CALÓ NEWS spoke with Latinos on the streets of LA about De León’s refusal, the issue of racism within the Latino community, and what the community needs from its officials going forward.
Nury Martínez has resigned, shamefully without an apology. Now Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo must also resign from the Los Angeles City Council. Councilman Bonin was correct when he stated this week that the shameful trio should have resigned first and then apologized.
Many of us in the Latino community have heard friends and family members use racist language. We also have been the victims of racist language- anti-Black, anti-Brown and anti-Indigebous – and sometimes from those within our own community.
In this current political scandal, we have five prominent Mexican-Americans in positions of influence nearly unprecedented historically, given the racist legacy of a past LA dominated by Anglo Americans. If those present did not directly insult the Oaxacans, they at the very least entertained language disparaging them. Such Oaxacan peoples are among the most culturally resilient in world history – and yet intrinsically linked to the national identities of modern Mexican people and their American counterparts. This is the historic legacy bestowed upon those officials, too.
Traveling back and forth with their father from Oaxaca to Los Angeles, Zuly Garcia found it difficult to assimilate to American culture and their Mexican counterparts. In addition to always feeling split in two between the two countries, they also faced brutal racism and had difficulty finding a supportive community. When Zuly was 15 years old, they began to struggle with their identity and loving themselves. That is until they found a creative outlet through Photoshop and photography.
Martinez likes to refer to herself as a queer Oaxacan, first-generation American, bilingual therapist. At 27, she is also proudly among the approximately 6 percent of Latinos who serve as therapists in the U.S. Martinez credits her Oaxacan culture and the values instilled in her as a driving force for her current career and future goals.
Oaxaca is home to 16 indigenous languages and the most spoken are Zapoteco, Mixteco and Nahuatl. Across the state, there are even differences within Zapoteco.
The owners of La Guelaguetza, the ward-winning Oaxacan restaurant in Los Angeles, tell us why they love Oaxaca.
Adela Ruiz, a 54-year-old immigrant from Oaxaca, Mexico, was one of the millions of women in the United States who became unemployed because of the pandemic. Today, her family owns and operates La Cocina Oaxaqueña Con Adela in LA.