President Joe Biden urged Los Angeles officials who were recorded making racist remarks to resign from their positions.
“He believes that they all should resign,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday.
Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez and three other Los Angeles officials were recorded mocking a colleague and his Black son and making other racist remarks. Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León participated in the conversation, along with Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera.
In audio clips published Monday by the Los Angeles Times and Knock LA, Martinez can be heard derisively saying that fellow city councilmember Mike Bonin, who is white but has a Black child, “thinks he’s fucking Black.”
Martinez also attacked Bonin’s child, saying he “needs a beat-down” and comparing the child to a monkey. De León responded by comparing Bonin’s handling of his son to Martinez carrying a luxury handbag.
In a separate recording that also involved Cedillo, Martinez called Indigenous Mexicans “ugly.”
While Martinez announced her resignation from her leadership post on Monday, she has so far declined to resign from her City Council position, instead taking a “leave of absence” from the council. Herrera also resigned from his leadership position, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“The language that was used and tolerated during that conversation was unacceptable and it was appalling,” Jean-Pierre said Tuesday. “They should all step down.”