By The Vanguard Staff
LOG ANGELES, CA – LCLAA—Labor Council for Latin American Advancement—released a statement late last week charging it was “deeply angered and upset by the language and remarks of several Los Angeles City Council members at a closed-door meeting.”
The leaked audio recording reported by the Los Angeles Times “reveals now former City Council President Nury Martinez, Council Members Kevin de León, and Gil Cedillo, along with now former Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, made racist and anti-black statements and mocked Oaxacans,” said LCLAA in its statement.
Continuing, LCLAA said it “could not be more appalled at our elected leaders’ statements and their racist beliefs which fueled their language. Our organization represents and exists because of our members – workers from all walks of life, from all parts of the world. LCLAA fights day in and day out to address hateful and racist policies and behavior, such as those on the leaked audio.
“We will never condone racist behavior! Language like this divides Latinos in the workplace, their communities, and politics. It marginalizes our brown and black communities that have worked together to denounce this rhetoric that stifles our voice and successes.”
Desiree Rojas, LCLAA Sacramento Chapter President, argued, “When representatives who are the face of government become more interested in their safety than a child and take part in back-room hateful, racist discussions, [they] are complicit in the same Trump behavior that we stand against, fight against, organize against. We will NEVER tolerate this behavior in our pueblos, homes, or from our representative, Nunca! These actions are NOT representative of labor or our people who are indigenous to this continent.”
And, Xochitl Cobarruvias, LCLAA Los Angeles Chapter President, said, “There can be no tolerance for discrimination and hate-filled language – not from anyone and especially not from those we’ve elected to represent us. We voted them in, and we can vote them out. As indigenous people, we must stand together in solidarity. We cannot tear down members of our community and other workers of color when we strip our movement of progress. We must respect the rights of others.”
And, Frank Martin Del Campo, LCLAA San Francisco Chapter President, stated, “For our elected officials that represent such diverse communities to hold such racist beliefs, it is a betrayal to their constituents. How can we expect politicians to fight for Latino workers, when they view our community as less than?
“This only reiterates the need for Latinos to turn out to the polls this November. We need our voice to call for representatives that will not only say they stand with Latinos during Hispanic Heritage Month, but that prove it year-round with their advocacy and legislative work fighting for justice in immigration, labor, healthcare, and so much more that is at stake everyday for workers and their families.”
Carlos Pelayo, LCLAA San Diego-Imperial Counties Chapter President, added, “As long as we continue to deny being descendants of the Original Peoples of this hemisphere and continue to perpetuate this notion of Hispanidad that glorifies white supremacy and privilege, this ignorance will continue.”