SILVER LAKE (CBSLA.com) — A member of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council has resigned in a firestorm after she posted comments on Facebook many people said were racist and offensive.
The comments were about immigrants.
KCAL9’s Rachel Kim spoke to people about the remarks.
“At first, I was in disbelief,” council Vice Chairman Seamus Garrity said.
In a debate on illegal immigration on Facebook, Karen Speitel wrote:
“All illegals should have to work like slaves for free for every single citizen who came here the right way! Shame on the sneaky, lawless dregs who have no respect for the law and how hard real citizens have had to work to become legal.”
In another post, Speitel wrote: “I’ve been in LA a loooong [sic] time and the distruction [sic] I see all over is from Mexicans.”
“I was so surprised and so taken aback because I know this person who wrote these things and used that language,” Garrity said.
According to Garrity, the council received angry emails from Silver Lake residents who said her comments were racist and offensive. At a council meeting Wednesday night, some members asked her to resign, but she stood her ground.
“She was talking about how it’s not fair to judge a person based on one thing they say,” Garrity said.
Speitel said she didn’t resign Wednesday night because she didn’t want people to assume she was racist. But she decided to step down Thursday. She said in a statement that she never meant any of the comments and went on to say:
“I feel terrible about the things I said that have hurt people on the original post, all of the members of the community that have been made aware of my posts and feel equally sorry for the council becoming involved and the embarrassment.”
“The neighborhood council, we should be talking about community outreach and positive things,” Garrity said, “I’m glad the message got across.”
Karen Speitel’s complete letter of apology can be read by clicking here.