Biden calls for resignation after L.A. city councilor’s racist remarks

“Ask for forgiveness is a good first step,” said city councilor Mike Bonin, who Martinez called a racist slander for his black son, in one of the few quiet moments of a raucous public meeting. “Well, it’s the second step, because first you have to resign and ask for forgiveness.” Biden made it clear what should happen to city councilors who are caught up in a scandal that resulted from billionaire Rick Caruso’s fierce rivalry with Congressman. Karen Bass and a series of corruption scandals that defiled LA’s city government. “He believes they should all resign,” White House press secretary Carine Jean-Pierre said at her briefing. “Everyone must back down.” The president’s condemnation is the latest and loudest outcry from lawmakers, a wide range of officials, calling on all Democrats to renounce their seats in light of the shocking remarks captured on tape. The city was greatly shaken by the details of the recording first released on Sunday. Martinez, de Léon, Cedillo, then Labor Party leader Ron Herrera, used racist language to ridicule Bonin’s son and disparage others. Jean-Pierre defined Biden’s call to resign as the difference between a Democrat and a “MAGA Republican.” “If Democrats say racist or anti-Semitic remarks, we hold Democrats accountable,” she said. “When a MAGA Republican makes racist or anti-Semitic remarks, it is accepted by a cheering crowd.” Elected officials reacted disgustingly and demanded the resignation of city council members. In the aftermath, Herrera resigned Monday from her post of leading the powerful Los Angeles County Labor Federation. Martinez said on Tuesday after stepping down as council chairperson on Monday, “I will take the time to have honest and heartfelt conversations with my family, voters and community leaders.” The move was unlikely to appease the hearts of many elected officials who demanded Martinez’s resignation. “At a time when the United States grapples with an increase in hate speech and hate crimes, these racist comments have exacerbated the pain our society has to endure,” the senator said. Alex Padilla — comes from the city, Martinez’s longtime ally. “Los Angeles deserves better.” The recorded conversation shook Los Angeles and evoked a painful history of racism that coexists with the city’s famous diversity. Bass, who followed in the footsteps of fellow mayoral candidate Caruso and called for members to resign, said in a statement Sunday that “we’ve spoken with black and Latino leaders about how to make sure this doesn’t divide our city.” . “As President Biden said, we must heal the souls of America, and now is the time to heal the souls of Los Angeles,” Los Angeles Democratic leaders said in a statement on Monday. Their refusal to resign so far has raised the prospect of a deeply fragmented city council in which the two incumbent members are utterly alienated from their peers. Cedillo is stepping down after losing the primary, but Martinez and de Léon cannot run for re-election until 2024. In a recording that was posted anonymously on Reddit but uncontested as to its authenticity, the senators refer to others. He described the member’s black son as a ‘little monkey’ in Spanish and compared him to a ‘trinkets’ that deserved ‘defeat’. The dialogue has also steered toward primitive power politics of re-division and competition between racial groups. They talk about undermining colleagues by distributing “assets” to “Latin territories”, putting her territories into a “mixer” and using new lines to “create territories that benefit everyone.” Four Latinos ridicule Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón as “for black people” and warn that white lawmakers ignore Latinos and African American lawmakers “could pursue us” in political retaliation. Christopher Cadelago contributed to this report.
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