In February 2013, Joe Rickey Hundley [former president of a division of AGC Aerospace & Defense] was onboard a Delta Airlines flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta when he smacked a 19 month old child in the face and blurted out a racial slur [“shut that n–word baby up,”]. The slur was directed at an innocent black child (Jonah) whose mother, Jessica Bennett happens to be Caucasian (which makes… no never-mind).
This loss of decorum and down right ignorant ass action happened all because the toddler was crying as the plane began it’s descent. Which is commonly what most children do because guess what Sherlock?.. your damn ears pop due to the pressure change. So if it annoys adults how do you expect a child feels? Especially at such a tender age when they have not yet become accustomed to such things and cannot fully express themselves verbally.
I don’t know about you all but I was disturbed on multiple levels. First and foremost in what society is it acceptable to smack a child in the face? Secondly, why would he feel it is okay to revert to such a sub-standard human belief such as racism when speaking to or referencing a child? And most importantly when will the world start to extend some sort of respect or common courtesy to black children and even better when will they value black lives?
In the court hearings, not only did Hundley’s defense attorney argued the point that her client was emotionally distraught over the removal of his son off of life support; she further added insult to injury by trying to excuse his actions by blaming them on his alcoholism. What exactly excuses that? Not a thing, not a god damn thing! Yes we have all had irrational moments but this situation in a whole is irrational. None of those are valid excuses for any grown man to attack a helpless toddler.
Hundley admitted to using the racial slur when pleading guilty to the misdemeanor charge of “assault” back in October of last year. But would you believe Hundley only received 8mothns in federal prison? Honestly this man argued the fact that he was about to loose his child so because of that he asked to be pardoned for smacking someone else’s child? I don’t think so. We all know had Hundley been black and assaulted anyone [much less one of America’s most precious and prized white children] they would have had him buried under the first penitentiary available. He also probably would have been deemed a ‘Menace to Society”.
My point of view may seem jarring and some of you will argue that this is not true but check the great track record of the good ol’ US of A. Have we forgotten the oh so popular George Zimmerman case? Which proved to be one of the worst travesties in the American justice system to date. People cry out in outrage at stories like James Byrd Jr. [a man that was dragged to death by white supremacists in a pick up truck], but now a toddler that could be anyone of ours sons is slapped in the face and we hear close to nothing about it.
If I ever experience such racism in the skies, you would pray that while that high up the offender would meet their heavenly maker. My mission to ruin their lively hood and have society peg them as the racist menace that they are would just be the start of their demise. Had someone touched my child and made a derogatory statement, I would probably Taz that ass! I work hard to enjoy my travels and have certainly had my share of bad travel experiences but never does any of those bad experiences justify assaulting anyone; let alone a helpless toddler.
Jovial Jaunts is a personal blogger series hosted by Tazeem Rumal. Taz will document his travels, share his experiences living abroad, offer his opinions on topics and venture out to ask thought provoking questions.