The president of the Los Angeles City Council resigns after leaked audio of racist remarks surfaced. 

Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez resigned after a recording of her conversation with other Latino leaders surfaced, in which she was overheard making racist remarks. She has also issued an apology and stated that she feels terrible.

Los Angeles City Council President Martinez Resigns After Issuing an Apology

President Nury Martinez

“Ultimately, it will not be my apologies that will matter most; rather, it will be the actions I take from this day forward. With this statement, she pleaded for a second chance to prove herself. Therefore, I am resigning as President of the Los Angeles City Council with immediate effect.” She said.

Upon hearing her voice on a leaked recording of a conversation with other Latino leaders, the president of the Los Angeles City Council resigned from her position on Monday. Resignation from the council was not mentioned in the statement. A call and an email to her spokeswoman went unanswered.

Reports from various sources stated that Martinez said white Councilmember Mike Bonin treated his young Black son like an “accessory” and that Bonin’s son acted “Parece changuito,” or “like a monkey,” in the recorded conversation. Moreover, Martinez called Bonin a “little bitch” and made fun of Oaxacans.The predominantly Hispanic Koreatown resident Martinez remarked, “I see a lot of little short dark people” in one specific area of the neighborhood. Initially, Martinez issued an apology in which she said, “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. That is why I must apologize.”

Just weeks before elections for mayor and several council seats, the content of the recording rocked the political establishment .After Martinez and two other council members were implicated, Bonin and her husband Sean Arian issued a statement demanding their resignations. They claimed that throughout the recording, repeated and vulgar anti-Black sentiment and a concerted effort to undermine Black political representation in Los Angeles were evident.

The conversation was recorded in October of 2021 and in addition to Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León, the presidents of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and the Los Angeles City Council were also present. Disappointment with redistricting maps created by a city commission was the main topic of conversation.

In 2020, Martinez, who was first elected to the council in 2013 and is described as “a glass-ceiling shattering leader who brings profound life experience as the proud daughter of working-class immigrants,” will become the first Latina president of the council.

At one point in the conversation, former state senator De León referred to Bonin as the “fourth Black member” of the council. De León issued a statement condemning the remarks as ‘inappropriate.’ “I regret appearing to condone and even contribute to certain insensitive comments made about a colleague and his family in private. The aforementioned coworker has been contacted by me directly.” he said.

Prejudice From Latino to Latino and Latino to Other Racial Groups Is Not So Uncommon

The sad truth is that prejudice exists both within the Latino community and between Latinos and people of other races. Anti-Black racism, colorism, and classism all add up to a poisonous strain that is not so secret in Latino society. Persistent racism, coupled with an expanding and more diverse Latino population, poses a threat to Latinos’ recently won political and civil rights achievements and their ability to form coalitions with other groups.

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