By ERIC HE | City News Service
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, whose 2-year-old Black adopted son was the target of racially charged remarks caught on tape in an October 2021 conversation released over the weekend, said Wednesday he has tested positive for COVID-19.
Bonin attempted to take part in Wednesday’s City Council meeting remotely. However, vocal protests from activists calling for the resignations of council members Nury Martinez, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo — who all took part in the 2021 conversation — forced a cancellation of the meeting.
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Prior to the meeting’s start, Bonin appeared by video and addressed his colleagues and the audience, saying he tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday night.
He said “the show must go on” so he was prepared to participate in the meeting from home. But that ended when protesters refused to disperse from the council chamber, prompting interim City Council President Mitch O’Farrell to adjourn the meeting.
On his Twitter page, Bonin later repeated his call for Martinez, de León and Cedillo to resign.
“Governance of this beautiful city is untenable as long as you are on the council,” he wrote. “Healing is impossible as long as you remain in office. Resign. Now.”
During Tuesday’s council meeting, Bonin, who is white and openly gay, delivered a roughly 12-minute speech, fighting back tears as he blasted the comments made during the recorded conversation aimed at his Black adopted son and other ethnic groups in the city.
“My husband and I are both raw and angry and heartbroken and sick for our family and for Los Angeles,” Bonin said. “And as an Angeleno, like most Angelenos, I am reeling from the revelations of what these people said. Trusted servants who voiced hate and bile. … These people stabbed us and shot us and cut the spirit of Los Angeles. It gave a beatdown to the heart and the soul of the city. But before anything else in the world, I’m a dad … who loves his son in ways that words cannot capture. And I take a lot of hits, and I know I practically invite a bunch of them. But my son? Man, that makes my soul bleed and it makes by temper burn.”
Bonin said his colleagues involved in the recorded meeting have approached him, asking for forgiveness, but he said, “First you must resign, then ask forgiveness.”
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“People should not ask me for forgiveness. Because I can’t forgive them because it’s not my prerogative. It’s the prerogative of a boy who is too young to really understand what the hell is going on,” Bonin says.
“… Don’t get me wrong, I want to be able to forgive the offenses against me and my family and I want to lead with love and generosity and model the world we need to create. And I promise you I will try. But to do so, first today, I need to focus on love. I need to focus my mind and my heart and my family’s attention on all those who have shown kindness and love to my wounded and hurting family.”