The NAACP is responding to former Acadian Ambulance paramedic Jamie Bergeron’s Facebook video addressing why he was fired from the company.
“I recently shared some memes that apparently created a controversy within a local activist group,” former paramedic Jamie Bergeron said in the video he posted on Facebook.
The controversy began on May 6 when Bergeron posted a picture of a man in a Ku Klux Klan hood in a grocery store on his Instagram.
“Another meme was the grocery store incident in San Diego. They had a guy with a white hood on. It was I guess the COVID situation. I guess that was his choice of a barrier,” Bergeron said in his social media video.
On June 1, he posted a meme that said “All lives splatter,” depicting protesters being ran over by a vehicle.
June 23, Bergeron was fired from Acadian Ambulance for the posts.
June 24, he posted a video explaining himself.
“I’m now being told that I was targeted. These memes may have been insensitive, but they were far from being racist,” Bergeron said.
Lafayette Parish President for the NAACP, Marja Broussard, disagrees.
“How does anyone post a picture of a hooded person in a Klan hood and say, honestly want us to believe, that there was no racist intent?” Broussard told News Ten.
She says when she watched Bergeron’s video, she expected an apology.
“He’s appearing to be the victim. He doesn’t even apologize for doing it, for saying it. That tells me that he believes in some way that this is okay, and I’m here to let him know that this is not okay,” she said.
Broussard says his posts were racist and unacceptable, but she wants people to see the bigger picture here.
“Jamie is not the problem. Jamie Bergeron is a flashpoint,” she said. “The problem is the systemic racism, the systemic white supremacy that brown and black people have to deal with every single day. That’s the problem.”
She says the real problem is that people feel comfortable enough to post memes like Bergeron’s on social media and not expect repercussions.
“Where are we in the city of Lafayette as a community or the state of Lafayette as a community when it comes to systemic racism?” Broussard questioned.
She says Bergeron’s termination will not fix the problem of systemic racism, but she hopes this will open more people’s eyes to the issue.