City council president on Koreans: “I was like, I don’t know where these people are from, I don’t know what village they came [from], how they got here.” She then described them as “ugly.”
The Los Angeles Times released damning audio of two city council members and a union leader unleashing racist remarks towards blacks, Koreans, and whites. Columnist Erika Smith remarked that the comments are something “you might hear at a Trump rally.”
Weird. That is not true, but alas. Have to take a shot at Trump at the right whenever possible!
City Council President Nury Martinez, L.A. County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, and Latino Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León appeared on the tape.
The four held the meeting in October 2021 about the “maps that had been proposed by the city’s 21-member redistricting commission.”
Martinez and the other Latino leaders present during the taped conversation were seemingly unaware they were being recorded as Martinez said a white councilmember handled his young Black son as though he were an “accessory” and described Councilman Mike Bonin’s son as “Parece changuito,” or “like a monkey.”
During the conversation with Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, Martinez described Bonin at one point as a “little bitch,” according to a recording of the meeting reviewed by The Times.
Martinez also mocked Oaxacans and said “F— that guy … He’s with the Blacks” while speaking about Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón.
De León appeared to compare Bonin’s handling of his child to Martinez holding a Louis Vuitton handbag.
De León said Bonin is the council’s “fourth black member,” alleging he “won’t f*cking ever say a peep about Latinos.”
They brought up Bonin’s son because of a dispute between two other council members:
Bonin’s son was brought into the conversation as the group discussed a dispute between Councilmembers Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who were at odds last year over whose district would represent USC and Exposition Park once the new maps were finalized. Both men are Black and represent parts of South Los Angeles.
Martinez told the group she had a conversation with businessman Danny Bakewell about the situation, and argued that if Harris-Dawson was seeking an economic asset for his district that he should seek to move Los Angeles International Airport out of Bonin’s Westside district and into his.
“Go get the airport from his little brother — that little bitch Bonin,” Martinez recalled advising Bakewell.
Appalling how they speak about the child:
Martinez said that Bonin appeared with his son on a float in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade that featured a number of politicians. She also said the child was “an accessory.”
De León seemed to compare Bonin’s handling of the child to “when Nury brings her Goyard bag or the Louis Vuitton bag.”
“Su negrito, like on the side,” Martinez said, using a Spanish diminutive term for a Black person that can be considered demeaning.
Martinez suggested the child was misbehaving on the float and might have tipped over the float if she and the other women on the float didn’t step in to “parent this kid.”
“They’re raising him like a little white kid,” Martinez said. “I was like, this kid needs a beatdown. Let me take him around the corner and then I’ll bring him back.”
Martinez’s reference to Bonin’s child as changuito occurred during that part of the conversation.
The discussions about redistricting showed it’s all about them, and they only see a person’s skin color:
Martinez voiced frustration that the panel had proposed removing a number of economic assets from her San Fernando Valley district, including the Van Nuys Airport and the Anheuser-Busch brewery.
“If you’re going to talk about Latino districts, what kind of districts are you trying to create?” she asked. “Because you’re taking away our assets. You’re just going to create poor Latino districts with nothing?”
At one point, Cedillo said there were certain councilmembers who do not merit “rescuing” during the redistricting process. He then made clear that he was referring to Nithya Raman, who had been fighting to ensure her Hollywood Hills district was not moved to the west Valley.
“She is not our ally. She is not going to help us,” he said.
I guess Martinez doesn’t like Koreans:
The group then questioned whether Shatto Place, a small street, and Lafayette Park are in Koreatown.
“I see a lot of little short dark people,” Martinez said of that section of Koreatown, employing stereotypes long used against Oaxacans in Mexico and in the United States.
“I was like, I don’t know where these people are from, I don’t know what village they came [from], how they got here,” Martinez said, before adding “Tan feos” — “They’re ugly.”
Then Martinez brought up recently indicted Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas’s future. If they suspended Ridley-Thomas, “City Controller Ron Galperin would decide whether he still gets paid.”
“You need to go talk to that white guy,” said Martinez. “It’s not us. It’s the white members on this council that will motherf— you in a heartbeat.”
Martinez claimed the African Americans would “come after us” if Ridley-Thomas resigned. Herrera said the council needed to get rid of him because of the severity of the charges, but they needed someone to support the three council members in the room.
De León suggested nonprofit director Irma Muñoz because she’s “married to an African American and she lives up in Baldwin Hills.”
The council eventually suspended Ridley-Thomas, who faces a “trial on bribery and other federal health charges.”
Martinez tried to brush aside her cruelty by promoting the work she’s done as a city council member:
On Sunday, after this article was published online, Martinez issued a statement apologizing for her comments, saying: “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. For that I am sorry.”
“The context of this conversation was concern over the redistricting process and concern about the potential negative impact it might have on communities of color,” she added. “My work speaks for itself. I’ve worked hard to lead this city through its most difficult time.”
De León described the comments as “wholly inappropriate.” He also reached out to his colleague to express his regret.
Cedillo claimed ignorance: “I don’t have a recollection of this conversation.”
Herrera played martyr: “And I didn’t step up to stop them and I will have to bear the burden of that cross moving forward.”DONATE
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