A man told Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to "Go back to Mexico" as the mayor was leaving the state capitol recently.
Dan Morain of the Sacramento Bee was shadowing Villaraigosa at the time for a profile, and Morain chased after the man who made the comment.
He asked the commenter, a man named Davi Rodrigues, "Do you say that to mayors all the time?"
Morain recounted the man's response:
"Eh, he is a pissant," the man said, proceeding to spew about how an "illegal alien" killed the son of a friend down in L.A., and how it was Villaraigosa's fault. "He is a Mexican. That is what he claims. He is always defending illegal Mexicans and Mexico. … I have no qualms about saying anything to him."
Rodrigues, from Sacramento, boasted to Morain, "I'm an American. Period."
In response to the incident, a Villaraigosa spokesman, Peter Sanders, told HuffPost LA, "We don't have any comment besides what was in Dan Morain's column. We think the Mayor's response in that story speaks for itself." Go to the Sacramento Bee to see how the mayor responded.
While Morain's editorial title "Bigotry is a near-daily battle for Villaraigosa" is a questionable one, there's no doubt that the Mayor has been the subject of racist taunts in the past.
There was the time Rush Limbaugh said he mistook Villaraigosa for the "shoeshine guy." And the racist mailer that called the mayor "pocho," a slur for a Mexican American who does not speak Spanish.
Fittingly, the rest of Morain's op-ed piece was an impassioned defense of Villaraigosa's civil rights record. Despite a recent series of positive national press coverage, Villaraigosa hasn't always received such glowing profiles from local media.