Imagine this: You’re on an airline flight and you watch a white man leave his seat to slap a black 19-month-old baby and then tells the baby’s mother: “Shut that (N-word) baby up.”
Sounds like a bad joke? It’s no joke. It actually happened two weeks ago on a Delta Airlines flight. Joe Rickey Hundley of Hayden, Idaho, was tired of listening to the baby crying and decided to apply his own brand of in-flight corporal punishment.
Hundley was arrested and charged with assaulting a minor on a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta. Hundley slapped the toddler in the face with an open hand, according to the documents. The boy suffered a cut below his eye.
“He reeked of alcohol,” Jessica Bennett, 33, the boy’s mother, told a local television station. “He was belligerent, and I was uncomfortable.”
“And I said, `What did you say?’ because I couldn’t believe that he would say that,” Bennett said. “He fell onto my face and his mouth was in my ear and he said it again but even more hateful. And he’s on my face, so I pushed him away.”
Bennett and her husband are white, but the baby, Jonah, is black. The Bennetts adopted the baby.
This kind of premeditated bigotry is particularly troubling because it’s an act of violence on a child. And what a coward. Hundley decides to slap a baby who can’t defend himself? It’s a sorry commentary on the state of race relations in America at a time when there’s still so much hope for the future.
I heard a few people try to explain away Hundley’s violent behavior by saying he’s crazy, mentally unstable, and probably just snapped. And maybe he did. Or perhaps, just for the sake of argument, he may be a racist.
I don’t buy the “mental illness” argument when it comes to people like Hundley. Their actions against African Americans are sometimes deliberate, mean-spirited, unacceptable and, without a doubt, racist.
Sadly, Hundley and other like-minded conservative bigots comprise a growing share of our America. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are currently 1,018 known hate groups operating across the country, including neo-Nazis, Klansmen,white nationalists, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, black separatists, border vigilantes and others.
Since 2000, the number of hate groups has increased by 69 percent, according to the Law Center.
“This surge has been fueled by anger and fear over the nation’s ailing economy, an influx of non-white immigrants, and the diminishing white majority, as symbolized by the election of the nation’s first African-American president,” the Law Center reported.
Is America becoming increasingly racist after the election of President Barack Obama? When I hear stories about a white man slapping a black baby and shouting the N-word at a kid, I’m reminded of just how comfortable some people are getting about expressing their racism in public.
Hundley turned himself in to police and he’s now out on bail. He’s also out of his job with AGC Aerospace and Defense, Composites Group. His attorney, however, insists that just because Hundley used the N-word, that he’s not a racist.
“This has escalated into a racist issue and I want to be clear he is not a racist,” Marsha Shein told reporters.
Hundley faces one year in jail. I hope the judge throws the book at him.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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