“Look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
I’m shocked. Did you know that people other than whites can be racist?
How can society lump brown and black people in the same group if they are going to make disparaging comments about each other based solely on skin color? Haven’t we been told that racism is strictly a white phenomenon?
The City Council continues to face public outcry based on a 2021 tape between Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo that was surreptitiously released. L.A.’s dirty little secret of racism has now hit national news.
Tasked with writing a paper in college in a Spanish class, I chose to write about how the indigenous people in Mexico were discriminated against, and considered a lower class. My research was eye-opening, and my professor simply wrote “Bravo” on the completed paper.
Growing up on a Native American reservation, I would like to say that discrimination against blacks was not present, but it was. And during the American Indian Movement, being white was considered a reason to be excluded from groups.
Discrimination and racism is ugly, and isn’t confined to a skin color.
Here’s another shocker, not all white people support Trump, not all blacks agree with Biden and not all Latinas will vote one way, simply because of skin color.
In trying to gerrymander during a 2021 redistricting meeting, Martinez, de Leon and Cedillo were discussing out how to split the City, so there would be a more equitable distribution of Hispanics in a district, which might mean an additional Hispanic councilmember.
According to California Demographics, the largest Los Angeles racial/ethnic groups are Hispanic (48.1%) followed by White (28.5%) and Asian (11.6%) with Blacks (8.43%).
Did the three councilmembers have a valid concern? Possibly. The Supreme Court is in the process of deciding an Alabama redistricting dispute over possible racial gerrymandering that might have violated the Voting Rights Act by granting the state only a single majority-Black district out of seven. Black people make up more than a quarter of the state’s population.
But for Martinez, de Leon and Cedillo to verbally attack colleagues, and especially Councilmember Mike Bonin’s small child, was wrong.
The judge of a moral character is doing right even if no one is watching or listening – and by that test, Martinez, Cedillo and De Leon have failed. (Martinez resigned October 12. Cedillo, De Leon?)
It is time, that those who try to divide Americans based on skin color, are stopped.
No one has control over melanin, any more than they do the color of their eyes or their height or ear size.
It is time to stop trying to divide based on physical characteristics and judge solely based on the heart.
Bonin’s tearful plea for his child in front of the City Council on Tuesday was heart wrenching.
Equally heart wrenching is the plea that Westchester residents have made of Bonin to keep their kids physically safe, which has gone unheeded.
Someone who represents the people, such as Bonin should feel the pain for all who have children.
Parents have written CTN on numerous occasions: “We have requested security of the Council Office, many times, and we have consistently informed the Council Office of incidents in which homeless people have harassed children in the park, exposed themselves to children in the park, slapped a tennis player (a person of color) in the face, spoken in vulgar language to girls as young as five years of age taking tennis lessons, yelled racial slurs when children of the offended race were taking tennis lessons just feet away and clearly within earshot, and much more.”
Parents have the incidents on audiotape and racial slurs were also directed at a LAHSA worker, who called 911 and LAPD responded.
CTN was told “We have reported dozens, maybe hundreds, of incidents involving children at the park, and no response from the Council Office. No expression of concern whatsoever.”
The judge of a moral character is doing right even if no one is watching or listening and by that test, Bonin has failed, too.
In the coming election vote for good people, those who have conscience and hearts and will work to make this city better for all. Color is not indicator of goodness.