“It looks like a little sangito”: Racist comments drive resignation of one of Los Angeles’ most powerful Latino politicians
- BBC News World
Los Angeles City Council President Nuri Martinez, one of the city’s most powerful Latino politicians, resigned Monday after a controversy created by leaked racist comments.
Among other derogatory comments, he claimed he was the African-American son of Councilman Mike Bone. “Looks like a monkey”. And he compared it to a companion his colleague wears “on his side”. “He brings it like this. During Black History Month (…). He brings his black boy As in page“.
The comments were made in the context of Meeting held in October 2021 with Council Members Gil Cedillo and Kevin De Leon and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera.
After the scandal broke, Herrera also announced his resignation on Monday, saying he had engaged in “intolerant and racist” behavior.
Talks were conducted by Los Angeles Times This Sunday, a month before the Nov. 8 mayoral election, coincides with midterm elections held every four years, halfway through a president’s term and crucial to the direction he takes the country.
According to the newspaper, there was a conversation Shared on social network Reddit It’s not clear who posted it, by a now-suspended user.
Much of the conversation focused on council members’ frustration with the city’s redistricting commission’s proposed maps and “the need to ensure that majority-Latino districts don’t lose economic assets,” the newspaper said.
But at one point the councilors talked about a white man named Bonin.
In the released audios, Martinez recalled a past conversation and said, “Bonin thinks of himself as a (…) black.” Following this the remarks already mentioned about his son, Cedillo and de Leon add others.
They also make disparaging comments about the appearance of some residents of Mexican descent in the Koreatown neighborhood. “I see a lot of short, dark-skinned people” is a phrase. “So ugly”, is another.
Reactions to the leak were immediate, with councilors and other officials and various organizations calling for Martinez’s resignation.
“We are Shocked, angry and completely disgusted Because Nuri Martinez attacked our son with vicious racist slurs and talked about wanting to physically harm him. It’s gross, disgusting and absolutely disgraceful,” Bonin and her husband, Sean Arians, said in a statement.
“There is no place for racist language and hateful rhetoric to go hand in hand with the duties of public service,” said the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (Naleo) of America.
Similarly, a series of protesters came to the Democrat’s home on Sunday with banners and megaphones demanding his resignation.
In view of this, the politician announced his resignation on Monday.
“I take responsibility for what I said and there was no justification for those comments. I am very sorry,” he said.
“As someone who believes deeply in the empowerment of communities of color, I recognize that my comments undermine that goal.”He added, without clarifying whether he had also resigned as councilor in addition to the post of chairman of the council.
The California native made history in 2019 as the first Latino president of the Los Angeles City Council.
Other councilors who were questioned in the debate and questioned for their comments apologized for their words.
De León said in a statement that the comments were “totally inappropriate” and that he did not live up to the requirements of his position.
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