‘That Was My Mistake’: Los Angeles Official Caught on Audio Comparing Black Boy to ‘Monkey’ Says She Didn’t Mean to be Racist, Claims Life Is Destroyed

Ex-Los Angeles City Council president Nury Martinez has broken her silence since audio leaked of her spewing racist comments.

It comes a year after the infamous tape leaked and exposed her talking about her colleague’s adopted son, who is Black. In the secretly recorded audio, she spoke about former councilman Mike Bonin’s child’s behavior on a float during a Martin Luther Day Parade in 2017.

Nury Martinez Opens Up About Leaked Audio
Former Los Angeles City Council president Nury Martinez spoke to the LAist about the leaked audio of her comparing a Black boy to a “little monkey,” sparking public outrage. (Fox 11 Los Angeles/YouTube screenshot)

According to reports, she compared him to “a little monkey” in Spanish. Councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo were present during the 2021 private discussion, as well as former LA County Federation of Labor president Ron Herrera. 

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In the recording, she said that Bonin’s son was being raised as “a little white kid” and that “this kid needs a beatdown,” according to FOX LA. Bonin publicly denounced her remarks, reportedly stating he is “disgusted.”

Martinez sat down to discuss the scandal during a podcast interview with the LAist, which was released on Monday, Oct. 9. 

“The way I grew up with that word, ‘parece changuito.’ It has nothing to do with skin color. It has more to do with behavior. You’re sort of just playing around. You’re horsing around. Another word that we use in Spanish, ‘es travieso’ [mischievous], you can’t stay put,” Martinez told the LAist. “It’s a conversation I should not have repeated. And I think that’s an example of a bunch of moms sitting around, you know, being critical of little boys’ behavior. That was my mistake.”

She continued, “It was insensitive. It was mean. I never meant to hurt Jacob, and I’m going to have to live with that for the rest of my life, you know? I never meant to hurt Jacob. I thought about this a hundred times of what I would say to him if I would see him.”

She explained how she would tell Jacob that she didn’t intend to hurt him and that her mother called her that term in her childhood. 

In addition to the comments about Bonin’s son, Martinez was caught on tape making a slew of other racist remarks, including about Oaxacans, which sparked overwhelming calls for her resignation from local and state officials, organizations, and President Joe Biden. She decided to step down from her position days later amid public outrage and protests. 

“It is with a broken heart that I resign my seat for Council District 6, the community I grew up in and my home,” Martinez wrote at the time, the LA Times reported. 

Speaking to the LAist, Martinez said that her life has not been the same since the audio has been brought to light. She explained how she is having financial hardships because her husband is also out of work, how she would go to church to get out of the house, and how the situation has impacted her emotionally.  

“I journal just to get some of these things off my chest, to remind myself that I’m still a good person even though I didn’t hear it at the time. That I’m worthy. That I did a lot of good work, that I helped a lot of people, that I loved my career, my job. It was my passion. And that this too shall pass,” she told the outlet.

“I don’t know what’s next, but I do believe this too shall pass. But, I just gotta just be honest. What this has done to me and my family has completely destroyed us. I don’t know what’s next. I know that this took my passion and my light. I don’t know how to describe it in any other way besides, I’m lost.”

Read the original story here.

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