We All Belong Here
Jewish Voice for Peace
Digital Print, 2017
Los Angeles, CA
Your Racism Affects Us
Another Planet Posters
Los Angeles continues to reel with anger following last week's leak of a secret tape of an hour-long City Council meeting from October 2021. On the tape, then-City Council President Nury Martinez was speaking with fellow councilmembers Kevin De León, Gil Cedillo, and then-Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera about redistricting plans. They managed to make disparaging remarks about the LGBTQ, Black, Indigenous Oaxacan, Jewish, and Armenian communities in Los Angeles.
These comments are repulsive in and of themselves, but they are made even more reprehensible by the fact that the entire discussion was about redistricting to secure power and allies on the City Council. Los Angeles has a long history of racially-based redlining, a legacy of which has left the city still heavily segregated. Countless political and community leaders have called for their resignations, even President Biden. Herrera and Martinez have resigned from their positions, the other two have yet to do so.
Protester holding poster by Comunidades Indigenas en Liderazgo (CIELO) at City Hall demonstration Oct. 15, 2022, Los Angeles, CA.
Photo courtesy of Devra Weber
While the four L.A City leaders were all Latinx and expressed a desire to solidify Latinx control of the council, this is not an opportunity or excuse to permit anti-Latinx opinions or perceptions of a Black vs. Brown racial divide. These politicians and their prejudices do not represent their communities (as shown by overwhelming calls for them to step down). The comments made by these councilmembers are rooted in white supremacy culture and an internalized desire to buy into a power structure that pits communities against each other.
White supremacy is more than white nationalism, it is a global legacy of colonialism that can be performed and perpetuated by anyone of any race, class, or gender and as shown by this Australian-made poster, it affects
Micah Bazant's poster reminds us that a sense of belonging is crucial for all folks, especially in a place as diverse as Los Angeles. This moment is an opportunity for renewed cross-cultural solidarity; as demonstrated by the protests that have taken place outside City Hall — the people are fighting back.
The United States is only 2 weeks away from midterm elections. This disgusting reveal of political greed, racism, and prejudice reminds us all to VOTE.
Live town hall with LA Times columnists Erika D. Smith, LZ Granderson and others discussing the current L.A City Hall scandal tonight, Thursday, Oct. 20th at 6 p.m. Information on how to view the event here.