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Biden calls for Los Angeles city council members to resign over racist remarks

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US President Joe Biden believes that three members of the Los Angeles city council who were recorded making racist commenst should resign, his spokeswoman said./AFP
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Oct 12, 2022 - 03:43 AM

WASHINGTON — US President Joe Biden believes that three members of the Los Angeles city council should resign after leaked audio recordings revealed they made racist remarks, a White House spokesperson said Tuesday.

Council President Nury Martinez, council members Gil Cedillo and Kevin de Leon, and Los Angeles county federation of labor president Ron Herrera, have come under fire since the weekend, when a recording of them making openly racist remarks and derisive comments about colleagues were posted online.

Martinez announced Monday she would take a leave of absence from the council and stepped down from her post as president, but did not resign from the board. Herrera resigned Monday evening.

Multiple calls have been made for Cedillo and de Leon to step down.

“The President is glad to see that one of the participants in that conversation has resigned,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday.

“He believes that they all should resign. The language that was used and tolerated during that conversation was unacceptable, and was appalling.”

The council members’ conversation took place in October 2021, but the recordings were not made public until Sunday, when they were uploaded to the online forum Reddit.

The four were discussing maps that had been proposed by the city’s redistricting commission, as well as the November 2022 midterm elections.

Martinez in particular made blatantly racist remarks about Black people, Jewish people, Armenians and Indigenous people from Mexico’s Oaxaca state.

She also made racist and homophobic comments about Councilmember Mike Bonin, who is white and gay, and his son, who is Black.

In response to these remarks, De Leon and Cedillo laughed and made more jokes.

Jean-Pierre’s comments come the night before Biden embarks on a four-day trip through western US states that will include stops in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The trip aims to drum up support ahead of the midterms.

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