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CAIR-LA Condemns Whittier City Council Member for Racist, Islamophobic Tweets, Calls for Her to Resign

(LOS ANGELES, CA – 6/26/2020) – The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today condemned Whittier City Council Member Jessica Martinez and is calling on her to resign for her repeated racist and Islamophobic tweets targeting Muslims, Asians and indigenous people.

Martinez was elected to the Whittier City Council in March 2020. According to her biography on the City of Whittier website, she is also a public-school teacher. Martinez has a long history of posting bigoted material on Twitter:

• On June 2, Martinez replied to a conservative pundit who shared a story about Rep. Ilhan Omar saying the Minneapolis police should disband: “So that they can institute a muslim [sic] sharia law community patrol?”
• On April 1, Martinez replied to a post from actor James Woods that asked, “Name a single thing a Democrat is doing to help in the fight against the #WuhanCoronaVirus.” Martinez replied, “James you are right again!”
• On March 25, Martinez replied “lol” to a meme of President Donald Trump wearing a Asian conical hat with a Fu Manchu mustache over the words, “OK, I will not ‘say’ it’s the Chinese virus”
• On Nov. 24, 2019, Martinez re-tweeted a conservative blogger who posted comments from Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez that a cover of the New York Post featuring the 9/11 attack was anti-Muslim hate speech. In her comment, Martinez said, “She’s (Ocasio-Cortez) American-phobic.”
• On Sept. 17, 2019, Martinez replied to a conservative blogger who posted about Tep. Omar that Omar “can go back to wherever she came from and REALLY be a victim.”
• On Sept. 17, 2019, Martinez replied to a post from Senator Elizabeth Warren: “President Pocahontas? She needs a Wigwam not the white house.”

In a statement, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:

It is beyond the pale that this Islamophobic, bigoted material would be found on the Twitter feed belonging to an official elected to serve the public. She is demonizing members of her constituency.

“Council Member Martinez has shown herself to be an equal-opportunity bigot and her social media comments are beneath the office she currently holds.

“The current trend of normalizing hate speech in the Trump era – especially from people in leadership positions – has emboldened bigots in their speech, as well as their actions. We call on Council member Martinez to resign for her position and for the Whittier City School District to investigate whether she has made inflammatory statement in her classroom.”

CAIR-LA is Southern California’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims. 

END

CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Manager Eugene W. Fields, 714-851-4851 or efields@cair.com

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