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The Trentonian published a letter from B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman condemning the use of the anti-Semitic phrase “Jew her down” by a member of the Trenton City Council.
I am sickened to read that Trenton City Council President Kathy McBride publicly used the term “Jew her down.” The use of this word as a verb is worse than offensive. And for Council members Robin Vaughn and George Muschal to follow up by supporting the use of the phrase is a pure confession of personal ignorance. Vaughn’s pivot of “We really need to get a more acute meaning and understanding of “anti-Semitic” is political folly. Her own comment acknowledges “an acute sense of ignorance.”

Muschal completes the trifecta of hate speech practitioners by saying the phrase is a “statement of speech.” It’s nothing “vicious?” Well, certainly not to anti-Semites.

There’s much work to be done in educating the public about hate speech. It’s hard to imagine that such a void of understanding could possibly exist in these callous times, but it does. I hope these officials connect much better with their constituencies and vice versa.

McBride, Muschal, Vaughn and no doubt others may want to ask their Jewish friends about the use of “Jew” as a verb. They also may want to contemplate terms that are offensive to any racial or ethnic group. I won’t get into specific references out of respect for diverse groups and cultures. However, trust me, the use of Jew as a verb is offensive.

Please refrain from using this expression in the future. It’s embarrassing to anyone who uses it, and really shameful by elected officials of a major American city.

— Charles Kaufman, President, B’nai B’rith International