The latest racist comments from the Trenton Councilor have led to reprisals from Latinos and black lawmakers
Trenton councilor Robin Vaughn is back in hot water, and Black and Brown lawmakers issued a forceful statement grumbling for asking the town’s Latino executive if he spoke English.
The Trentonian first reported that Vaughn “attacked” Adam Cruz, the city’s administrator, and then asked, “Don’t you understand English?”
The New Jersey Legislature Latino and Black Caucuses beat Vaughn in a joint statement but stopped short of demanding her resignation.
“The councilor’s inappropriate and hateful language is biased and anti-Latin in tone and language without apology,” the factions said. “New Jersey is better than that and expects more of its officials. Because of its diversity and multicultural differences, our state is an ideal place to live. “
This is the third time Vaughn has made abusive public statements – and the third time political leaders have denounced them.
In 2020, a 30-minute tirade of homophobic slurs kicked off during a COVID-19 briefing by the city council. Her attacks were directed against Reed Gusciora, the openly gay mayor of Trenton, and she accused some of her fellow councilors of “sucking the mayor’s cock”.
That led Governor Phil Murphy, US Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and others to call for their resignation. Vaughn apologized but refused to resign.
In 2019, Vaughn defended a councilor who said “Jew them down” over a dispute settlement.
Latino and black lawmakers said Vaughn’s “rhetoric was used to uphold long-held and dangerous stereotypes that must be put to bed once and for all.”
“Your comments are damaging the reputation of our capital and our state,” they said. “The bourgeois discourse and mutual respect for one another are the basis of a self-governing society.”
Legislators said there was “no obligation to defend their credentials because of their cultural background, and certainly not because of their accent,” the two factions noted. “Trenton Business Administrator Adam Cruz is a seasoned and respected civil servant who stands on his own.”
Murphy slammed Vaughn for her latest xenophobic testimony, but Vaughn responded by attacking the Democratic governor.
Vaughn was elected 2-1 in a 2018 runoff election after the deposed Council President Zachary Chester in the city’s West Ward.
She is up for re-election in a non-partisan election in May 2022, in which democratic leaders and lawyers from the Latino, gay and Jewish communities will have the opportunity to bring a campaign force and boots to the ground to depose them.