UPDATE: LAFAYETTE, La. -(KLFY) The racially fueled posts of local musician and paramedic Jamie Bergeron have cost him his job as a paramedic with Acadian Ambulance.
The company said, “Derogatory actions by any employee who blatantly violates that (public) trust will not be tolerated.”
At least one part of our community, the Lafayette NAACP told News 10 it lost its trust in Bergeron.
“For him to be so comfortable that tells you what’s going on in our city, in our parts of the country,” stated Marja Broussard, the NAACP state vice president for district D (the 8 region Acadiana area). She said, “That (shows) people can be comfortable making racist comments and not fear any consequence from it.”
KKK imagery, “All lives splatter”, and other posts on Jamie Bergeron’s social media, have resulted in him losing his job with Acadiana Ambulance.
A statement released Acadian Companies Tuesday said in part, “The posts and underlying insensitivity and disrespect shown by the posts are not in any way representative of our company, our beliefs and values.”
We reached out to Mr. Bergeron multiple times, but he hasn’t returned our calls.
Public reaction to the termination has been mixed, with support and condemnation on both sides, but the Lafayette’s NAACP is more concerned with the underlying issues.
“This is the time for the leaders of our community, black leaders, white leaders, political people to get involved to stop the systemic racism, to stop the white supremacy that happens to African Americans and black and brown people every single day,” said Broussard.
Acadian Ambulance said it is reevaluating its part in educating and creating awareness in its workforce in regard to diversity and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The NAACP agrees to learn from this moment is more important, even more important than punishing the man responsible.
“Unless we work together to change those things to better understand each other, then the next one is right around the corner,” added Broussard. “And what are we going to say? Fire him? Who gains anything with him or that person being fired if we still have the same problem tomorrow?”
Interestingly enough, this is not the first time the musician has faced criticism for his controversial actions.
The Council on the development of French in Louisiana has attempted to get Jamie Bergeron’s merchandise using “Registered Coon Ass” removed from stores.
Former CODOFIL President Warren Perrin said the term originated as a French slur and Louisiana in a 1981 state senate resolution condemned the use of the term to market and promote people our products.
“It’s insulting to half a million Louisiana citizens,” according to Warren Perrin, Governor John Bel Edwards’ Representative on the CODOFIL board. “This has been an ongoing process, but nobody ever carried it to the extreme that Bergeron has, and he could see that is was a money-making proposition.”
Free speech protects Bergeron to sell his products inspired by his band’s song. In fact, last time the controversy arose, Bergeron claimed his merchandise increased in popularity.
2ND UPDATE: 2:46 P.M. Acadian Ambulance has issued a statement on the termination of Jamie Bergeron
“We feel that while it is not the standard policy of Acadian Ambulance Service to provide public information regarding internal disciplinary matters, it is important to our Acadian family and the communities we are honored to serve that we both acknowledge and communicate the action that we have taken in the matter involving Jamie Bergeron.
Mr. Bergeron’s employment with Acadian Ambulance Service has in fact been terminated.
The posts and underlying insensitivity and disrespect shown by the posts are not in any way representative of our Company, our beliefs and values, and the extraordinary work of the men and women who work for Acadian. We humbly ask for consideration, as we have all been reminded of in these trying times, that one person and their actions do not represent the whole of one community, one gender, one race, one religion or one company.
The overwhelming good work and sacrifice made every day by our 4,800 employee-owners should not be overshadowed by the actions of one individual. As an emergency services company, we move very quickly and we have done so in this instance as well. However, we are taking the necessary time and opportunity to look further into our company and our practices to assure that we are doing our part to educate and create awareness and a sense of renewed respect for the value of a diverse workforce and the importance of the current Black Lives Matter movement.
Know that we have received your phone calls and read your texts. The management and 4,800 employee-owners of Acadian Ambulance Service value the trust the public places in us to care for them. Derogatory actions by any employee who blatantly violates that trust will not be tolerated.”
LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- UPDATE: Acadian Companies issued a brief statement on Cajun musician and paramedic Jamie Bergeron’s recent controversial posts on social media.
“Acadian swiftly suspended Mr. Bergeron,” Randall Mann, vice president of marketing and public relations for the company, said via email.
ORIGINAL: A celebrated Cajun musician for several days has been busy explaining his social media postings, some of which have been perceived as inflammatory and racially insensitive.
The Advocate reports that Jamie Bergeron of Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin’ Cajuns, a successful recording group with at least seven albums and a successful touring, nightclub and festival schedule, is under public criticism, accused of posting things that include a cartoon of a vehicle hitting protesters in a roadway under the heading, “All Lives Splatter.”
Another post suggested “my brakes have been acting up” when referencing people who protest in the roadways.
Bergeron’s problems may extend from his musical career to his day job. A “screen grab” of an account said to be Bergeron’s has a photo of Bergeron in his Acadian Ambulance uniform — he’s worked as a first responder and paramedic there for some 30 years.
Read the full story: The Advocate