#westandwithjamie: Jamie Bergeron Petition Gaining Steam
A petition to Acadian Ambulance to reinstate Jamie Bergeron's job is gaining steam.
The Change.org petition, associated with the hashtag #westandwithjamie, was created by Shawn Vanicor Chaisson of Iowa and has already garnered 6,660 signatures (at the time this post was written).
In her plea to Acadian Ambulance to reinstate Bergeron, Chaisson speaks of his joking manners and shares her personal experiences of witnessing him saving lives:
WE all know Jamie meant nothing by his meme, except to get a laugh... Twice I've personally seen Jamie jump off of a stage during gigs and perform CPR when fans have hit the floor in distress - Shawn Vanicor Chaisson, Change.org
Chaisson also encourages people to scroll by anything on Social Media that they may find offensive:
When I see something on someone's page that is sensitive to me, I scroll on. I have the RIGHT & SENSE to ignore it. - Shawn Vanicor Chaisson, Change.org
We reached out to Shawn Chaisson for a statement, and here is what she sent:
I know petitions rarely "change" things, but it gives validation that you're not the only one who feels an injustice has been done. An insensitive meme or comment does not make one racist and should not be a reason to terminate someone. If that's the case, none of us would be employed. Did he share a couple insensitive memes to try to get a laugh? Yep. Did Jamie drive a vehicle through protestors & injure anyone? No. Did he sport a white sheet at his local grocery store. Nope. I've been a fan of Jamie since he started up the Kickin' Cajuns in 2000. Twenty years of following him around to cut-a-rug & get some laughs. Jamie always draws a diverse crowd & the dance floor is always packed. Seems that all colors of skin don't mind paying, sometimes steep, cover charges to see Jamie play! All Lives Jitterbug! I've seen Jamie jump out in the crowd to dance & hug everyone. I've watched him collaborate with many of his black musical colleagues, and let me tell you, it was a throw down! Never have I once seen Jamie DO anything racist! I remember the first time I saw Jamie jump off stage in the middle of a performance and start CPR. I didn't see why he jumped off stage, & remember thinking, "Is this dude drunk?" He performed CPR until his fellow on-duty paramedics arrived. We later learned the man had gone into cardiac arrest & if it hadn't been for Jamie, he would not have survived. That's when I actually learned that singing, playing accordian, and entertaining wasn't Jamie's "real" job! I was in shock that someone as silly & funny as Jamie Bergeron had a "day" job saving lives! I gained a new respect for him that day. Goes to show you, sometimes you really don't know everything about people. People can say what they will, and Acadian Ambulance can believe what they want about Jamie. Over the years, I have seen the real Jamie... the good Jamie and the sometimes insensitive Jamie. Come on, how serious can you really take a man that joked his "cancer surgeon was a part-time butcher at Winn Dixie" and "I'm looking forward to the weight loss," when he found out he had cancer? Would those comments be insensitive to cancer patients in general? Maybe, but that's Jamie. Sometime a little insensitive to get a laugh, but ALWAYS showing his big heart and true love for his community & fans; ALWAYS doing a top-notch job for 30 years saving lives. Yes, I know this petition probably won't get Jamie is day job back. Heck, I'd be surprised if he'd accept, even if they did offer it to him. He may be insensitive with a meme or two, but to target him to try t and label him racist is stretching it. I'll just leave Acadian Ambulance and all the Jamie haters with a little quote from Andrew Carnegie: "As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do." - Shawn Vanicor Chaisson
Support for Bergeron is rampant on Social Media, with some even calling for a boycott of Acadian Ambulance. One Facebook user posted "Fake News" on the story about the American Cancer Society distancing themselves from Bergeron, but the user later posted a retraction.
One of the people who signed the petition, Rushing Juneau of Marksville, had this to say:
Jamie exercised his 1st Amendment right and should never punished for that. The administration of AASI should really take a minute and do a gut check go see exactly where they stand. Either you are 100% American and stand with/for the constitution, or you are a cowardly member of the herd of sheep following the shadows to nowhere. - Rushing Juneau, Change.org
But, will a petition work? The question was posed to Dana H. Shultz via Quora, and he said:
A petition is not, by itself, a document with any legal significance. It is merely a list of people who have indicated that they support whatever statement or demand was placed at the top of the petition. - Dana H. Shultz, Quora
He goes on to say that, sometimes, petitions work to get items on a ballot for a vote "but, beyond that, a petition means pretty much nothing."
Will Acadian Ambulance consider the petition? Only time will tell.