ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA: A North Carolina woman may be facing jail time after she was caught on video hurling racial slurs at a group of pedestrians, seemingly without provocation, in Asheville, North Carolina. The woman, identified as Rachel Ruit, verbally abused 29-year-old Aisha Abdus-Sabur as she was walking to a birthday dinner with her brother and her boyfriend this past Saturday, June 13, repeatedly calling her “n*****” and “b****”.
“N*****, touch me, n*****,” she can be heard screaming at Abdus-Sabur as she flips the middle finger in footage which has gone viral on social media and been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. “You’ll go to jail! Touch me, b****”. At this point, two bystanders attempt to intervene and help the 29-year-old but are met with the same barrage of racial slurs and insults.
“Touch me, b****,” she yelled, pointing her finger at another woman who had walked up to her confronted her. “F*** you, n*****. Touch me, n*****, touch me, n*****, touch me, n*****.”
When a third woman tells her to “get the f*** out of here,” she turns and yells racial slurs at her as well before walking away from the scene. Speaking to WLOS about the incident, Abdus-Sabur said Ruit was “filled with hate, rage, and racism” and that she had never seen such a “blatant” display of racism.
“She continued to say racial slurs to my face, continue to call me n***** over and over and over again,” she said. “It was the most blatant display of racism that I have ever experienced”.
“She wanted me to know that, ‘If you touch me, I will call the police and you will be held accountable,'” she continued. “And that’s a big part of why I didn’t lose my cool.”
While it’s unclear what prompted Ruit to yell at Abdus-Sabur, the footage was shot close to the Vance Monument in Asheville, where protesters had been speaking out against police brutality and racial inequality over George Floyd’s Memorial Day death. One of the women she abused was seen carrying a Black Lives Matter poster.
Another bystander in the clip, Jacob Blair, had just returned from the rally as well. “All of us who were here, we were affirmed this is why we’re here,” he said.
Ruit has since received a criminal summons for disorderly conduct from the Asheville Police Department for “disturbing the peace” and could receive jail time if convicted.
Attorney Joseph Bowman shared that Ruit could end up spending as many as 60 days behind bars. He explained that, while there was no hate speech law in North Carolina, ethnic intimidation could be applied in situations such as the one Abdus-Sabur experienced. Ethnic intimidation is defined as a misdemeanor that occurs when a person assaults or damages or defaces property of another person because of their race, color, religion, nationality or country.
“The issue with disturbing the peace is, if it looks like you are trying to start a fight … then you are trying to start a fight, and that’s the crime,” he told WLOS.