Statement on the recent racist remarks from the home of Judge Michelle Odinet.

Let me express my disappointment, as words are inadequate to describe my pain after reviewing the family video at the home of our current city court judge, Mrs. Odinet.  

We have struggled miserably to garner public support for our judicial system at every level in this country.  The political landscape has become so toxic that the negative impact has been identified and evident from the United State Supreme Court to the Lafayette City Court.  I can assure you that the late Judge Kaliste Saloom, Jr. did not allow and would never condone this racist discourse from any of his children, in his residence or in his neighborhood.

The Lafayette community deserves and must have loyal political leadership if it is to be respected and recruit businesses and families that will ultimately call Acadiana their home.  I respectfully request and will officially petition that the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana investigate the ethical conduct and actions associated with the recent developments.

This situation and the comments are reprehensible, offensive and totally unacceptable from anyone serving as a judge.  The comments fail to identify any form of lamentation and cast a cloud relative to the impartiality of the judge to serve as an unbiased arbitrator in cases involving African Americans.

As the Advent season continues, I pray for justice and peace and for a keen awareness from all members of our community, especially when we identify and address sensitive, cultural and racial issues.  The improper handling or the continuous denial, contributes to a high level of tension, divisiveness and destruction.  I once again appeal to the community to speak out against the chaos and confusion that has infiltrated Washington, D.C. and is now evident in Lafayette, LA.

While some might say our brightest days are ahead of us, this situation illuminates the dark past that has destroyed many communities.  Remaining silent when it is time to speak out is indicative of complicity.  Our community deserves better and we should not stop until we have accountability and transparency.