Black Woman Called N-Word At San Bernardino City Council Meeting Criticizes Response From Officials, ‘I Was Scared’
During a city council meeting on Oct. 18 in San Bernardino County, California, Amy Malone, a resident, experienced a distressing incident. While participating via Zoom, she was subjected to disturbing racist comments, including being told to “go back to Africa” and called the n-word by two people, all in the presence of city officials who, as reported by KTLA, allegedly failed to provide a supportive response.
“It took me aback; I was angry, I was scared. I didn’t know if I was being verbally assaulted and if this would be followed by a physical assault,” Malone said. The city council meeting was an open forum held to discuss the hiring of the city’s new manager, Charles Montoya, despite allegations of misconduct in his previous positions. When the time came for Malone to air her grievances, she was abruptly cut off by insults.
“Somebody shut this n**** up… Go home, you… b***. Go back to Africa if you don’t like it,” the voices said, per KTLA.
Mayor Pro Tem Fred Shorett quickly jumped in to say they were looking into what happened and urged Malone to wait while they resolved the issue.
Malone then demanded an apology from Shorett, which he provided but allowed the meeting to continue with the offending participants still present.
“He told me to wait, and then I had to ask him for an apology. Once he said what he had to say, everything moved on as if nothing had happened,” Malone said.
It would take two days for the city to make a formal apology to Malone and other residents who were present at the time of the racist exchange.
City spokesperson Jeff Kraus revealed that the IP addresses of the people logged into the meeting virtually were identified and turned over to law enforcement for further investigation.
“You have to log in, and you’re put into a queue. Because this is at the end of public comment, there was a transition from the queue for public comment to a public hearing that was about to start. That’s when the incident occurred, and they unmuted themselves and made these inappropriate comments,” he said.
Though shocked by the incident, Malone says she does not want the incident to become a rallying call for division amongst San Bernardino residents.
“I don’t want that to be the issue; I want this to be something that we all come together against,” she said, according to KTLA.