Diocese Of Lafayette Makes Statement On Racial Post That Sparked Outrage On Social Media [UPDATED]
UPDATE: 1/22/19 3:32 PM
According to News 10, viewers expressed anger over a racial post that circulated on social media.
UPDATE: The Diocese of Lafayette has released a statement.
The Diocese of Lafayette has investigated a racially insensitive post that appeared on social media yesterday (Monday, January 21, 2019) in reference to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
The Diocese has determined that a St. Edmund High School student posted the photo, which violates the school’s Code of Conduct and the Diocesan social media policy.
Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel has mandated that the student who posted the photo apologize publicly to the high school student body immediately.
Bishop Deshotel was deeply saddened and disturbed by the post, and believes that racism in any form demeans the human person who is created in the image and likeness of God.
The post in question was shared by at least one student at St. Edmund Catholic School in Eunice and shows a group of people posing with Popeyes boxes and cups with the caption "Happy MLK Dayyyyyyyy." Next to the caption was a cropped photo of a fried chicken leg.
The Diocese of Lafayette told News 10 that they are aware of the post and confirmed they are investigating.
The comment section under the story on News 10's official Facebook page got mixed reactions. Some people felt that this was another case of a seemingly innocent photo being blown out of proportion.
Mona Johnson felt as if the photo was more symbolic of Cajun culture than racism.
Eating Popeyes fried chicken does not make one racist — it makes one Cajun!!
How come it’s not racist for a black woman to be the “cook” in a Popeyes commercial???
Others were quick to point out what they felt was racist about the post and took others to task in the process. Chet Savant shared his opinion, expressing disappointment as he accused some commenters of "pretending" to ignore the issue at hand.
I can’t believe how many people are pretending like this was not meant to make fun of MLK. There’s nothing wrong with eating chicken, but when you purposely do it to make fun of civil rights leaders THAT IS RACIST and everyone that posted above knows that. I don’t understand this playing dumb game a bunch of people on here are doing. It’s sad and pathetic. Most of all it’s ugly.
As far as this individual incident goes, we will get more information as The Diocese of Lafayette investigates, but in the meantime, I think there is a teachable moment for everyone in this situation—especially those who don't understand what the "big deal" is about this photo.
1. Is it racist to eat fried chicken? No. It is not.
2. Is it racist for white people to eat fried chicken? Never.
3. Is it racist to eat fried chicken on MLK day? Absolutely not.
4. Is it racist to correlate eating fried chicken (a well-documented racial stereotype) with celebrating an icon known as the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement? Yes.
What an individual chooses to see in a photo like the one in question depends on their perception of the content. It should also be noted that just because something may not offend us doesn't mean it isn't offensive to someone else.
What's most discouraging about this particular story to me is seeing some of the outright racist responses on a day meant to honor an American icon who famously expressed his dream of us being better "together."
The Diocese is expected to release more information on Tuesday (Jan 22.) and we will follow the story on News 10 for updates as they become available.