Home>Highlight>Trenton councilwoman calls “Jew down” a verb, says it referred to ‘negotiating and not hate

Trenton City Councilwoman Robin Vaughn

Trenton councilwoman calls “Jew down” a verb, says it referred to ‘negotiating and not hate

Councilwoman Robin Vaughn defends Kathy McBride anti-Semitic slur

By David Wildstein, September 15 2019 1:58 pm

Click play for audio version of this story

Trenton City Councilwoman Robin Vaughn is defending a colleague’s “Jew her down” comment, calling “Jew down” a verb and suggesting that the term isn’t “anti-anything.”

“We really need to get a more acute meaning and understanding of ‘anti-Semitic.’  I believe her comment ‘Jew down’ was more in reference to negotiating, not ‘I hate Jews,’” Vaughn said.  “Inappropriate in today’s PC culture absolutely, but to Jew someone down is a verb and is not anti-anything or indicative of hating Jewish people.”

Vaughn said she didn’t recall Council President Kathy McBride saying during a closed-door discussion of the settlement of a lawsuit filed by resident Vivian Soto that Assistant City Attorney Peter Cohen “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.

But Vaughn appears to contradict her own statement, saying that McBride was not talking about a specific person but rather discussing the “settlement of a low-dollar amount.”

Robert Yudin, a former executive director of the New Jersey-Israel Commission, said he found Vaughn’s response even more offensive than the one made by McBride.

“It’s as vile and vicious an anti-Semitic statement as someone could make,” Yudin said.  “It’s clearly an anti-Semitic trope and it can’t be explained.”

Yudin, a former Bergen County Republican Chairman, said that he’s worried “it’s America in the 1930s again,” and blames President Donald Trump for what he views as a rise in anti-Semiticism in the country.

“When you have a president who says there are good people and bad people on both sides, it’s scary,” said Yudin, referencing Trump’s defense of white supremacists.

In the same Facebook post, Vaughn  said that at a community forum where a union president used the racial slur “crackers,” McBride encouraged the individual to not use that term again.

Mayor Reed Gusciora and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing) have condemned McBride’s comments.

Councilman Jerrell Blakeley has called for McBride’s resignation as council president and has asked the council to censure her, but no other councilmembers have stepped up.

Council Vice President Marge Caldwell-Wilson has not responded to several requests for comment, beginning on Friday evening.

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59 thoughts on “Trenton councilwoman calls “Jew down” a verb, says it referred to ‘negotiating and not hate

  1. No, it’s offensive. Says this Jewish America woman. It’s a put down, a micro aggression, and wrong.
    You want to talk about getting a deal…talk about “getting a better price.”

      1. Robin Vaughn,
        Have you talked to a single Jewish person about the use of this language and how insulting it is? Are you that ignorant that you think this derogatory comment is only wrong because of political correctness? You really don’t see how such a comment is hateful stereotyping?
        You and McBride should resign immediately. Then, go take a remedial English class and learn what a verb is.

    1. It is a very racist statement which refers to Jewish people bargaining. It is shameful . This woman and the woman who defended her need to attend sensitivity training or be fired. As a Jewish woman I demand an apology.

  2. As a white woman, I would never presume to tell people of color what is racist, and I certainly expect the same courtesy regarding what is anti-semitic. So in case I was not completely clear, this IS an anti-semitic trope. Acknowledge that and correct your stance. Or don’t, but be prepared to own that.

    1. This is silly.

      Anyone can tell a black person what is racist, if it is racist. Words have definitions.

      Anyone can tell a Jewish person what is anti Semitic, if it is anti Semitic. Words have definitions.

      This was absolutely anti Semitic on its face.

      Signed, a Christian

    2. You can be white and know what’s racist. People can be racist against white people too. It’s obvious this lady doesn’t have a filter.

    3. Great response!
      In my opinion, it’s extremely offensive. Someone this ignorant should not fill any seat in any government position. We have enough bigotry out there already.

  3. These women need education, at the very least. If we changed the offensive n.word into a verb, it wouldn’t be taken lightly or defended, nor should it be. What was said and then defended was definitely offensive to this American Jewish Woman.

    1. I sent a note to Vaughn letting her know there is in fact a verb using the n word which means to work really hard like a slave in the confederate US and asked if it would be fine to use this term – it’s just a verb after all. NO, of COURSE it wouldn’t be alright. These women need to own their mistake, apologize, and use this as an opportunity for growth. Enough is enough!!

  4. In the summer if 1971 I had a summer job in Mississippi teaching horseback riding. I am a Jersey girl. A cowboy who did the heavy work with the horses referred to a wire fence as having been “N——- Rigged”. I was appalled at the word and the his casual use of that expression. When I suggested that it was offensive, he explained that there is nothing racist about it, it’s “JUST AN EXPRESSION” that means the fence [was built in a shoddy
    fashion]. For the life of me I could not convince him otherwise. But I still think we must enlighten people as to the impact of their words. Jerry Seinfeld addressed this in his “Indian Giver” episode.

      1. Paddy is a term for people who are irish / of irish descent. It suggests that all irish people are criminals, hence why it’s offensive.

        1. Actually at one point in our history the a large number of law enforcement in the us (around 1930’s) were of irish descent. Paddy wagon reffered to the police cars driven by the then irish cops (If im not mistaken).

      2. It refers to the Irish, as in Paddy being short for Patrick, a common Irish name. Now whether the “paddies” were the police, which they often were, or the ones in the van (often following a bar brawl, again a stereotype, of a drunken Irishman), is up for debate.
        But as for Jewing down, it certainly is directly related to the incorrect antisemitic belief that all Jews are greedy.

  5. I wonder how’d she feel is someone told her to “black down” referring to one of the many stereotypes attributed to Afro Americans and I wonder how’d society response to such a phrase. .

  6. I can;t help wondering what Councilwoman Vaughn’s reaction would be if the city’s offeer of settlement had been characterized as “niggardly,” a word which resonates with a vile racial epithet but in fact has nothing to do with it, other than its musical quality. I suspect she would want the word avoided at all cost. Jewish sensitivites, it seems, don’t matter.Jack Golbert

  7. Right, and I bet she’ll agree that “to n*****-rig” something is also not hate speech, but an endearing term for puissant improvised repairs, too. Hypocrites.

  8. notice how the writer never mentions the party affiliation of the politician who made the comment or the politician defending the comment?? Yet they make sure to identify a Jewish Republican who blames Donald Trump later in the article?? Usual double standard BS from the media…

  9. ““When you have a president who says there are good people and bad people on both sides, it’s scary,” said Yudin, referencing Trump’s defense of white supremacists.”

    Wonder why Yudin keeps repeating this well debunked lie about Trump allegedly saying it. Trump was referring to people on both sides of the monument removal debate. The full transcripts are available.

  10. ignorance on display – does she accept the term “n-g g-er rich”? obviously this person is not educated enough to even understand WHY this term is offensive but before defending it she should have looked into it a bit — what is more ignorant is the moron who not only repeats the Charlottesville lie, but blames Trump for libels coming from black Dumbocrats

  11. Okay, these two scumbags need to resign IMMEDIATELY or be removed. ZERO tolerance for this. And maybe all my Jewish friends and family can START to understand that they have NOTHING in common with Democrats. The party of slavery and anti-Semitism – then AND now.

  12. Talk about being blind to one’s own faults!

    I understand someone saying “I didn’t realize that was offensive” – and possibly even meaning it. But when members of a minority group tell you that a term based on negative stereotypes of their minority is offensive, BELIEVE THEM! And correct your behavior.

    A few years ago, I was not aware of the origins of a short word meaning “cheat someone” out of money. Once I realized that it was based on a negative stereotype of the Romani people, I consciously removed it from my usage vocabulary.

  13. It is unfortunate that racism and bigotry has worked it’s way into common everyday language. Terms that through history were originally meant to be derogatory. We have a renewed sensitivity and need to realize we have all had a turn to be on the receiving end of social bigotry. It is woven into our language. Be patient with each other. This blending is difficult for some. Telling someone ” I don’t like that termI think it’s offensive” may be more appropriate than calling for a firing

  14. PC culture my bottom! This has never been acceptable, aka can’t say it in front of a Jew and feel comfortable its anti semitic. I wonder if council woman feels comfortable with whites referring to low income, low education, difficult labor as nigger work?

  15. When I worked at Remy Martin we had open offices. Once while in the office my boss asked his secretary if she had gotten a price for something, when he thought the price was high, he actually in an open office yelled out did you .try “Jewing” them down? Then he realized I was in the office that morning….he quickly changed the wording.
    I knew I couldn’t stay there after this, took an offer another company had just made me…….and was gone from there.
    Yes if there is any doubt I am Jewish, and I thought that was a horrible phrase.

  16. This needs to squashed quickly and she needs to resign. Imagine if she called any other race this! AND dont forget the hatred Omar and Tlaib are promoting as well towards Jews. They arent reprimanded very well either, so maybe she thinks it ok?

    1. Funny (not) that you want to interject Obama. How efin ignorant. He never did nothing like this. POS45, on the other hand, did. As a jew, I am ashamed of your ignorance. No better than what the NJ women did. Probably an ignorant kept J.A.Princess.

      1. As a Jew, you should know better than to use the antisemitic term you did at the end of your post. But, of course, as a Jew, I know where it came from: Jewish men. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  17. So…if you said “I’m going to wait and Lutheran them down” would that mean the same thing? No. It’s a reference to a stereotype about Jewish people, ergo, it is anti-Semitic. Period. There’s no gray area here.

  18. She’s clearly not very smart. Probably not raised right and poorly educated. You’d think an elected official would know better.
    Liberals. Good job electing this person.

  19. Ok, so if I tell this woman to her face that if she has a nice car, but a crappy house, so she must be “n***ger rich”, (which I would never do but I’m making a point here), that’s just a verb too, right?

  20. If she’s not anti-Semitic (and didn’t mean anything “negative” in her comment), then she’s just plain ignorant/stupid. She should either own up to having a very limited background with a failure to recognize pure and simple biased expressions and apologize profusely OR she should just get recalled for having been elected and being so ignorant.

  21. You are both ignorant and have no business holding a public office. There is no excuse for stupid and there is no excuse for either of you! Shame on you!!

  22. How ignorant can two woman be…what if roles were reversed and a racist comment came out of my mouth. I would be hung from the nearest tree. Get my point ladies. Educate yourself before you open your mouth and insert foot.

  23. She doesn’t need to resign. A kind thing to do is to clarify – and always consider the source. She may not have been aware of the “baggage” connected with the phrase. All the people who holler “she must resign” are engaged in their own bigotry!

  24. You miss, are not the goyrax, you do not speak for the Jews. Idgaf if you see nothing wrong with the term. If Jewish people such as myself are telling you it’s antisemitic then it is. FULL STOP. Sick and tired of Jewish voices not being heard. The entire planet would explode if people went around using black racial slurs and claiming their dictionary meaning as a defense.

  25. I think rather than “Jew-down” to indicate cheapness and stinginess, Kathy McBride should use the word niggardly, which means the same thing without being anti-Semitic.

  26. Her requirement for it being “anti-Semitic” is that it must mean “hate.” That is not the full definition. It is anything with is demeaning or stereotypical. There is a cruel pejorative concerning a job not fully or competently completed which is “N-word-rigged.’ It does not require hate. It suggests a demeaning characteristic of an entire race of people. “Jew down” is the same thing.

  27. Yes, it’s a horrible anything semitic trope. But the author of this article is also guilty for adding this comment after a quotele from Mr. Yudin: “referencing Trump’s defense of white supremacists” as if reporting this as factual when this never actually happened! The president NEVER defended white supremacists. Shame on the author for putting his opinion into a news story.

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