Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves an L.A council woman, her racist comments and the consequences.
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez (D) announced on Monday that she would resign as the council’s president due to controversy that followed in the release of leaked audio in which she made openly racist remarks about a colleague’s son as part of a discussion of the city’s redistricting process.
Martinez will remain on the 15-member legislative body. She made no mention of leaving her seat representing the city’s 6th District.
According to an account by the Los Angeles Times, Martinez, during a recorded conversation last fall with three other council members and a labor leader, said that Councilman Mike Bonin (D), who is White, handled his young Black son as though he were an accessory and described his son as “parece changuito,” which translates into “like a monkey.”
The L.A Times also reported that Martinez appeared to discuss Bonin’s child’s behavior during a 2017 parade. She allegedly said on the call: “They’re raising him like a little White kid. I was like, this kid needs a beatdown. Let me take him around the corner and then I’ll bring him back.” During the call, Martinez could also be heard disparaging other politicians, according to the Times. In a statement Sunday, Martinez issued an apology for the comments, which she apparently did not know had been recorded, but stopped short of announcing that she would step down as council president.
“I take responsibility for what I said and there are no excuses for those comments,” Martinez said in a statement. “As a mother I know better and I am sorry. I am truly ashamed.” “In a moment of intense frustration and anger, I let the situation get the best of me and I hold myself accountable for these comments,” she said.
On Monday, Senators Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), the first Latino to represent California in the U.S. Senate, said he was “appalled” at the “racist, dehumanizing remarks” in the recording. He called on Martinez, as well as council members Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León who were speaking to Martinez in the recording to resign from the council and take full responsibility. “At a time when our nation is grappling with a rise in hate speech and hate crimes, these racist comments have deepened the pain that our communities have endured. Los Angeles deserves better,” Padilla said in a statement. “At this critical time for the city and the nation, we must continue to build unity and solidarity within all our communities and we must recommit to the struggle for equity and justice for all.”
The president of AFSCME 3299, the University of California’s largest labor union, also called on those who were “implicated in the recording” to resign from the council.
“Those individuals who are implicated in the recording and who are elected to represent the people must resign now,” union President Kathryn Lyberger said in a statement. “Labor must hold labor accountable but resignation is the only way to restore the trust that has been broken.”“Anti-blackness and colorism must be called out and confronted everywhere,” she added. “Justice for all workers can only come when all workers can trust that they are welcome in the house of labor.”
Martinez served as the council’s president since late 2019. She was the first Latina to hold the position.
Credit: Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post.
Editors Note: Dream’s Chronicles Reloaded ™ does not condone anti-Black racism of any kind. We report and support Black American communities and culture. Any form of anti-black racism will be called out and reported on.