The outrage directed at a group of Los Angeles city leaders, especially County Council President Nury Martinez, continues over racist and offensive remarks they made behind closed doors a year ago.
During the October 2021 conversation, which was leaked to the press, Martinez, who has since resigned from her position but still sits on the council, referred to the Black son of another councilman, Mike Bonin, who is white, as a “changuito” (monkey).
The racist comment was used when Martinez was telling a story to councilmen Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo and labor leader Ron Herrera about Bonin’s son who was allegedly misbehaving on a float that she was also riding during a Martin Luther King Jr. parade.
Martinez also referred to the boy as an “accessory.” De León then compared the young boy to a Louis Vuitton bag that Martinez carried. Earlier in the conversation, Martinez called Bonin a “little bitch” and said that the councilman “thinks he’s f—ing Black.”
Martinez responded to the leaked audio with an apology. “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,” she said in a statement. “For that I am sorry.”
Bonin, who said he was “angry and heartsick” about the comments, and his husband said the conversation “displayed a repeated and vulgar anti-Black sentiment, and a coordinated effort to weaken Black political representation in Los Angeles.”
On Monday (October 10), KTLA reported reactions from other Los Angeles politicians who didn’t think Martinez should be a part of the city council any longer. “Resign from the council, all of it,” Assemblywoman Tina McKinnor said at a press conference. “We should not have anyone serving that is not about the whole community,”
At another press conference, Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said, “It is unconscionable, and it is not something I think we can get through unless the individuals involved resign from office.”
On Monday evening, Herrera resigned from his position as President of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.