This country is in the midst of a movement to call out racial injustices, and Acadiana is no exception, but now there's also a debate over solutions and accountability.
Jamie Bergeron, a Cajun musician and paramedic, has come under fire over recent posts on social media about the protests. One of those posts he shared reads, "All lives splatter." Bergeron is now responding to the accusations against him.
In a video posted tonight he says yes, his posts were insensitive, but claims they weren't racist. Those posts on his Instagram page referred to the recent protests happening across the US. One of them said, "all lives splatter," and showed an SUV running over stick figures. In his video, Bergeron calls his termination an early retirement.
"We've shown up to a scene and there may have been nothing we can do...but if there was any chance of survival, I know in my head and my heart that I was the best chance the patient had. When I was on scene I didn't see color, I saw a patient. And that patient got the best care."
Some who were upset by the memes tagged Acadian Ambulance, which first suspended Bergeron but ultimately fired him. Now some who shared the post are facing praise, but also criticism and threats of their own.
"I'm not going to get tired. For every person that is against what I did, there's five of them that agree, and that ratio, even though I'm not a mathematician, that's a good number," Shauna Sias said.
Sias says she has made it her mission to call out what she perceives to be racism on social media. Sias, who works in the medical field, says she was appalled when she saw what Bergeron shared.
"In my profession, we are supposed to take care of people of all colors, all races, all religious groups, all political places. It is not for us during a time of care to worry about somebody's post," Sias said, "So I shared the post, and I asked Acadian Ambulance if they agreed with their employee's sentiments. They did not."
Online, many are questioning whether it's the right approach.
"I will not apologize for standing up against racism," Sias said, "if you don't want to get called out, stop putting it on Facebook. Send it in a group message to your homies."
Some users are calling her a cyberbully.
"I am not a bully, I am the bullied. Me, and a host of others who that post offended," Sias said.
Her actions haven't been without consequences. Sias says she's received threats against her life and career. Some online are now alleging she's dealt prescription drugs, something she denies.
"I might get all kinds of threats, defaming posts, all kinds of everything. You'll find a whole lot of things, but you'll never find racism. They'll never find that," Sias said.
Despite the threats, she says she won't back down.
"All of them who are upset need to go sit down with a therapist, and figure out why they aren't upset with the person who posted it," Sias said.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
To reach the newsroom or report a typo/correction, click HERE.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Evening News Headlines, Latest COVID-19 Headlines, Morning News Headlines, Special Offers