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Oklahoma lawmaker apologizes for using ‘Jew down’

WASHINGTON (JTA) — An Oklahoma lawmaker apologized for using the term to "Jew down."

Rep. Dennis Johnson, the co-leader of the Republican majority in the state’s House of Representatives, apologized Wednesday after other lawmakers brought to his attention the offensiveness of the term.

Johnson used the term during a debate on whether to end the state’s longtime ban on the "loss-leader" practice, in which a retailer sells an item at a loss as a means of stimulating sales of other items.

Himself a small business owner, Johnson said there are times when customers "try to Jew me down," according to the Tulsa World.

After being made aware of the term’s offensiveness, Johnson apologized, saying "Jews run good small businesses, too."

Johnson said the term "was just something that came out from the wrinkles of my brain," the Associated Press reported.

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