A sportswriter from Columbus, Miss., thinks Lafayette, La., is "the worst place in America."
You read me right.
Somebody from Columbus, Mississippi -- as in Burning -- thinks not only that Lafayette is the worst place in America but, indeed, that "it's not in America." And not to be outdone by his guest, Matthew Stevens of The Commercial Dispatch, sports-talk idiot Brian Hadad of Bulldog Sports Radio opined that Cajuns really aren't human at all.
FROM THE story in the Advertiser in Lafayette:
From somebody who has spent his career working to right wrongs for the Cajun people, local attorney and cultural activist Warren Perrin says the words are spoken from "utter ignorance, prejudice and contempt."
"They did exactly what the British and Col. Charles Lawrence did to the Acadians three centuries ago: They judge all by the actions of a few. How sad we still find this in humanity, next door," Perrin said.
Stevens, 29, spent Thursday through Sunday in Lafayette to cover the NCAA Regional baseball tournament at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field, in which MSU fell to UL.
During his radio show, he said he drove around Lafayette for 90 minutes in search of a neighborhood where he might live and raise a family but found nothing.
He also said that the only thing Cajuns know how to do is cook and that America would be better off without Louisiana.
"I think what this should do," said City-Parish President Joey Durel, "is motivate us to open our arms and show how wrong he is rather than prove him to be right. This is just an opportunity for us to prove him wrong."
Stevens has since apologized through social media and media interviews.
"It's me saying it, not anybody else's voice, not a bad edit," Stevens said to The Advertiser. "But after proper reflection as to what kind of human being I want to be, that's not It. And I don't endorse what I said in that rant or the opinions I had in that rant."
Last weekend marked Stevens' first time in Lafayette, and he attributes most of his bad experience with the city to safety concerns from staying in a hotel on the north side of town.
"I did have a bad experience in Lafayette, but whatever kind of experience I had in Lafayette does not give me the right to say what was said in my radio program Wednesday," Stevens said. "I obviously hurt and offended and angered a lot of people, and I take full responsibility for that. That's on me, and I can't take it back."
Stevens is a native of east-central Illinois but has lived and worked in Mississippi for the past few years.
Let me help you out. The answer is "no."
The managing editor of Stevens' newspaper said, basically, the whole thing was unfortunate. You think?
"I certainly hate that this has happened because it's not an accurate portrayal of the city or our paper," Slim Smith said. "What I was really disappointed in is his characterizing so many people in a city with such broad terms. It's not a fair assessment to make. This will be a teachable moment for Matt."No, a "teachable moment" would be firing his sorry ass. And that goes double for Hadad, who thinks Cajuns are "the missing link."
And did I mention the dud-namic sports duo reside in Mississippi, whose sordid history (not to mention census data) leave its residents no damn room to talk . . . about anything or anybody?
That, my friends, not only is outright bigotry but also stunning gall. Absolutely amazing nerve.
As a south Louisiana native, I will admit that in many ways, no, Louisiana is not of the United States. Louisiana is more the northernmost Caribbean nation than it is American. After all, it was a French possession, then a Spanish possession, then a French possession again before it ever was part of this country.
MISSISSIPPI, on the other hand, has no such excuse. [Yes, what now is Mississippi, too, was variously French, Spanish or British -- the earliest French settlement on the Gulf Coast was where Biloxi is now -- but Louisiana was more heavily populated, under European rule for longer, for the most part, and New Orleans was a center of colonial government. -- R21] And as exemplified by Bulldog Sports Radio -- and the clowns it chooses to put "on the air" -- it still seems to be in the business of trashing anybody and everybody else in an effort to make itself feel better about its own shortcomings.
“If Obama wants to cut Louisiana from the union tomorrow, we are better off as people,” Stevens said. If excising states from the union will make us "better off as a people," perhaps the president should look a little bit more eastward than the Gret Stet.
HAT TIP: Romenesko.
Me, I'd prefer to watch what young Mr. Stevens (and Hadad, too) does rather than immediately believe what he says. Louisiana-Lafayette broadcaster Jay Walker, however, is a more forgiving and generous soul than I am.
Such is the nature of so many who these two were so quick to trash in an attempt to look way cooler than they are.