Home>Highlight>Trenton attorney resigns over McBride’s ‘Jew her down’ comment

Attorney Stuart Platt

Trenton attorney resigns over McBride’s ‘Jew her down’ comment

‘I cannot and will not represent anti-Semites,’ Stuart Platt says

By Nikita Biryukov, September 19 2019 1:38 pm

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Trenton’s redevelopment attorney resigned Thursday over anti-Semitic comments made by Council President Kathy McBride.

“I am an American and I am a Jew. I am resigning because of the disgraceful and shameful anti-Semitic remarks that were in fact made by the Council President of the City of Trenton, Kathy McBride,” Stuart Platt said in his letter of resignation.

Platt was appointed by Mayor Reed Gusciora and unanimously confirmed by the Council in June.

Over the past week, three Trenton council members have faced fire over anti-Semitic comments.

McBride used the term “Jew her down” while discussing the settlement of a lawsuit, according to a recording of a Sept. 5 closed-door executive Council session obtained by the New Jersey Globe.

Two other members of the council, Robin Vaughn and George Muschal, defended McBride’s use of the term.

Muschal said it was simply a “statement of speech,” while Vaughn said the term “Jew her down” was a verb and suggested there was nothing improper about it.

McBride issued a belated apology at a council meeting on Tuesday after days of refusing to comment on her statement, citing a cone of silence around executive sessions.

Vaughn issued her own apology on Wednesday, including a defense of McBride’s but saying that her defense of the term was “an error of my judgement.”

Muschal said he apologized to one of the attorneys involved and provided the New Jersey Globe with a screen shot of his response to the Associated Press.

Those only came after Gusciora, Gov. Phil Murphy, U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez and the entire New Jersey House delegation condemned the three Trenton Council members.

“As an American and a Jew, I cannot and will not represent anti-Semites,” Platt said. “As an American and a Jew, I will not devote my time, energy, efforts and talents as a redevelopment to a majority of the City Council. I will not accept their money nor their hollow and disingenuous apologies.”

On Tuesday, the council voted against censures against the three councilmembers pushed by Councilman Jerell Blakeley by a margin of 2-5. Only Councilman Joseph Harrison sided with Blakeley and voted to condemn the three councilmembers for their defense and use of the anti-Semitic trope.

In his letter of resignation, Platt thanked Gusciora, Harrison and Blakeley for their condemnation of the McBride’s comments.

“This act of resignation by me, while perhaps a small matter to the rest of the world, is action in the face of anti-Semitism nonetheless,” Platt said. “Jews and other people of good will need to send a message that anti-Semitism is not acceptable and those who foster this creed of cowardice, lies and ignorance will be held accountable.”

Muschal 091819_Redacted
Platt Resignation Letter

This story was updated at 5:01 PM to include Muschal’s response.

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5 thoughts on “Trenton attorney resigns over McBride’s ‘Jew her down’ comment

  1. we have become a populous of snowflakes, embracing govt corrupted system, but running willy nilly if someone says something insensitive. I never head of that idiom, but if it is…then it is. Just like changing the south brunswick “Indians” mascot to the “raiders”…..not thinking that the scandinavians of viking origin living there will be insulted. We have lost our national psyche.

  2. Hats off to you Mr. Platt. The comment made should be enough for the powers that be to force, not ask, her to resign, consult a Rabbi, study and become a Bat Mitzvah as a reward.

  3. I am half Jewish. While I think the comments were a poor choice of words, I don’t necessarily think they were anti Semitic or borne out of hatred. We are living in ultra sensitive times where a slip of the tongue leads to unnecessary outrage and often inequitable condemnation or career effect. Antisemitism, or any kind of hatred based on innocent identity, is truly wrong. But these days we have gone too far in finding ways to label behavior as racist, xenophobic, etc.
    Perspective matters. In this ultra sensitive, ultra politically-correct time, we seem to be losing perspective.

    1. Jew them down is an anti-Semitic statement. Period. It comes from the stereotype that Jews are cheapskates. People should know the origin of this statement and never use it again. Generally anti semites use this phrase, so I am unsure why anyone would come to the defense of anyone who would say this. Who cares if you are half Jewish? You are just as ignorant as the anti semites who used this phrase. Your defense of these people puts you in your own category of ignorance. You should feel ashamed of yourself.

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