A Santa Rosa County commissioner apologized publicly Thursday for a slur he used against Jewish people.
A resident played video at the commission’s Monday meeting that showed Commissioner Sam Parker say, “We’ve got to Jew you down a little bit” as he entered a Milton business.
Several people were upset and called for Parker to resign. At that meeting, Parker said he wouldn’t apologize because he did nothing wrong. He said Thursday he has since learned it was a derogatory statement.
“At the time that I made the statement, I had absolutely no intent of saying anything offensive or derogatory towards any group of people or any individuals,” Parker said. “I’m sorry for the pain or suffering that my statement caused to anyone and I hope that you’ll accept my sincere apology.”
Parker also apologized to the county attorney, Thomas Dannheisser, who is Jewish. While Dannheisser said he was not personally offended, he doesn’t think anyone should use that phrase.
The American Jewish Committee calls the phrase an “insulting, antisemitic misprespresentation of Jewish behavior that plays into the trope of Jews as greedy money handlers who are unwilling to part with their earnings. The common, mainstream use of antisemitic terms, like Jew down, plays a dangerous role in normalizing antisemitism and reinforcing conspiracy theories in the minds of antisemites.”