When I first heard this story last Friday and since having read up on the most recent developments, Digital Underground has been playing in my head. Loudly. On repeat!
Now, I do get it about being flustered at having to share space on a long flight, with a crying child within the confines of a constricting passenger aircraft. I mean, I’m not proud of it, but I’ve prayed for God to mute a baby a time or too myself, but to go so far as to become so unhinged that spewing a racist tirade and striking a child was the best resulting idea for resolving the matter? Utterly unacceptable.
To me however, the problem wasn’t so much with Joe Rickey Hundley having these views; as disgusting as they are. The problem was him feeling justified in articulating his views in an incredibly public and violent matter, and against a defenseless minor no less. Sure, he and his defense attorney have been siting his distraught sensibilities that day due to him traveling to visit an ailing relative, and his alcohol intake (used to quell those sensibilities) which adversely effected his otherwise “glowing persona”, but the truth remains, in this “post-racial” (loose air quotes used here) American in which we live, he called a 19-month old baby a n*gger and tried to slap the child into submission. Again, utterly unacceptable.
The story however, does have a silver lining. Whether yielding to the court of public opinion, or displaying zero-tolerance for offensive and donkey behavior or simply in an effort to distance themselves from a drunkard and troubled individual, Hundley’s bosses effectively pumped the brakes on his employment this past Sunday. In a released statement, President and CEO of AGC Aerospace and Defense Al Hasse characterized Joe Rickey Hundley’s behavior as disturbing, contradictory to the company’s values and revealed that the unit executive was no longer an employee of the company:
“We have taken this matter very seriously and worked diligently to examine it since learning of the matter on Friday afternoon. As of Sunday, the executive is no longer employed with the company. [His behavior is] embarrassing and does not in any way reflect the patriotic character of the men and women of diverse backgrounds who work tirelessly in our business.”
Presently, Hundley has been charged with simple assault, which if convicted, could lead to a maximum term of one year in prison, so he certainly isn’t “off the hook.” It truly speaks volumes however; that since he likes slapping so much, that he wasn’t just slapped criminally, but also in his wallet!