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New Jersey Councilman in Hot Water Over ‘Jew Us Down’ Comment at City Meeting

The head of the New Jersey and Passaic County Democratic committees is calling on Paterson’s governing body to censure Councilman Michael Jackson over the anti-Semitic statement he made at a public meeting this week.

Jackson used the phrase “Jew us down” while discussing a land deal at Tuesday’s council meeting. Jackson later apologized after his words were condemned by the city’s business administrator, Vaughn McKoy.

“Divisive language like this pushes us back in time and tears back the progress we have made to build a state and nation that embraces the principles of equality and justice,” said state and county Democratic chairman John Currie. 

Three state Assembly members — including the two who represent Paterson, Shavonda Sumter and Benjie Wimberly — joined Currie in criticizing Jackson’s statement. Paterson’s representative in the Senate, Democrat Nellie Pou, was not part of the press release issued by Currie, but issued her own statement calling Jackson’s word’s “unacceptable.”

“Councilman Jackson’s comments are inexcusable,” Currie said in the release. “Members of Paterson’s City Council should stand together and censure him immediately.”

Council President Maritza Davila did not respond to a message about the proposed censure. Davila was one of three council members — along with Al Abdelaziz and Flavio Rivera — to take issue with Jackson’s comments during Tuesday’s public meeting. The other five members said nothing about Jackson’s “Jew us down” statement.

Abdelaziz on Thursday said he had not seen Currie’s press release and declined to comment on it. Rivera said he wanted to confer with his council colleague before he decided whether to initiate a censure of Jackson.

“I don’t want to hurt one of my colleagues on the council, but his words cause people harm,” Rivera said. “As elected officials, we have to be held accountable for our actions.”

Council President Maritza Davila did not respond to a message about the proposed censure. Davila was one of three council members — along with Al Abdelaziz and Flavio Rivera — to take issue with Jackson’s comments during Tuesday’s public meeting. The other five members said nothing about Jackson’s “Jew us down” statement.

Abdelaziz on Thursday said he had not seen Currie’s press release and declined to comment on it. Rivera said he wanted to confer with his council colleague before he decided whether to initiate a censure of Jackson.

“I don’t want to hurt one of my colleagues on the council, but his words cause people harm,” Rivera said. “As elected officials, we have to be held accountable for our actions.”

Update 9/15: Trenton Councilwoman Vaughn defends Jackson’s slur, states “Jew down” is a verb; more here.

Source: https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/paterson-press/2019/09/12/paterson-nj-councilman-jackson-should-censured-anti-semitic-remark/2304133001/