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Lafayette councilman requests apology from another councilman for alleged ‘racist’ remark

Posted: 12:24 PM, Sep 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-18 14:12:45-04

Lafayette City-Parish Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux is requesting an apology from fellow council member William Theriot for “racist and discriminatory statements” he says were made during an August 7th council meeting.

The meeting was held to discuss the charter amendment that would separate the city and parish into two councils. Boudreaux says in an open letter to Theriot that Theriot became angry with the “factual information” he had presented and shouted at Boudreaux saying, “you need to go back where you came from.”

Boudreaux says that the phrase is reminiscent of ones used by whites against blacks to “put them in their place.”

The comment in question made by Theriot was videoed by KATC during that meeting. Theriot can be heard telling councilman Boudreaux, “You need to go back to where ever it is, I’m telling you.”

Councilman Theriot spoke to KATC and says he disputes that he ever made the comment alleged by councilman Boudreaux. He says that during the heated exchange on deconsolidation, which can be heard in the video, that he was trying to tell councilman Boudreaux to go back and review the information he was providing.

Listen to the exchange and statement in a video at the end of the article.

Boudreaux is requesting that Theriot give a verbal apology at tonight’s council meeting.

Read the entire statement from Boudreaux below:

Mr. Theriot,

Attached is a video clip of the discussion you and I had during the August 7, 2018 Council meeting related to the charter amendment to separate the city and parish into two councils. During that discussion you seem to become upset over the abundance of factual information in which I presented based on statements you made previously in the meeting.

The statement in which I considered and conclude was extremely offensive and foul can be found at the 5:16 time count in which YOU said, and I quote-

“YOU NEED TO GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM”

Growing up in the southern portion of The United States, Lafayette, LA immediately following the desegregation of public schools, the integration of white only spaces and facilities and the creation of civil rights laws this statement was often used by whites towards Negro’s, Blacks, African Americans in an attempt to put them in their place. It was often used by individuals in legislative groups when minority seats were created and minority individuals became elected to those groups. The insinuation was to go back to Africa. We view that as racist, discriminatory and when used in a council meeting or anywhere else, very unprofessional. Having served with you for the past 10 years, 8 months, and 18 days, I have been shocked by other actions you have taken but this is an all-time worst.

Your comment was heard by council members, council staff, the administration, the guest at our council meeting and was captured by audio on our coverage by many more to hear. This type of behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate.

I request a verbal apology at tonight’s council meeting during council announcements which is the same venue the original act took place as well as a written apology. Nothing else will suffice.

Remaining in service,

 

Kenneth P. Boudreaux, Councilman

LCG Council, District 4, LPUA Member

“Serving Community, One Lafayette”