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January 16, 2018 3:51 pm

‘You’re Not Going to Jew Us Down?’: US Reality TV Host’s Antisemitic Outburst Sparks Anger

avatar by Ben Cohen

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Texas Flip ‘N Move host Toni Snow (left) asks a guest “You’re not going to Jew us down?” in the Jan. 12 episode of the hit reality series. Photo: Screenshot.

The presenter of a top-rated US reality TV show is in the spotlight for using an antisemitic epithet during a scene in which a guest was challenged for not haggling over a price of $36,000.

In the most recent episode of the DIY Network‘s “Texas Flip N Move” — a reality show in which houses and other lodgings are refurbished and then “flipped” at a profit — that aired last Friday night, Jan. 12, presenter Toni Snow asked the guest whether he was going to “Jew us down” after she and her sister Donna informed him that $36,000 was their “price point” for a refurbished school bus.

After the delighted guest replied, “That’s a done deal right there, all day,” Toni Snow interjected: “You’re not even going to bicker a little bit? Jew us down?”

“Texas Flip N Move” is one of the DIY Network‘s leading shows, currently in its seventh season.

A spokesperson for the Anti-Defamation League roundly condemned the show, pointing out the connection between Toni Snow’s remark and the ancient antisemitic depiction of Jews as driven by financial greed.

“It is disturbing to hear the antisemitic term ‘Jew us down’ come from the mouth of one of the members of the cast of Texas Flip N Move,” an ADL spokesperson told The Algemeiner. “It’s disturbing that this remark could have passed muster with the producers and made it into the broadcast. If anything, it shows the enduring power of age-old stereotypes about Jews and money. We urge the DIY Network to remove these offensive remarks from any future broadcasts of this episode.”

In response to a query on Tuesday afternoon from The Algemeiner, a spokesperson for Scripps Networks Interactive — which operates the DIY Network along with dozens of domestic and global channels that include the Food Network and Travel Channel — offered an apology for the offending clip.

“On a recent episode of Texas Flip N Move, an inappropriate comment unfortunately made it past our team,” the spokesperson said. “We were made aware of the issue shortly after it aired, and immediately pulled the episode to edit it for future broadcast. We apologize unreservedly for any offense caused.”

Other public figures have found themselves severely criticized for using the same phrase. In April 2013, Oklahoma state Rep. Dennis Johnson (R) expressed regret after using the phrase “Jew me down” in a debate about small business development, while in 2011, Texas state Rep. Larry Taylor apologized after he exclaimed “Don’t nitpick, don’t try to Jew them down,” in a dispute with the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association over its obligations to policyholders.

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  • Leon Williams

    I’m Jewish and it doesn’t bother me a bit. It’s like saying going Dutch. Everyone is looking to be offended these days.

  • JGray1

    this expression is so ordinary as to engender absolutely nothing in the way of outrage. it comes from the anti semitism of America’s past. long ago, it lost any relevance to actual Jews or considered a slur. it hurts us because the word Jew used in that context is ugly. it’s no more threatening than when we say, goy or schwartza. it’s not nice. but it’s meaningless in terms of dislike.

    • Brooklyn Ave.

      The fact that everyone here is talking about it proves you’re wrong about it…IT STILL STINGS & HURTS!!!

    • kerryberger

      Two wrongs don’t make it right. It’s offensive and it was uncalled for. Toni Snow needs to be disciplined or fired for her bigoted remarks.

  • Reb_Yaakov

    Why is the topic of this show popular in America? What does it say about American values? What does Judaism have to say about the way the real estate industry operates and the motives and morals of those in it?

  • Efram Paul

    Isn’t it funny that all three incidents occurred in Texas or Oklahoma?

  • I have a different take on this phrase that traces it back to a possible origin.

    From Genesis 18: 20-32

    20 Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous

    21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”

    22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.

    23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?

    24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?

    25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

    26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

    27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes,

    28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”

    “If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”

    29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”

    He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”

    30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”

    He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

    31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”

    He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”

    32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”

    He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

    Here in these remarkable passages, Abraham is seen haggling with God. He starts out by asking God if he will spare Sodom and Gomorrah if there are 50 righteous men present. Then he drops that down to 45 people, then 40 people, then 35, 30, 20 and in Abraham’s final offer, He asked God to spare the city if only 10 righteous men are present.

    Can we not say that it was Abraham who gave birth to this idea? How great of a salesperson is Abraham that he is negotiating with the most powerful customer in the entire universe? Knowing that a high-pressure approach will not work with God, Abraham begins each of his offers with a self-deprecating and demur statement.

    These passages are a powerful window into the unique relationship between the Jewish people (in this case, the very first Jew) and their God for in no other religion are there mortals with the ability to argue with their Creator.

  • oldtruthsayer

    America’s finest…probably voted for Trump

    • JGray1

      hmm. our President is who desegregated the fancy golf clubs in florida that refused admittance to Jews and blacks until he owned them. America’s finest did vote for donald trump.

  • Joy Daniels Brower

    Unfortunately, that odious expression is as old as the hills! But it’s use in public is still VERY jarring.

  • Truth1953

    Let me write as a Jew in the South (US) who has heard this term dozens of times. Yes, it has its roots in anti-Semitism. Yes, its offensive. But when it’s used, we should be converted to a teaching moment, not a rampage. My father-in-law (who was not Jewish) actually used it in front of me When we had a chance to talk about it, he swore he heard only sounds, not meaning. (He is not anti-Semitic, loves me unreservedly, as I do him, joyfully joined in the prep for our Jewish wedding, and never used that term again.) Some of us surely have had the word ‘gyp’ in our vocabularies. We heard in in our minds as “jip,” didn’t think about its origin and had no idea that it was a slur and offensive reference to Gypsies.

    • rhoneyman

      Which is, in fact, a slur against Romas.

  • Yitzhakhazak

    Nothing to discuss. Beat him up!

  • Dale Baranowski

    I know this is deemed offensive in the west, but here in the Middle-East, especially among the Arabs, bickering and negotiating over price is standard stuff. Anyone who goes to the Arab market, the “shuk”, in any Arab town should know that there are no prices on anything and that the stall operator will automatically demand an absurd price for his goods with the normal expectation that the customer will “Jew him down” – or more accurately we should say that the customer will “Arab him down”. I pity the naive westerner who believes that the stated price on anything in the shuk is what one must pay. I’ve met European tourists who have claimed to be too embarrassed to haggle and the Arabs who sell them goods are delighted at the profit made from their embarrassment. We Jews have simply taken a folkway from the Middle East and applied it in the west, and that has sadly become a negative stereotype there. Yes, I know, it’s the negative attitudes of the gentile that counts over the actual behavior, but gee whiz, can’t both Jews and gentiles tolerate a bit of diversity in commercial dealings and allow a bit of millennia-old haggling in the 21st Century west? I thought diversity highly valued in America nowadays.

    • Brooklyn Ave.

      Somehow with that long, long, diatribe you missed the entire point!!! It’s NOT about the haggling!!!

  • BMS

    I have no doubt that if it was an anti-Muslim, and not an anti-Semitic statement made, this show would be pulled from the air, the Network boycotted, and outrage heard round the globe.

    • andy_gill

      That’s right. The left scream their heads off about anti-Muslim comments, but say nothing about anti-semitic ones. The left are selectively racist.

  • Mike Levy

    I wonder what she would say to Jesus? Would she ask him the same question if he was agreeing to the bid?

    • kerryberger

      She doesn’t believe Jesus was a Jew. She’s just another under-educated Tea-Billy schmuck.

  • UncleVladdi

    Now, I’m all for Israel and all, but this isn’t a mere “racial” or ethnic stereotype, it’s a COMMANDMENT:

    ספר דברים 15:5

    …if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today.

    ספר דברים 15:6

    For the Lord thy God blesseth thee as He promised thee; and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.

  • Dante Benedetti

    it’s stupid. it’s crude. it’s unkind. it reflects badly on the person who used the expression and it probably reveals prejudice or worse. but, there is no need to participate in the new national pastime, contrived indignation generously larded with hysterical over-reaction.

    • David F

      Well said.

    • Reb_Yaakov

      larded?

      • Dante Benedetti

        yes, Reb Yaakov, “larded,” as in chazer schmaltz

  • Hillel

    Really? What do you expect? Its genetic now.

  • bertha yellowfinch

    Delete the word “antisemitic”.

  • SteveC1

    I have never – and I mean NEVER, EVER – heard a Democrat, or ANY self-professed “liberal,” use that phrase. NEVER. Only some Republicans, MANY self-professed non-Jewish conservatives, and right-wing extremists. Seriously. Horrendous.

  • enufizenuf

    I’ve lived in Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Texas and found less anti-Semitism in Texas, except from Mexicans and Blacks, than in any of those other States.

  • Connie Goldman

    Fire her immediately.

  • brynababy

    That disgusting woman should be fired!!!

  • Laura P. Schulman

    As a Jewish child growing up in “mainstream America,” I heard that epithet (among others) all the time. It’s disappointing to learn that it persists until today. They’d never say “aren’t you going to ‘n*gger’ us down.” No, because black people have made it very clear that that’s unacceptable. We need to do the same, so that EVERYONE knows that anti-Semitism is NOT acceptable. At. All.

  • Jeff Klein

    The show needs to have an ADL rep on to have a brief discussion about why this is a slur. Just editing it out isn’t enough.

  • Harry Rag

    they’re getting off too light .

  • Abby Hyman

    I don’t think most gentiles realize that this phrase is so offensive. They must be educated.

  • Reb_Yaakov

    top-rated
    leading

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