Sam Parker, a Republican commissioner of Santa Rosa County, Florida, is refusing to step down after he was caught on video using the term "Jew down" to describe haggling, even after being confronted about it in a public forum, Newsweek reported on Wednesday.
"Parker was confronted about his comment, which was heard in a snippet of what appeared to be security camera footage, by gun store owner Chris Smith on Monday. He called the use of the term 'absolutely ridiculous in 2023.' He also accused the commissioner of asking a local small business to not charge him sales tax if he paid in cash," reported Giulia Carbonaro. "The Florida commissioner's comment comes amid increased concerns in the U.S. over the rise of antisemitic sentiment, with 40 percent of Jewish adults across America saying they felt less secure in 2022 compared with the previous year, according to a recent survey by the American Jewish Community."
"Everybody up there saw that it was you doing that, I've heard of different situations where you've done things like this," said Smith, in a moment posted to Facebook. "It's pretty unethical. Not only that, you used an ethnic slur when you were up there talking. That's not how a county commissioner, this county, should act or do business, Sam. I'm asking you if you're going to resign."
According to the report, Parker refused to resign — and added that he can't be anti-Semitic because he has an Israeli flag hanging in his office.
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Anti-Semitic incidents have grown in recent years, Newsweek noted with the Anti-Defamation League reporting a record high of 2,700 in 2021. This comes at a time when neo-Nazi groups are ramping up recruiting around the country, and staging public hate demonstrations on freeway overpasses.
Some Republicans have amplified these extremist figures, most notably former President Donald Trump taking a dinner meeting with Nick Fuentes, a Holocaust-denying Hitler sympathizer and the leader of the white supremacist "Groyper" movement.