The San Francisco Latino Parity and Equity Coalition (SFLPEC) condemns the derogatory, colorist, anti-family, homophobic and racist remarks made in the leaked exchange by former Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez, Council members Kevin de Leon & Gil Cedillo, and the Los Angeles Federation Labor leader Ron Herrera. While we note that former President Martinez has resigned from her seat as a council member and Ron Herrera from his leadership, De Leon and Cedillo participated in the shocking discussion, and failed to hold Nury Martinez accountable while she spewed her hateful remarks and echo the petitions of our LA allies in taking full accountability by resigning from the Los Angeles City Council.
Elected officials have a duty to represent all of their constituents in a fair, just, impartial manner. If a colleague speaks offensively, their duty is to inform the colleague they must make an immediate retraction and apology. These officials should make a motion to condemn any statements that are colorist, homophobic, racist, or otherwise derogatory about the constituencies they are elected to represent since such remarks are contrary to principles of justice for all and fair governance by democratically elected leaders.
The San Francisco Latino Parity and Equity Coalition (SFLPEC) is a citywide, data-driven coalition of more than 22 Latinx-led and Latinx-serving community-based non-profit agencies. We are keenly aware of how destructive this type of racist and homophobic language can be; it remains all too prevalent in Latino communities across Latin America and in the U. S. History has taught us that when public officials use this type of behavior and language, it betrays the public trust, and is a shameful byproduct of colonization and white supremacy. Equally damaging, complicity continues to erase our Afro-Latinos and Indigena voices - and is indicative of the work still to be dismantled. We cannot condone discriminatory and hurtful behavior in any quest for justice, and silent complicity in the face of racism and discrimination is an unacceptable response.
In order to defeat discrimination of any kind, we must have courageous conversations with each other about white supremacy and machismo. The change starts with each and every single one of us; individually, at home, at our places of work and worship. When we celebrate Latinidad, we must do so with actions that embody complex intersectional identities that represent all members of our vibrant communities. As Latinos, our identities encompass ethnic groups that span all colors, religions, and cultures.
In pursuit of a just and equitable society, SFLPEC remains committed to working closely with our Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ communities, and vows to hold all public servants and leaders to the highest ethical and professional standards. In doing so, we are reaffirming a simple fact of our humanity, as articulated by Luis Valdez: “Tú eres mi otro yo.”.
Tú eres mi otro yo.
You are my other me.
Si te hago daño a ti,
If I do harm to you,
Me hago daño a mi mismo. I do harm to myself.
Si te amo y respeto,
If I love and respect you, Me amo y respeto yo.
I love and respect myself.