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 (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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