Oklahoma Lawmaker's 'Jew Down' Apology Accepted

“What I said was wrong and hurtful to many good and decent people," said Oklahoma State Rep. Dennis Johnson, following offensive slur.

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The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has welcomed the apology of Oklahoma State Representative Dennis Johnson, the state majority leader in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, for using the anti-Semitic expression “Jew down” while debating on the House floor on April 17.

Earlier this week, Rep. Johnson apologized for the offensive remark in a phone conversation with Roberta S. Clark, ADL’s Community Director for North Texas and Oklahoma, based in Dallas.  His verbal apology was followed by a letter on April 25 in which the state representative acknowledged that his comment on the House floor was “…a serious offense, and I have no excuse for using such a thoughtless phrase.” 

“What I said was wrong and hurtful to many good and decent people.  My words were unintentional and careless and do not indicate what is in my heart,” Rep. Johnson wrote in the letter.

“After corresponding with Representative Johnson and having several conversations with him, I am satisfied that he deeply regrets his words and that he is sincere when he says that he did not mean to use hurtful language,” Clark said.  “While we understand that many people were upset with his behavior, we are disappointed that some chose to respond by leaving hateful voicemails and e-mail messages to his office.”

“We accept his apology, and we hope that Mr. Johnson will make good on his commitment to learn from this experience and speak out against anti-Semitism and bigotry in the future,” she added.