Angry residents demanded Tuesday that three Los Angeles City Council members resign over recorded racist comments, disrupting a meeting in which council member Mike Bonin gave an emotional speech defending his son, who was targeted in the conversation.
As Breitbart News noted Sunday, Council President Nury Martinez and Councilmember Kevin de Léon — the former President pro tem of the State Senate — apologized for their roles in the conversation, which consisted of Martinez launching racial tirades against Bonin, who is in a gay marriage, over his adopted black son. Councilmember Gil Cedillo and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera were also involved in a discussion that ranged widely over a number of other targets of racial ire.
Martinez has resigned as council president and taken a leave of absence; Herrera has stepped down from his post. De Léon, who celebrated his swearing-in as the state’s first Latino Senate leader in a lavish ceremony in 2014, faces growing calls to leave as well.
The controversy has rocked the Democrat-dominated city, whose leaders style themselves as a “progressive” alternative to the rest of the country, notably Republican-run states, which the media and the “progressive” elite claim are repositories of lingering racism.
As the New York Times reported on Tuesday, a city council meeting that was set to deal with the issue was nearly derailed by a crowd of protesters shouting “¡Fuera!” (“Out!”). Finally, Bonin — who is retiring, thanks to his unpopularity among his own constituents — gave an address in which he gained an elusive degree of respect by channeling the city’s outrage and frustration at the racist rhetoric.
Bonin said, via the Los Angeles Times:
[T]here are a lot of people who are now asking for forgiveness. And asking for forgiveness is a good first step. But well, it’s a second step because first, first you must resign and then ask for forgiveness. But let me be clear: People should not ask me for forgiveness, because I can’t forgive them because it’s not my prerogative. It’s the prerogative of a boy who was too young to really understand what the hell was going on.
The issue has also affected the ongoing race for mayor, Politico noted, in which frontrunner Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) has cited her past work with multiracial coalitions, and billionaire businessman Rick Caruso has portrayed the controversy as a sign new leaders are needed in City Hall.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.