The White House announced that President Biden is calling on embattled Los Angeles Councilwoman Nury Martinez, along with other council members who were present when she made racist remarks, to step down.
Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden believes “they all should” resign in light of Martinez’s comments in which she called a colleague’s young black son “that little monkey” in Spanish.
“Look, the president is glad to see that one of the participants in that conversation has resigned,” Jean-Pierre said during a press briefing Tuesday, following the resignation of city labor chief Ron Herrera who was present when the remarks were made. “But they all should. He believes that they all should resign.”
Martinez stepped down from her role as president, but did not say she would resign her council seat. Calls from inside and outside of Los Angeles persist that she should leave her post completely.
Martinez’s conversation with other Latino leaders was originally posted on Reddit, and the story was broken by the Los Angeles Times. The audio recording saw her making claims about how Councilmember Mike Bonin’s son “needs a beatdown” and was being raised like a “little white kid.”
The Democrat, who is Latina, also called the child, then just shy of 3-years-old, “su negrito” which is a derogatory term in Spanish for a black person.
She also called Bonin, who is white, and the child’s adopted father, a “little b—h” at one point.
Two other councilmembers, Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León, were part of the conversation in Oct. 2021 where they talked about proposed restricting maps with a top LA County labor official. Neither have stepped down from their positions.
Jean-Pierre said the language used and tolerated by the other councilmembers during the conversation was “unacceptable.”
“And it was appalling,” she bluntly said. “They should all step down and here’s the difference between Democrats and MAGA Republicans: when a Democrat says something racist or anti-Semitic, we would — we hold them, we hold Democrats accountable. When a MAGA Republican says something racist or anti-Semitic, they are embraced by cheering crowds and become celebrated and sought-after endorsements.”
ABC news reports that Martinez will be taking a leave of absence. “This has been one of the most difficult times of my life and I recognize this is entirely of my own making,” Martinez said in a statement. “At this moment, I need to take a leave of absence and take some time to have an honest and heartfelt conversation with my family, my constituents, and community leaders. I am so sorry to the residents of Council District 6, my colleagues, and the City of Los Angeles.”
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