Home>Highlight>Trenton councilman defends McBride, says ‘Jew down’ is just a ‘statement of speech’

Trenton City Councilman George Muschal. (Photo: George Muschal).

Trenton councilman defends McBride, says ‘Jew down’ is just a ‘statement of speech’

Muschal: ‘You know, it’s like a car dealer, they wanted $5,000, you Jew ‘em down to $4,000’

By David Wildstein, September 15 2019 5:41 pm

Longtime Trenton City Councilman George Muschal says that while he didn’t hear a colleague make an anti-Semitic slur but says he’s heard the term “Jew them down” referred to many times and thinks it’s “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.”

Muschal said he stands behind embattled Council President Kathy McBride.

McBride reportedly said  during a closed-door discussion of the settlement of a lawsuit filed by resident Vivian Soto that Assistant City Attorney Peter Cohen was “able to wait her out and Jew her down” to settle the case at a lower amount during an executive session of the City Council on September 5.

“She’s going to apologize,” Muschal told the New Jersey Globe.  “There was never an intent to hurt the Jewish people.”

The councilman said he never heard McBride make the controversial remark and said he would support the release of an audio tape of the closed-door meeting in 80 days.

“I didn’t hear her say it,” said Muschal. “I’m not saying she didn’t say it.  I did not hear anything.”

Muschal blasted Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing) for issuing a statement criticizing McBride while defending potentially anti-Semitic comments made by  Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) earlier this year.

“She didn’t come out and say my colleagues shouldn’t have said that about the Jews,” Muschal said.  “Now she’s getting involved in Trenton.  They pick and choose who they want to go after.”

Muschal repeatedly defended the concept of jewing someone down as just an expression.

“It wasn’t nothing maliciously done,” Muschal said.  “It was about money.  That’s why they said Jew them down.”

He said he didn’t see a comment posted by Councilwoman Robin Vaughn on Facebook calling “Jew down” a verb and suggesting that the term isn’t “anti-anything.”

McBride supported a settlement for Soto that was more than what the city’s lawyers were offering, Muschal said in defense of his colleague.

He said that Soto’s injuries were more extensive than what the city was compensating her for.

“She should have gotten more,” the councilman said. “We’d have loved to give her more money.”

Soto’s attorney, Charles Casale, Jr., told the Globe that he didn’t agree with Muschal’s belief that the city settled the case for less money than the plaintiff should have received.

“That’s nonsense,” Casale said.  “I’m sure they didn’t know the facts when they said it.”

Muschal says he’s angry that comments from an executive session have been leaked to the media and says McBride is a victim of politics.

“I consider politicians corrupt,” said Muschal, a 71-year-old retired police officer who acknowledged that he’s served on the City Council for fourteen years, including four months as Acting Mayor in 2014.

Muschal complained that his wife was called “white trash” by another councilman and said the issue with McBride is much ado about nothing.

“It’s blown out of proportion,” Muschal said.  “We got people killing people.  We got bigger fish to fry.”

At one point, Muschal asked the Globe reporter to repeat his name.

“Is that a Jewish name?” he asked.

Told it was, he responded, “OK.  There you go,” and continued the conversation.

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36 thoughts on “Trenton councilman defends McBride, says ‘Jew down’ is just a ‘statement of speech’

    1. Agreed – get rid if him. It is an ugly
      Biggot remark and he is admitting his ignorance by defending it with his continued remarks

      1. I am aghast at the extent of the bigotry but those coming to her defense are not only bigoted but stupid!! Someone needs to go back to 5th grade English to learn what a VERB is! Slippery slope of antisemitism cannot and should not be tolerated, especially when voiced by those in government. The House should have forced Omar the harlot to resign when she kept on talking and making things worse. Now Trenton shows the same bigotry. Make them apologize and resign. Apologies are not sufficient and allow bigots to stay on city councils and spend our taxes! Very offensive!

    2. The original comment came from a younger Black woman. Your comment is just another expression of bigotry, and you seem to not know it.

  1. Ilhan Omar made “potentially anti-semitic remarks”? No, she made remarks that were deliberately misinterpreted for political reasons as anti-semitic.

  2. He asked if the reporter was Jewish. Ignorant. When told yes, he said, “OK. There you go.” Super ignorant. Is the entire council a bunch of stupid, anti-Semitic idiots? OK. There you go. A great read in to avoid Trenton.

  3. How utterly ignorant to call this prejudicial slurr a figure of speech. I grew up in the south and I have heard many racist comments that were figures of speech. That didn’t make them any less offensive. There are many and if the councilwoman wants
    I can send her a list . Let’s not forget all the Hispanic slurs that we hear. Judiasm has been around for over 5000 years so Jews have collected quite a few slurs. No it’s not a verb, or a noun it’s prejudice.

  4. Did all of the city council members suffer head injuries or eat lead paint as a baby. This is our capitol city!!!!!
    What a joke these morons are!

  5. We all just need to calm down and stop being so SENSITIVE. It’s getting absurd. No one can say anything or any figure of speech without someone becoming “offended “. Wel I’m offended that my speech is censored. It’s nonsense. If everything is offensive than NOTHING is. Get over it please.

    1. No. These democrats need to be held to account. Imagine the outrage if this happened in a Republican town? It would be front page news on the Star-Ledger for 6 months until all involved resigned, went on an apology tour, went to a Holocaust museum, sold their homes for nothing and moved to South Dakota and lived in a cave. Even though, they would publish an article on the anniversary just to remind everybody.

    2. Thank you Anna! Above all else, freedom of speech. If you’re offended to the point of wanting to censor anothers’ rights and speech, than NONE of us holds those rights.

    3. Thank you Anna! If any of us get so “offended’ to the point of wanting to censor the freedom of speech of another than we will ALL wake up tomorrow with NONE of us having the right of free speech!

      1. Freedom of speech is not freedom of consequences. Most people don’t realize that this applies to the government prosecuting you or arresting you for what you say, not public opinion. If you say something offensive and/or unpopular you still have to deal with public perception and this applies anywhere.

        There are many sayings, figures of speech, etc that refer to different cultures and races but that doesn’t mean they are in good taste. As a professional you shouldn’t be using them, especially at work.

    4. Not certain what your ethnic or religious background is, but if someone can “jew” someone down, can they spic someone down or ago them down or are they being niggardly? I find your rationale offensive and representative of what’s wrong in America today.

      1. There is a difference between freedom of speech and spewing bigotry and hatred. These people spew hatred and bigotry and you are correct.

    5. Forgive the sensitivity, Ana. It’s just that we Jews are keenly aware of our repeated history…. It starts with ugly comments (intended with or without hate), moves to anti Semitic policy, and ultimately genocide. If you use that expression, or others that infer stereotypes to entire groups of people, please stop. Thanks.

  6. Imagine if this happened in a Republican controlled town….
    The left and democrats needs to be held to their own rules.

  7. This is all a bunch of hooey! If Councilwoman McBride made this statement it was not made maliciously. She is not an anti-Semite, an anti-anyone. Is it a term that has rightfully gone out of favor? Yes. And as such, it has been brought to her attention. She will acknowledge and address it.
    As for those who are and or have denigrated Ms. McBride (and per this article, Councilman Muschal) as ignorant, stupid, …. let not the self-aggrandized puff up their collective chests too much. These two individuals operate from a practical street sense of right vs wrong, true progress vs quick get rich schemes that have sunk this city for decades. I would take their common sense of decency over the bruising egocentric puffery of a Councilman Blakeley or the deer-caught-in the-headlights ignorance of Councilman Joey any day of the week.
    So lets cut the crap. Councilwoman McBride will address the matter at hand. Then lets roll-up our sleeves and get on in a responsible manner in addressing the problems gripping this city. That goes for Council, Reed and Yoshi! Trust that the electorate expects solid, sound results, not wet dreams!

    1. Oh, I think she very much knew what she was saying. How about the next time she shoddily fixed something, we tell her that she “N-rigged it”?

  8. That is totally not a figure of speech. Then I guess any nasty thing about any ethnicity nationality race religion whatever that I’ve heard over the years it’s just a figure of speech. This part really got to me ““It wasn’t nothing maliciously done,” Muschal said. “It was about money. That’s why they said Jew them down.”. Now if that isn’t beyond negative. If it’s about money it’s a Jewish thing?

  9. Well I guess you can take the black out of the jungle, but not the jungle out of the black….it’s just a figure of speech.

  10. Typical arrogant Jersey politician. More important from Dr. King, “There is little hope for us until we become tough-minded enough to break loose from the shackles of prejudice, half-truths, and down-right ignorance.”
    Also this idiot politician took his cover picture with the flag upside down-which means distress-I guess he is in distress.

  11. Ignorance is not an excuse for bad behavior EVER! The only thing more stupid than what she said is him defending her prejudicial insults. Now that you know better, apologize and do better! Shameful!

  12. Any comment made about any group in general is prejudice. To “jew someone down” is a definite anti-semetic comment referring to the prejudice that Jewish people are only interested in money.
    The fact that people can make excuses for prejudice is even more disturbing and listening to so many people defend a prejudicial comment is disgusting.
    People cannot change what they do not recognize .At least these Council Members should own that it was prejudicial instead of defending a mean prejudiced comment.
    I can’t believe anyone would like somebody making a comment about their OWN ethnic group as well. And then just saying it’s a form of speech
    These people who defend prejudice should not be involved in anyway in our government.

    1. Thank you. Is the entire city Council this bigoted and stupid?? The defense of this horrible statement is even worse than the original statement. Let them all apologize publically and then force them to resign.

  13. Wrong! If you don’t understand what is offensive about it, maybe you should believe everyone telling you it’s offensive and leave it at that. You’re an idiot.

  14. Actually they are all correct. It is an offensive statement. It has also been around a long time and a lot of people grew up hearing it used casually to the point that it really was a “figure of speech” to them and the content was not even thought about. Jimmy Carter used it. Guy Hunt used it. But it is better recognized as offensive than it was 60 or more years ago. Apologize and move on. We should speak up. We should not wear our feelings on our sleeve (also an expression).

  15. The Jews have this reputation for being unscrupulous money grubbers because they have earned it. Now every body is supposed to pretend Jews aren’t like that. Bullshit.

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