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Paterson City Councilman Michel Jackson said a developer was trying to “Jew us down” during a debate on the redevelopment of Hinchcliffe Stadium Tuesday evening, according to a report in TapInto Paterson.
“I said, mister developer, I respect you, I appreciate you for valuing our city, for offering the best price possible, for not trying to go backwards and Jew us down,” Jackson said.
Mayor Andre Sayegh called Jackson’s comments “highly insensitive and reprehensible.
“You offended a lot of people,” Sayegh said.
Several other council members also slammed Jackson for his anti-Semitic slur, along with city administrator Vaughn McKoy.
“You said something that I think is totally inappropriate for a councilperson, for any person, to utter what you said in referring to how a certain group of people bargain,” McKoy said. “I think it’s reprehensible and I think there’s no place in the council chamber for what you said, sir.”
Jackson offered a back-handed apology for his statements.
“Never do I make any apologies for the passion that I have and the commitment that I bring forward for my community,” Jackson said. “That was meant with no malice. It was a statement indicative of my upbringing, of where it was a term that was often used as children as we in our communities use other terms of endearment that now has for some has become forsaken.”
Jackson was elected in a 2015 special election after Councilman Anthony Davis pleaded guilty to bribery charges. He won a full four-year term in 2016.