Kevin de León (File photo)


Disgraced Councilman Kevin de León was scheduled to be interviewed at the Los Angeles Sentinel Offices on Monday, October 31, at 10:30 a.m.  The interview, which was scheduled to be taped and aired online as well as printed in this week’s paper, was to be conducted by Executive Editor Danny J. Bakewell, Jr., Sentinel Podcast host Niele Anderson and Dr. Melina Abdullah, leader and founder of Black Lives Matter-LA and community advocate.  But De León late Sunday evening sent a text saying that he was out of town and wouldn’t be available for the interview. 


So, imagine our surprise when ABC News ran a newsreel showing De León meeting on Crenshaw Blvd. later that day with Earl Ofari Hutchinson and other “Black leaders” to discuss healing and moving forward.  No other Black leaders were seen entering the building or were interviewed after the meeting  – only De León and Ofari Hutchinson. 


Dr. Melina Abdullah, who agreed to be a part of the Sentinel’s Editorial Board and had been preparing to face De León and ask him some of the heated questions that many in the Black community have been wanting to hear for weeks now, said, “Kevin de León continues to disrespect and disregard the Black community by ducking those who are working to hold him accountable, not only for his racist words and diminishment of the Black freedom movement, but also for his attempted gerrymandering and racist policymaking.  


Dr. Melina Abdullah (File photo)

“As Black Lives Matter and allied groups have been camped out in front of what used-to-be KDL’s Eagle Rock home, I was poised to conduct a live Sentinel interview that would hold him accountable. But, he is audience shopping…looking for cover from Black folks who desire to raise their personal profiles at the expense of the larger community,” asserted Abdullah. 


“Black people must stand united, demand accountability, and say, ‘There is no room for racists in the L.A. City Council.’ If De León truly wants the city to heal, he can start by stepping down.” 


One can only surmise that the decision of De León not to show up was the result of the fact that he knew in his Sentinel interview, he was not going to get a pass on addressing the most obvious or difficult questions about his racist statements nor were we willing to accept his apology without his resignation. 


In the past several days, we have all seen disgraced De León making the media rounds, apologizing and asking for forgiveness, but also refusing to step down from his City Council seat, which has put all of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles City Council in the awkward position of not being able to conduct necessary city business because anything less than a resignation would be and is unacceptable. 


We wanted to ask him some very basic questions.  So, here are a few: 


  • “You say you want to ask the Black Community for their forgiveness, but you came to us last.  You first went to Univision, the local Latino television network, then to mainstream media (ABC, NBC, CBS, Spectrum etc.)   Finally, you came to Crenshaw to meet with Tavis Smiley and KBLA, and then the L.A. Sentinel.  How do you come to the very people that you are asking for forgiveness from last, instead of first?” 


  • “You say that you aren’t racist and that we should look at your life’s work.  But, are you saying that we shouldn’t listen to your words as a reflection of who you are?” 


  • “On the tape, Nury Martinez is heard saying that she spoke to Danny Bakewell (Sr.) about resolving the dispute over assets between Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, to which you respond, ‘He only cares about Black people.’  What did you mean by that statement?” 


  • “You were part of a vile, offensive and insulting conversation concerning Councilman Mike Bonin and his young son as well as other Councilmembers including Curren Price, Heather Hutt, Paul Krekorian and Paul Koretz.  After such a horrible conversation, which you were a part of, how can you possibly expect any of these Councilmembers to work with you or even sit next to you in order to do the business of the people of Los Angeles?” 


These are but a few of the questions that we were intending to ask Kevin de León, but he chose to take the path of least resistance and go sit down in a private room with people he did not insult and who from all accounts, were looking for a path for self-promotion, rather than the path to removing this disgraced Councilman from City Hall.