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KPCC: Najuma Smith-Pollard on LA Council Members’ Racist Remarks

KPCC: Najuma Smith-Pollard on LA Council Members’ Racist Remarks

KPCC: Najuma Smith-Pollard on LA Council Members’ Racist Remarks

Faith leaders are among those calling for accountability after the revelations of racist comments in a conversation between some of Los Angeles’ top Latino political leaders.

The Rev. Dr. Najuma Smith-Pollard spoke on KPCC’s Airtalk with Larry Mantle about the role that faith leaders can play in this moment:

This is a great opportunity for leaders, Black and Brown, to come together. And that’s already happening. That work has been in place and continues to be in place. And this moment furthers the opportunity, but also shines light on the fact that leaders, both Black and Brown, are calling for their resignation. Healing can begin after the resignation.

Larry Mantle asked about the need for a conversation about representation of Latinos on the LA’s City Council.

There’s no one who would disagree that underrepresentation must always be at center of conversations publicly. This was not a public meeting with all people responsible and in charge.This was an attempt to undermine Black power and move resources. …

Yes, we should always have conversations about underrepresentation, and that exists for many communities of color. That exists for our LGBTQI. Faith communities ought to be engaged and part of these conversations, where anybody has been underrepresented.

Faith leaders will continue to play a role in not only healing, but also in the future of Los Angeles’ political life, Najuma concluded:

As faith leaders, as community activists, we are going to be in those conversation, we are going to be in the process of making sure the right people [are in leadership] — people who have, at their heart, the concerns of the city, the concerns of the people, the concerns of all people. … We are here for the long term. 

Listen to the interview on KPCC