PATERSON, NJ- Perhaps his passion did in fact get the better of him. It’s possible, as First Ward Councilman Michael Jackson would later say, the phrase is “indicative of (his) upbringing.” It’s not impossible that the phrase that crossed his lips does not truly reflect the man he is.
No matter his intention in using the words, First Ward Councilman Michael Jackson’s utterance of an anti-Semitic phrase drew a swift rebuke from several of his council colleagues as well as Mayor Andre Sayegh.
In speaking out against a developer’s plan to revitalize Hinchliffe Stadium Jackson said “Jew us down” in reference to what he indicates are poor deals the city has entered into in the past.
Calling it a phrase he “never want(s) to hear again,” Sixth Ward Councilman Al Abdelaziz was the first to call for an apology saying language like that has no place in debate, with Councilman-at-Large Flavio Rivera following up by saying it made him “uncomfortable.”
Council President Maritza Davila took an emotional tone in recalling that it was a Jewish family whom her mother cleaned for for 20 years that put her through college.
“We have to be careful what we say, even in our passion,” Davila said. “We have to be careful what we say.
”For his part Sayegh called the comment “highly insensitive and completely reprehensible.”
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