(JTA) — The man who posted a video on social media ridiculing the hairstyle of a young Hasidic boy apologized in a second, heartfelt, video.
“I’m sorry, I’m truly sorry,” Quai James of Yonkers, New York, said in a two-minute video apology on Tuesday morning, becoming flustered as he attempts to get across how sorry he is. “Like I think about it every day now. If it was my little brother … you’re right. I have nothing against Jewish people.”
He added that he has many friends who are Jewish. He called the video “immature” and said it amounted to “bullying.”
The original video showed a crying young boy with long sidecurls and the rest of his hair shaved close. James is heard telling the child from behind the camera: “I’d be crying if I looked like that too bro. That’s f*cked up what they be doing to you.”
James wrote in the post: “Had to really let my son know how i felt about the whole Jewish Haircut… Pray for the lil homie.”
The post was removed from both Facebook and Twitter, but not before it had been viewed 1 million times and liked more than 100,000 times. The post remains preserved in screenshots. Many viewers were appalled that James would mock a crying child. People and organizations on social media called it “sickening,” “unconscionable,” “gross,” and “dehumanizing,” as well as anti-Semitic.
In his apology, James, who is African-American, also said: “I don’t want this to be a race thing. They done been through too much. We’ve been through as much as they’ve been through and they’ve been through worse.”
James earned praised for his apology on social media and YouTube.