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The fucking hell?

Councilcritter in Jeffersonville, Indiana, thinks “to Jew down” is an appropriate turn of phrase for a public meeting.

Followed by:

Indiana City Council VP Apologizes For Anti-Semitic Slur

Let’s talk for a moment about that phrase, because while it’s pretty disgusting that someone in a position such as Ms. Gill holds would say such a thing in a public meeting, that characterization is unfortunately still pretty common amongst the great unwashed (i.e. the rednecks) in both parties out here in flyover country.  (As the transcript proves; she didn’t just let that slip out “inadvertently” as she claimed in her apology, she apparently said “what I call, ‘Jew them down'”.  If that’s what you call it, honey, then you must use that phrase all the time — or it’s in your head a lot.)

My first encounter with “to Jew down” was when my Dad heard it used by a minister in casual conversation when he was bidding on the air conditioning contract for a church outside of Kokomo, Indiana, back in 1972, and said minister thought Dad’s price was a little high, and pressed him to lower it. (Literally the guy said, “I don’t want you to think I’m trying to Jew you down”, and Dad’s response was, “No, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to do that,” and he left soon after and dropped his bid; he said, “I don’t need the jerk’s business that badly”.)*

Now, you’d think nearly 50 years later that the rednecks would be more enlightened, particularly those living in urban areas where they tend to encounter more Jews, but it’s pretty well cemented into the language of the people who use it — kind of like how they tend to toss off things like “n*****-rigged” (or the slightly more faux-erudite but equally scurrilous “Negro-engineered”) without thinking about how offensive they are. However…there must have been some truth in that phrase at some point in the past, or it wouldn’t have become a common phrase, right, guys?  Right?  Guys?

The fact is that Jews were and are pretty renowned for driving a hard bargain, but then Scots — either the ones who still live north of Hadrian’s Wall** or the purely ethnic ones who live in America now — are known for pinching every penny until it screams for mercy, so it’s not like Jews were or are the only ethnic group who engaged in such business practices.  But Indiana, of course, was one of the biggest Klan states (and may still be, for all I know, not that the Klan is much of a big deal anymore), and what ethnic Scottish Christian merchants did was accepted as normal, whereas if Jews did it, that was bad and Jews were evil for trying to screw patriotic Americans out of their hard-earned dollars.***  I mean, ask one of my own personal heroes, U.S. Grant, who regardless of being my hero still managed to issue the infamous General Order #11.****

On the other hand, the older Jews here in Indianapolis (by which I mean the ones who are 20-30 years older than me) have no qualms about throwing the term “schwartze” around — which I find exceedingly offensive, because I know EXACTLY what they mean by it. The term “shiksa” still gets used a lot, too, and while today it seems to have devolved to mean, simply, “non-Jewish woman”, I remember when the previous generation used it to mean “non-Jewish whore bitch trying to drag my Jewish son away from the Tribe”. So I find it offensive as well, even though my wife thinks I’m nuts on that subject.

At any rate, the phrase Ms. Gill used is mild compared to some things she could have said — and quite mild indeed compared to Yiddish things I’ve heard my parents’ and grandparents’ generation say. Which is not to say that Ms. Gill, as an elected councilcritter charged with the public trust, shouldn’t be more careful about what comes out of her mouth — because she should, and she should resign her position immediately since she’s proven she can’t keep a civil tongue in her head.

What surprises me more than anything is that the article in the Jewish Journal doesn’t state that she’s a Republican. I had to dig pretty hard to find her party affiliation, in fact. But since I consider myself neither a Republican or a Democrat, I don’t care about her party affiliation, she just needs to be gone.

Regardless of party, if you agree, then we have nothing to argue about.

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* Dad was a convert.  He’d grown up and been a Lutheran (Missouri Synod) all his life till after WWII, when he started questioning his faith — I suspect after he saw Dachau not long after it was liberated.  He later married Mom, who was (of course) Jewish, and converted just before my sister and I started religious school back in the ’60s.  He held no brief for anyone who would slight someone based solely on their ethnicity, and was a strong supporter of the Civil Rights movement.  He was a Democrat, of course; his family always had been.  But like Ronald Reagan in the 1950’s, by 1972 he didn’t so much leave the Democratic Party as the Democratic Party left him, by nominating George McGovern for president, and he held his nose and voted for Nixon.  Then he followed up by voting for Ford, Reagan, Reagan, Bush (although he was not impressed by Bush 41), Bush, Dole, and the younger Bush (because he knew global warming was a scam and Al Gore was unacceptable).  He had Bill Clinton’s number long before Clinton was elected and the truth started trickling out about what a horndog Billyboy was.  And he thought Jimmy Carter was a coward for the way he handled the Iranian crisis in ’79.  I hate to think what he would have thought of Obama, and I suspect he would have been sorely tempted to vote from the rooftops if Hillary had been elected.

And he thought the mill run of Jews were idiots for voting for the very people who would send them to the gas chambers given the chance.  Same for the mill run of Jews who would vote for people who would disarm them, same as the Germans did before WWII.  So if you wonder where I got that attitude, well, the seed didn’t fall far from the tree.  Dad didn’t believe in the wearing of blinders, plugging of ears, and chanting of “na na na na na I can’t hear you” as a political philosophy, and neither do I.

** Yes, I am fully aware that Hadrian’s Wall is not the political boundary between Scotland and England.  But since it was built by the Romans to keep the Scottish clans out of Brittania (something it pretty much failed at), it’s convenient to use it as at least a physical and philosophical boundary.  And I’ve read any number of times in fiction the concept of “When was the last time you were north of the Wall?” and suchlike, so fuck you if you can’t take a joke.

*** Hopefully my reader understands that I am being 100% sarcastic.

**** Although Grant wasn’t only concerned about the money Southerners were making off of sales of cotton — apparently some of the Jewish merchants in question were also bringing in medical supplies and foodstuffs that were making it harder for the Union to consolidate its gains in West Tennessee.  So while I look askance at General Order #11, I understand his motivation for issuing it, even as I wish he hadn’t written it specifically to target Jews.