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Man Spits and Slaps Important Judge

David C. Nicosia, a business owner in Chicago, had no idea who he was slapping. The 55-year-old man was outside the Cook County Courthouse when he became angry at a 79-year-old African-American woman. After arguing with her, Nicosia, who is white, spat on the woman and called her "Rosa Parks." Then he turned and allegedly slapped the silver-haired woman on the left side of her face with an open hand.

It was a bad move for Nicosia. The woman happened to be Judge Arnette Hubbard, the first female president of the National Bar Association and Cook County Bar Association. Judge Hubbard is a community icon who has served as an election observer in Haiti and South Africa and had long been a voice on civil rights and women's issues. Hubbard was appointed to the bench in 1997, re-elected to a six-year term the following year and retained since in two more elections, most recently in 2010.

Nicosia was arrested by sheriff's deputies and charged with four counts of aggravated battery and a hate crime. The Chicago Tribune quoted a local leader who said, "People of good common sense and decency, people of good hearts should be outraged by this." After all, nobody should go slapping and spitting on a community icon.

Preaching Angles: Holy Week; Christ, cross of; Cross—In the Gospels we see that the entire human race conspired to slap and spit on someone whose true dignity was also hidden. It was an outrage, and yet the eternal Son of God didn't arrest us. He set us free.

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