Wednesday, September 07, 2005

"Refugees deserve Lafayette's trust and full support"

Another break from our usual programming;

From the Advertiser, a letter to the editor from Guy LeBreton a local police corporal who worked the Cajundome. Excerpts:

As a police officer, I spent Wednesday night at the Cajundome as many of the displaced residents from New Orleans were brought in. I want to share my experiences.

I am ashamed to admit that when I was first notified that I would have to provide assistance and security at the shelter, my thoughts were about having to fight with angry, violent mobs coming in frustrated from their recent disaster and the treatment from rescuers and law enforcement along the way. Learning that we would have to search each and his or her belongings for contraband, I expected more resistance....

I awoke Thursday to reports of riots, robberies and terrorizing in Lafayette from these people. For a moment, I was ashamed of the community where I was raised and where I work. Then, I realized that all of you have not seen and heard what I have. These people are physically and emotionally beaten down. They are not here to ravage Lafayette. In fact, many commented how they have been treated better here than in New Orleans. I am embarrassed that my community would foster such rumors without any evidence.

Good for Guy. What seems criminal to me is the national news media's self-indulgent, sensational treatment of the "anarchy" to which New Orleans was abandoned that has the consequence of feeding the sorts of irrational fears of which Mr. LeBreton complains. Our local media folks appear to have tamped down their instincts in this direction pretty quickly; a fact for which I am grateful.

Of course there are here, as elsewhere, always the shameful few. A fie on
Reginald Tosclair: Apartment complex forces evacuees to leave. (Interestingly, I couldn't find this article on the KATC website; apparently I am not the only one who finds such behavior embarrassing.)

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