Apologies are not going far enough for outraged Los Angeles residents after three Democratic City Council members were outed for a discussion filled with racist and offensive remarks.
Protesters disrupted a meeting on Tuesday and demanded the resignation of the three offenders. Council President Nury Martinez and councilmembers Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo have all apologized for their parts in the conversation.
Martinez stepped down as council president and is taking a leave of absence, but that’s not enough to satisfy activists in this heavily Democratic city.
She was recorded using racist and demeaning terms to describe the Black son of a White colleague. In one instance she employed a Spanish term meaning “little monkey” and said the two-year-old child needed “a beatdown.”
She is also heard in the leaked audio clips railing against Oaxacan immigrants living in Koreatown as “short little dark people.”
'First you must resign and then ask for forgiveness' — LA City Council member Mike Bonin held back tears while addressing the racist remarks recently made about his adopted Black son by council President Nury Martinez, which were captured on leaked audio tape pic.twitter.com/a6xiTkvoML
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 11, 2022
The recordings were made last October at the offices of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Federation President Ron Herrera, who also participated in the conversation, is the only person so far who has stepped down.
At the Tuesday City Council meeting, protesters chanted “Out!” Retiring councilmember Mike Bonin, whose son was the target of much of the venom secretly recorded at the meeting, addressed the audience.
According to the Los Angeles Times, he told the angry gathering that “asking for forgiveness is a good first step.” Then he clarified that it is a better second step, since “first you must resign and then ask for forgiveness.”
President Joe Biden has weighed in on the chaos, calling the leaked comments “unacceptable” and “appalling.” He chimed in with many high-ranking California officials in calling for all three council members to resign.
He could not, however, resist throwing aspersions at “MAGA Republicans” who had absolutely nothing to do with the LA debacle. He found time to compliment his own Democrats for holding their colleagues responsible.