A New Jersey family was left traumatized after they were confronted by a white man who appeared to be armed with a sword.
Diane and Antonio Bellamy conveyed their dismay in detailed posts on their respective Facebook pages. On the evening of July 27, the couple took their three kids and a friend to a Morristown, Pennsylvania, Dairy Queen to get ice cream. Antonio dropped his family off at a spot near the Delaware River and went back to the restaurant to retrieve his order.
Diane, the family friend and her children were eating their ice cream when a white man carrying a sword in a sling approached the group.
“Obey the governor’s orders,” he told them, according to Diane. The comment made one of the kids laugh, which prompted the man to make a racist comment.
“It’s funny how minorities want to be treated equal but can’t follow the rules,” the man allegedly said.
Diane wanted to stand up for her family but she stayed quiet because she did not want to provoke the man.
“I completely kept my mouth shut! If you know me, like really know me that was extremely hard for me,” Diane wrote. “As a mother all I could think about was what if I say something and he pulls out his sword. I felt defenseless, I felt that I wouldn’t have been able to protect my children in that moment, I was genuinely afraid.”
Her husband showed up shortly after and the children told him what happened. Antonio was upset and wanted to confront the man but his son changed his mind.
“When I arrived my knee jerk was to approach him and lay hands on him,” Antonio wrote in a letter to Morrisville Police Chief George McClay. He posted the letter on his Facebook page. “But I restrained myself after hearing my 6-year-old son cry out to me, ‘daddy, no.’ His tears and loud cries made me halt as I realized the best way to protect my family at that point was to not lay hands even though a part of me really wanted to.”
After talking with Antonio, McClay released a statement about the incident on July 30.
“The words and actions of this one individual, who lives in a community across the river reflects poorly on our own community and should not be tolerated by any of us in our community,” the statement read. “It is important that Morrisville remain a respectful and caring community upholding the individual freedoms for all our citizens.”
According to the chief, the man’s sword is made of wood. Additionally, other residents have complained about him, NJ.com reported. However, he will not be charged because what he did was not considered a crime.
The incident was a crash course in racism for the Bellamy kids.
“We quickly leave to go home and my 10-year-old daughter begins to cry…. asking “why do they hate us so much?! Just why?” Diane wrote. “It’s so hard! It’s hard for black kids. It’s hard for black families. I have to not only protect them from the mental anguish that comes with the pandemic but all the mental anguish for being hated because of their skin color.”