Lonny Rae and Freedom of Speech

In October of 2014, Lonny Rae, a white man, was accused of “felony malicious harassment and disturbing the peace” after he called an African American high school football referee the “N-word”. The incident occurred when Kimberly Rae, Lonny Raes wife was covering the Council football game. The game end with a call by the referees, which K. Rae, a reporter for the Adams County Recorder, found was questionable. After all, this call did prevent the Council football game from going to state playoffs. Leaving her husband, Lonny at their truck, she approached a trio of referees entering the locker room and began taking pictures. This persuaded one of the referees to approach Kimberly and grab her camera. The two of them wrestled with the camera, resulting in Kimberly screaming in fear for her husband. This is when Lonny Rae stepped into the scene to defend his wife. Out of anger, Lonny called the referee a [n****r].

This incident caused the Rae couple both there jobs and ran them out of town. What shocked Lonny was that there was no prosecution against the football referee who became wrestled with his wife over the camera. His reasoning for this lack in prosecution against the referee, is that the Adams County is trying to make him a scapegoat for a county that is known for being racist. Lonny Rae also got support from the officer at the site who said he “would not prosecute or level charges against anyone without feeling there was a basis under the laws of Idaho,” Myron Gabbert, the Adams County prosecutor.

This story is similar to the Smith College issue, in that, someone was accused of using the “n-word” and both claimed they had understanding reason to use it. With the Wendy Kaminer she claimed that she was simply repeating something from a book. Lonny Rae, appeared to be more concerned with the safety of his wife than the offensive words that came out of his mouth.

Citation: Schabner, Dean. “Was Racial Slur Anger or Hate Crime?” ABC News. ABC News Network, 15 Aug. 2015. Web. 13 Apr. 2015. <http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=92644>.


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