The entire twelve-member New Jersey congressional delegation says Trenton City councilmembers should resign if they refuse to apologize for using and defending anti-Semitic slurs.
Council President Kathy McBride used the term “Jew her down” during the discussion of a lawsuit settlement. Two of her colleagues, Robin Vaughn and George Muschal, used the same hateful trope in defending her.
“Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world and right here in New Jersey. We must never accept bigotry or hatred in any form. We are calling on both the Trenton Councilman and Councilwoman to apologize immediately or resign,” the House members said.
The statement was released by the full delegation: Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff), Andy Kim (D-Marlton), Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill), Donald Norcross (D-Camden), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch), Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson), Donald Payne (D-Newark), Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair), Albio Sires (D-West New York), Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton), Jeff Van Drew (D-Dennis), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing).
Watson Coleman represents Trenton in Congress.
New Jersey faces an epidemic of anti-Semitic statements by public officials.
Pascrell and Gottheimer have called for the resignation of Paterson Councilman Michael Jackson, who used “Jew us down” during a council meeting last week, and both congressmen sough the resignation of Passaic NAACP President Jeffrey Dye, who was fired by the Murphy administration for attacking Jews and Latinos on his Facebook page.
McBride apologized for her comments at a council meeting last night, saying she didn’t intend to insult anyone.
“I am apologizing to the community at large because, in my position, you cannot make anyone feel insulted or be we cannot be insensitive to any ethnic background, so I am apologizing to the community at large,” McBride said.
In defending McBride, Muschal told the New Jersey Globe that “Jew her down” was “just a statement of speech.”
“You know, it’s like a car dealer, they wanted $5,000, you Jew ‘em down to $4,000,” Muschal said. “It’s nothing vicious. The expression has been said millions of times.”
Vaughn, who continues to defend McBride on social media, said that “Jew her down” was just a verb and didn’t see anything wrong with the term.
An attempt to censure the Trenton councilmembers for their anti-Semitic comments led by Councilman Jerrell Blakeley was defeated last night by a 2-5 vote.