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Los Angeles City Council member Kevin de León

Source: LeoPatrizi / Getty

Unfortunately, anti-Blackness is not a thing that will necessarily prevent a person from being elected or reelected into office. And even now in the 21st century, politicians are able to test the political waters after being caught up in a public scandal where their racism isn’t just speculated on, it’s been proven.

Meet Los Angeles City Council member Kevin de León.

Last October, Kevin de León and three other members of the city council, all of whom are Latino, were exposed in a secret recording while engaging in an egregiously racist and anti-Black discussion during which City Council President Nury Martinez called another council member’s Black child a “little monkey” and said he deserves a “beatdown” to tame his allegedly wild behavior while de León likened that same child to an “accessory” being paraded around like a “Goyard bag or the Louis Vuitton bag.” He, of course, apologized for his part of the discussion, but then two months later, de León was caught on camera violently attacking a Black activist.

While the other three members who engaged in the racist discussion have resigned from their posts or failed to get reelected, Kevin de León hopes L.A. voters forget about that and vote to let the anti-Black Democrat stay on the council.

From Politico:

The taped backroom conversation — rife with disparaging and racist language — exposed deep fissures in the city along ethnic and ideological lines, and piled on fresh embarrassment to a City Council already decimated by ethics scandals. As the only participant still in office, De León has been the most visible emblem of an ugly chapter in the city’s history.

Now, he is counting on voters to bring him back from the political wilderness.

“When a lot of people that I called my friends and allies turned away from me, my constituents had my back,” De León said in an interview. “I understood in a deeper way the relationship that I had with my community and how that motivates and drives me. That’s why I’m still here. And that’s why I’m running.”

While Kevin de León, once again, apologized for his participation in anti-Black bigotry, he is doubling down on his insistence that Black people have too much political power in his city.

“The context of our conversation was about redistricting and ensuring equal representation,” he said. “You have to look no further than the maps that were drawn. Are they fully reflective of the demographics of the city? Not really.”

Latinos are the largest ethnic group in Los Angeles, making up nearly 48 percent of the population, while Black residents comprise 8 percent. There are currently five Latino members on the 15-member council (four when the recording was made) and three Black members.

So, basically, Kevin de León is out here counting the Black people he has to work with and saying Black supremacy (don’t laugh) is becoming a thing. It’s worth mentioning, by the way, that advocating for diluting Black voting power is something de León has in common with white Republicans—but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence. Sorry, but when you find yourself attacking a marginalized racial group on behalf of another marginalized racial group while ignoring the non-marginalized racial group that ultimately controls it all, you’re generally just a non-white lackey helping to perform white supremacy.

At the end of the day, if the discussion was all about fairness and, I suppose, Black privilege (I said don’t laugh), then he and the others wouldn’t have gleefully engaged in disparaging Black people in general. It just really seems like they don’t like Black people and that’s the actual issue.

But, again, unfortunately, being anti-Black does not preclude one from being electable. We saw this when a North Carolina sheriff, Jody Greene, was reelected even after he initially resigned following his own racist scandal in which he was caught on tape saying he’s “sick of these Black bastards, among other blatantly anti-Black comments regarding the Black law enforcement officials he worked with. Greene isn’t just an election official, he’s an elected official who holds a high position in law enforcement.

At least this time the racist elected official who might be reelected is only a city council member. Apparently, that’s where the bar is now.

Apparently, whether we’re talking about whites or Latinos, Democrats or Republicans—America is always America. 


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