Things That Matter

Louisiana Judge Is Caught On Video Using Anti-Black Racial Slurs, Now People Are Questioning Her Biases

Photo via wp paarz/Flickr

In the midst of a scandal in Lafayette, Louisiana, people are asking the question: can a judge be trusted to make unbiased decisions after getting caught using racist slurs at home? The question arose in response to home footage that is currently circulating of Lafayette City Court Judge Michelle Odinet using the n-word to describe the man who attempted to burglarize her home.

The video, which was first reported by a local outlet and subsequently went viral on Twitter, features multiple off-screen voices commenting on security footage they are playing back on the television screen, which is being recorded.

WARNING: The below video includes highly offensive racial slurs. Viewer discretion advised.

Someone (who has been identified as one of Odinet’s family members) describes what was happening the night of the burglary. “Mom’s yelling n—–, n—–” says one male voice. Another female voice (who may or may not be Odinet herself) adds in: “We have a n—– , it’s a n—–, like a roach.” The various slurs are said amongst raucous laughter.

Amidst calls for her resignation, Odinet released a statement, asking for “forgiveness and understanding.”

“My children and I were the victim [sic] of an armed burglary at our home,” she wrote in a statement. “The police were called and the assailant was arrested. The incident shook me to my core and my mental state was fragile.”

Odinet then went on to blame the use of slurs in the video to being “sedated,” saying, “I was a wreck and am still unable to sleep. I was given a sedative at the time of the video,” she wrote. “I have zero recollection of the video and the disturbing language used during it.”

Then, like many people who have been caught doing or saying racist things on camera, Odinet insisted that this behavior was a bad example of how she lives her life.

“Anyone who knows me and my husband, knows this is contrary to the way we live our lives,” she wrote. “I am deeply sorry and ask for your forgiveness and understanding as my family and I deal with the emotional aftermath of this armed burglary.”

However, many people don’t buy the apology and explanation, seeing as how hard Odinet and her family were laughing during the video.

It’s also worth noting that being sedated and/or medicated does not magically turn someone into a racist. If you are prone to using that language when you are sober, you are simply more prone to using it when you are under the influence.

Not to mention, multiple people in Odinet’s family are comfortably throwing around the n-word as if the word were part of their everyday vernacular.

Most people on social media appeared to agree with the general public’s calls for Odinet to resign.

One user made a point about how being sedated isn’t an excuse. After all, people don’t use words that aren’t part of their vocabulary, even when they are under the influence.

This person brought up how the entire family was using racist language, and seemed comfortable using it too.

Another person made a point about how it will be unlikely that Judge Odinet will be able to oversee a trial with a Black defendant without a lawyer objecting to it.

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