Dem president of L.A. City Council, Nury Martinez, resigns position after leaked audio exposed racist comments

Controversy erupted this week over clearly anti-Black racist and offensive comments made in leaked audio of a meeting involving Latino members of the Los Angeles City Council, all of whom are Democrats, including Council President Nury Martinez.

Martinez has now resigned from her position as council president and issued an apology for what she had said about the adopted Black son of a white colleague on the council, the Conservative Brief reported.

She had referred to the young Black child in Spanish as a “monkey” and suggested her white colleague treated the boy as an “accessory” and was raising him as a “little white kid” with uncorrected behavioral issues.

Apology and resignation offered

Local media outlet KABC reported that Council President Martinez said in a statement Monday, “I take responsibility for what I said and there are no excuses for those comments. I’m so sorry.”

She proceeded to apologize profusely to her colleague and others who may have been offended by her crass and racially discriminatory remarks, vowed to seek out “reconciliation” with the Black community of Los Angeles, and begged for forgiveness for her transgressions.

“Therefore, effective immediately I am resigning as President of the Los Angeles City Council,” Martinez concluded.

KABC noted that it was unclear if Martinez had simply resigned from her position as president or would step down from the L.A. City Council entirely, as some of her fellow council members and the general public have demanded.

A conversation they likely didn’t want recorded

The controversy erupted, according to the Los Angeles Times, when an audio recording was leaked online of a meeting in October 2021 about redistricting that included Martinez and other Latino members of the council, including Gil Cedillo and Kevin De Leon, along with labor union leader Ron Herrera.

At one point the conversation turned to council member Mike Bonin, who is white and gay and has an adopted Black son. Martinez referred to Bonin as a “little b—h” and then recounted an incident during a parade in 2017 in which the child had allegedly been misbehaving while riding on a float with other council members.

It was during that retelling that Martinez asserted that the boy was little more than an “accessory” for Bonin — De Leon compared the boy to Martinez’s designer handbags — and referred to him as “Parece changuito,” or “like a monkey” in Spanish. She also seemed to suggest she was ready to punish the boy physically with a “beat down” over his alleged misbehavior during that parade.

Apologies and resignations from others involved

Martinez also made other derogatory remarks aimed at other white officials, Asians and certain Mexican immigrants, as well as Blacks, while discussing perceived racial disparities in the way the city’s district maps had been redrawn.

For what it is worth, De Leon also issued an apology for his own offensive remarks in the leaked audio, as did Cedillo for not intervening to stop the racially-charged commentary, according to KABC, and Herrara also apologized and resigned from his own union leadership position in the aftermath of the leaked audio.

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