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Latino groups are demanding the ouster of a Trenton councilwoman after she made the latest in a series of xenophobic and otherwise controversial comments.
Councilwoman Robin Vaughn made the latest remarks in a public meeting, telling Latino merchants that “You have to follow the rules. We’re not in a banana republic.” In another exchange, she asked Trenton Business Administrator Adam Cruz, “Do you not understand English?”
Cruz responded to the latter comment with, “Just for the record, I speak three languages: English, Italian and Spanish,” to which Vaughn responded, “You’re not that smart. You’re not that bright.”
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Members of the Latino Merchants Association gathered outside City Hall to ask for her resignation. They were joined by Councilman Joseph Harrison, whom Vaughn called an “idiot” during last week’s council meeting. All said said they are tired of Vaughn’s history of disparaging comments.
“It’s not the first time. She has made offensive comments against homosexuals, against Jews, now against Latinos,” LMA member Manny Hernández said.
Indeed, Vaughn last year went on a belligerent rant against Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora, who is openly gay, calling him a “f------ pedophile” during a meeting about COVID-19 funds. The New Jersey Globe published audio clips in which, during the same meeting, Vaughn told Harrison to, “Continue to suck Reed Gusciora’s d---- all you want to, mother------."
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In 2019, NJ.com reported, Vaughn defended a colleague who used the phrase “Jew her down” during a lawsuit.
Vaughn’s latest comments also drew rebuke from Gov. Phil Murphy.
“These xenophobic comments are an affront to our core values of diversity and inclusion, and I condemn them in the strongest possible terms,” Murphy wrote on Twitter.
NBC10 sister station Telemundo 62 attempted to reach Vaughn for comment, but she did not reply.