October 11, 2022

Former L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez has resigned her position as President and taken a leave of absence after a recording was leaked of her making racist remarks attacking councilman Mike Bonin's adoptive son in 2021.

The LA Times released audio which is horrifying to listen to, especially coming from the President of the Council.

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.

Kevin de León was once thought to be a progressive champion. No longer.

Martinez apologized after her comments went public, but being angry is no excuse at all. There is no excuse at all for this crap.

Mike Bonin spoke with tears in his eyes earlier today while addressing this horrific incident.

“I take a lot of hits, and I know I practically invite a bunch of them. But my son? It makes my soul bleed and it makes my temper burn," Bonin said. "Asking for forgiveness is a good first step. Well, it’s a second step because first you must resign and then ask for forgiveness.”

“I know I can never really know or comprehend the real weight of the daily relentless anti-Black racism my son is going to face, but man, I know the fire that you feel when someone tries to destroy Black boy joy. Man, it’s a rage,” Bonin added.

This is a dark day for Los Angeles.

Update: President Biden has now called for the resignation of all three councilmembers involved.

“The president is glad to see that one of the participants in that conversation has resigned, but they all should,” Karine Jean-Pierre said during her daily press briefing today, calling the language recorded during the conversation “unacceptable” and “appalling.”

That's an understatement. Ana Navarro summed it up well on ABC's The View:

"Listen, a few things here, the word she used is a Spanish word in some countries for 'little monkey,'" Navarro said. "And so basically, if you are calling a 2-year-old child a little monkey, a 2-year-old black child a little monkey, you are not qualified to sit in elected office. Okay? And I am mortified, horrified, embarrassed that it was Latinos. I'm going to speak to Kevin de León as a Latina, get the hell out because you brought us shame and embarrassment and if we want to start the healing process, we need to unite our communities, and that starts with you getting off the stage. You are not fit. You do not have the character to do it. And there is no excuse for what you did."

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