A man who filmed himself harassing and belittling a small Hasidic Jewish child over his traditional haircut has posted a second video — this time apologizing profusely for his first brush with viral fame.
The man, known on Twitter as “Quai James,” says in the video that he is “truly sorry” for his actions and that he would like to “sincerely apologize to that young boy and his family.” He calls the incident “just a joke,” but admits that he was being “truly immature” and that the video was “one of the most immature videos [he’d] ever recorded.
— Quai James (@quaijames) May 8, 2018
This is the second apology James has made. The first came on Twitter after the video was pulled down by moderators, who said they received thousands of complaints.
@FonrougeGab good afternoon . First I’d like to start by saying i truly apologize for posting that video of the young man, i never meant to come off as a racist. I have nothing against any race or religion. I posted the video just for a few laughs i didn’t think of how sensitive
— Quai James (@quaijames) May 7, 2018
Twitter and Snapchat users were horrified by the video, which shows James confronting the boy, who is maybe only four or five years old, about his traditional Hasidic sidelocks.
“I’d be crying if I looked like that, too, bro,” James is heard telling the boy, who starts to cry. “That’s f–ked up what they be doing to you.”
The child, apparently too scared to move, stands in front of James while James continues to make fun of his hair. “You probably had the full wash and set — they should be fired if they ain’t cut your sh-t. F–k it, though, bro, it’s your life.”
The video garnered more than a million views across social media — and more than 100,000 likes — before Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat finally obeyed users and removed it. The first reactions to the video were actually positive, with some Twitter users laughing at the poor child as he endured a torrent of verbal abuse. Other users quickly pointed out that not only was the video disturbing, but it was virulently anti-Semitic and even dangerous in light of other recent attacks on young Jewish men in NYC neighborhoods.
Here is the video by @quaijames where this grown man stalks Orthodox Jewish children to mock them for their for appearance. There is no doubt this speech by some is connected to very real antisemitic violence we see on the streets of NYC today. pic.twitter.com/5UM4H5CWzR
— Rafael (@rafaelshimunov) May 6, 2018
Snapchat removed the video within 24 hours. It took hundreds of complaints to get Twitter and Facebook to do the same. Facebook did not remove the video until Monday morning, insisting over the weekend that the video did not run afoul of their “community standards.”