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Heather Hutt appointment as interim council member for the 10th District.

Council President Nury Martinez during a public hearing at City Hall on Aug. 30, 2022 in Los Angeles | Source: Irfan Khan / Getty

Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez has resigned after a secret recording revealed her racist attitude toward Black people.

In a statement announcing her resignation, Martinez didn’t deny calling a Black child a “monkey” and said she took “responsibility” for her own words. “I’m so sorry,” Martinez wrote in the statement on Monday.

The truth is that the second a government official proves themself to be anti-Black through racist language, they have essentially proven themselves to be useless to the Black community. This goes for cops, senators, mayors, presidents, city council members and, of course, city council presidents. How can we ever trust any non-Black politician we’ve heard say some anti-Black racist sh**?

This is why Black and brown L.A. citizens were calling for the resignation of Martinez, who was recorded during a conversation with two colleagues, in which she called the Black son of fellow Councilman Mike Bonin a “little monkey” who deserves a “beatdown” for his behavior. She also allegedly said “f*ck” Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón because “he’s with the Blacks.”

Martinez admitted on Sunday to making the comments and said she was “holding myself accountable” for her remarksjust after blaming them on her “frustration” and “anger,” as opposed to her blatant racism. But that statement did not include any reference to the possibility of her resignation.

Apparently, not many people bought the lackluster mea culpa coming from a demonstrable racist who expressed violent wishes toward a Black toddler. So, instead of accepting her Dollar Store apology, Black and brown people protested outside of her home and called for her to step down.

Hugo Soto-Martinez, who is running for city council in 2022, and Kenneth Mejia, who is running for LA City Controller, both put out a statement on Twitter calling for Martinez to resign.

Reflexively, Martinez’s remarks, along with that of her colleagues, City Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León, serve as a swift reminder that anti-Blackness isn’t exclusive to racist white people and that people of color can harbor these sentiments just as easily. That’s why it’s at least somewhat reassuring to see Black and brown people in LA. standing together in their bid for Martinez to go away.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”—Maya Angelou. 


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