enough, and made it clear that our arrangement had come to an end. All that was left was to square away the remaining payments owed to us for past jobs, which the networking company had been delaying for several months already.

One day, I got into a heated argument with the owner of the other company, telling him in no uncertain terms that the time had come to pay us for the work we'd properly performed, that we weren't gonna let him off the hook, and that legal action would be taken if he failed to pay us as promised.

The other guy (named Rob) interrupted me, and then proceeded to go off on a (literally) ten-minute diatribe about how "unprofessional" I was acting, how I needed to "calm down" and "step back", how he'd been in business for sooooo much longer than me and this was not the way that professionals behaved, etc etc, basically lecturing me as a parent would their wayward child about the importance of being "professional" in all business dealings.

He then wrapped up this incredibly condescending lecture by stating the following:

"Listen, you're gonna get your money. Trust me, I'm not trying to Jew you down here."
Silence for a split second...

..Followed by the same blathering, stumbling apology described in the earlier incident above (over the phone this time).

I remained dead silent throughout his entire harangue, as well as through his pathetic (and clearly insincere) apology. Needless to say, in this case, I didn't take pity on him.

Finally, I interrupted and said:

"Rob, you know what? That statement didn't offend me. EVERYTHING THAT YOU SAID BEFORE IT DID. Put. The. Fucking. Check. In. The. Mail. Now."
...and hung up on him.

The check for the full amount did show up a week or so later. He and I never actually spoke again, thankfully.

Meanwhile, speaking of Xenophobia, my original FB posting of this image has gone viral on Facebook, garnering over 16,000 Likes and over 13,000 Shares to date.

Jews and Muslims may have a few, um, issues to work out, but we sure as hell have something in common here.

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