That Hateful Video Mocking A Hasidic Child Won’t Disappear Because The Internet Is Forever
Updated 1:05 p.m.
A video of a man taunting a Hasidic boy for his appearance went viral last year, garnering more than two million views on Twitter and Facebook. But the man who created the video, Quai James, quickly and repeatedly apologized, even volunteering at a Jewish soup kitchen.
That was supposed to be the end of the story. But the internet never forgets.
A copy of the video was posted to Twitter over the weekend by an account called @swallow_myjits, along with the caption, “This video belongs in the hall of fame for all eternity.” It quickly received over 10,000 retweets and more than 320,000 views.
In the video, James recorded a three- or four-year-old boy wearing a kippah, long sidelocks and a shaved head. “I’d be crying if I looked like that too bro,” James said. “That’s f—-ed up what they be doing to y’all. You probably had the full wash and set — they should be fired if they ain’t cut your s—-,” he added. “F—- it though bro, it’s your life.”
Some thought the video was funny – one user wrote, “One of the greatest videos ever bro I swear lmaoooo.” But others accused it of anti-Semitism and said they would report the account to Twitter. @swallow_myjits at first denied that the video was anti-Semitic, but later wrote, “Man f—- the jews i hate them hitler did nothing wrong fr if we’re being honest.”
The @swallow_myjits account was suspended on Sunday for violating the site’s policies on hateful conduct. A Twitter spokesman said they don’t comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons.
A few days after the original video went viral in May 2018, James issued a video apology. “I never meant for anybody to get hurt. It was just a joke. I’m truly sorry,” he said. He also returned to Brooklyn, where the clip was created, to try to find the boy he filmed and apologize to him and the broader Jewish community.
His efforts were praised by many community members. “In Judaic teachings, we talk about the ability to forgive. I find Quai’s apology something that speaks to me,” Mordechai Lightstone, who runs social media for the Hasidic group Chabad but was speaking in a personal capacity, told the Forward last year. “I am not the spokesperson for the Hasidic community of the world, or even of Brooklyn, however I do believe that it is clear that he has a desire to make things better.”
James did not respond to a Twitter direct message seeking comment.