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BAJI Condemns LA racist leadership

BAJI-Los Angeles calls for the removal of City Council officials and Labor Leader following racist close door meeting

Monday, October 11th, 2022 

BAJI is unsurprised by the racist, anti-Blackness, anti-indigenous, anti-Asian and homophobia displayed by councilmembers Nury Martinez, Kevin De Leon, Gil Cedillo, and LA County Federation of Labor Chief Ron Herrera. 

Martinez, who resigned today as president of the LA City Council but still remains a   councilmember, described her fellow   councilmember Mike Bonin’s Black child as a monkey and stated her desire to physically abuse him. Martinez also cursed District Attorney Gascon for being “with the Blacks”. De Leon compared Black Angelenos to the “Wizard of Oz effect”. Cedillo went on to state that there’s only 25 Black people shouting behind a curtain in reference to Black organizing and political power. Throughout their discussion, these four minimized Black Angelenos, mocked Black, indigenous, and Asian communities and plotted the destruction of Black and other marginalized Angeleno communities for their political gain. 

The comments captured in a leaked audio recording are nothing short of disrespectful, no context could justify the language. The banter reveals the true ideological source of their votes and actions as councilmembers and labor leader, respectively. Their words and deeds make clear that their goal is to use white supremacy to maintain their political power in the city council while actively being anti-Blackness.  

They thus perpetuate white supremacy by proving that they vie for a Los Angeles where working class Black, Indigenous, and Asian people come to labor and are then banished to shacks and sidewalks, invisibilized on the edge of town, or in jails, prisons, immigration detention, or deportation planes. 

Their sickening vision provides further insight into why Black and brown residents of Los Angeles are dissatisfied with city leadership and labor leaders.  The white supremacist notions of power and privilege expressed by these city leaders and labor leader are outdated, malicious and distressing.

We join in the call for the immediate resignation or removal of councilmembers Nury Martinez, Kevin De Leon, Gil Cedillo, and LA County Federation of Labor Chief Ron Herrera.  We also ask for an independent audit of the LA city council.