A white female judge in Louisiana by the name of Michelle Odinet is under fire over a videotape that emerged featuring her referring to a black man as an “n-word”. Several people in the area have spoken out to local media against Odinet including City Marshall Reggie Thomas who works to protect the judge daily. The local NAACP has not only called for Odinet’s resignation but also for her decisions against “people of color” to be thrown out. Others have compared the leaked tape to the United States prior to the Civil Rights Act where people were beaten in the streets. Seeing the tape by itself may be enough to evoke these reactions but there is a certain thing called context that may be missing here.
The now-viral videotape of the judge using the “n-word” displays more than foul language. The black man in question was being captured by the judge’s sons after an alleged armed burglary or burglary attempt. He was not harmed during the capture and the police were called. The police picked the burglary suspect up from the scene and he is currently in jail awaiting trial for burglary. The tape is often spoken about without the key piece of context – the man who was being called the racial slur was allegedly actively trying to burglarize the judge’s home. This fact does not necessarily clear the judge of any moral wrongdoing, but it is important to understand the entire story and not just one piece of it.
Odinet says she was on a sedative during the recording of the video and doesn’t recall the racial slurs that she said. This is par for the course when speaking about people in legal professions. The “I don’t recall” excuse is tried and true, but probably false. The reality is that she used the racial slur most likely out of anger that someone would allegedly attempt to burglarize her home and/or car. The question is… can anyone blame her? If the man would have successfully broken and entered her home while her sons were there, they could have taken his life and not even gone to court. So why get all bent out of shape over the use of foul language?
Judge Michelle Odinet responds to use of racial slurs in home video following burglary
Michelle M. Odinet: A Louisiana judge is on unpaid leave and facing pressure to resign after a home video with racist language surfaced – CNN
Lafayette judge likely won’t be removed without resigning
Judge Michelle Odinet “embarrassed and humiliated”over video; will take leave of absence, attorney says
Michelle Odinet: Louisiana judge faces calls to quit over home video slurs – BBC News
‘Humiliated, embarrassed,’ Lafayette Judge Michelle Odinet to take unpaid leave of absence | Courts | theadvocate.com