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Channeling his inner preacher, City-Parish Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux, adorned during the start of Tuesday's council meeting in a hooded sweatshirt in recognition of the Trayvon Martin shooting case in Florida, offered an inspired defense of his attire and called on Lafayette to work beyond its racial grudges.
“I’ve always said Lafayette is good, and Lafayette would never become great until we could take down the divisions and the walls that exist, where people could start living and functioning together in one accord,” the District 4 councilman said, his voice rising with his emotions. “... any type of profiling is wrong by anyone at any time.”
Both Boudreaux and his fellow inner-city rep, District 3's Brandon Shelvin, wore the attire during the first few minutes of the council meeting. Shelvin echoed Boudreaux’s encyclical on racial tolerance in a more measured but equally incisive address.
Boudreaux told The Ind earlier in the day when we called to confirm that he planned to wear a hoodie to the meeting that he wasn’t making a political statement. Rather, he said, it was intended as a reminder that members of Lafayette’s many Neighborhood Watch groups must practice restraint.
But at Tuesday night’s meeting, the councilman’s sense of outrage over the Martin case was palpable, and he called out those who frowned on his and Shelvin’s fashion-forward statement: “There were those who were critical and said it is inappropriate for a council member to wear a hoodie at a council meeting,” Boudreaux said. “But yet when the Saints were winning and all nine council members put on a Saints shirt, I didn’t hear a word.
“I wear pink ties during cancer awareness. I wear purple ties on Domestic Violence [Awareness Week]. I don’t see where all of a sudden bringing attention to a significant issue that needs to have some clarity and some understanding and some sensitivity has become something wrong. I wore a fire department hat when America was under attack.”