Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez and two colleagues are under fire after a recording surfaced with racist comments. At one point during the conversation, Martinez even calls a Black child a little monkey and says he deserves a “beatdown” as a way to tame his allegedly wild behavior.
Los Angeles City Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León joined Martinez in the conversation with Los Angeles Labor Federation President Ron Herrera. According to the Los Angeles Times, the four traded comments with de León claiming Councilman Mike Bonin treats his Black son like an “accessory.”
Martinez can also be heard allegedly saying “f*ck” Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón and “he’s with the Blacks.”
In her statement, Martinez claims to take accountability for her words but then blames it on anger at the moment. In audio released by Knock LA, the councilwoman can be heard joking with others on the call. Even if she was “angry,” the racist tirade amid a conversation about redistricting is unacceptable and raises questions about her leadership. The audio previously surfaced on a since-deleted Reddit account.
Also, side note, anyone calling Black people “the Blacks” is racist. There’s no backing out of it.
A lawyer representing the L.A. County Federation of Labor sidestepped the controversy but claimed the recording allegedly violated California law.
In a statement, Bonin and his husband called for the city council to remove Martinez from her position as president and for her to resign. The couple went on to condemn the racist language levied at his son.
“As a parent of a Black child, we condemn the entirety of the recorded conversation, which displayed a repeated and vulgar anti-Black sentiment and a coordinated effort to weaken Black political representation in Los Angeles,” read the statement. “The conversation revealed several layers of contempt for the people of Los Angeles and a cynical, ugly desire to dive the City rather than serve it.”‘
At another point in the conversation, Cedillo and Martinez joke about people in the K-town area of Los Angeles. California State Assemblyman Isaac G. Bryan tweeted that the moment required “deep accountability.”
“Anti-Blackness has no place in the house of labor, no place in the city council and no place In society,” Bryan tweeted. “We should all be calling for deep accountability in this moment.”
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