Council Member Rod Tam Censured for Racial Slur - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Council Member Rod Tam Censured for Racial Slur

By Mari-Ela David

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Members of Hawaii's Hispanic community confronted Honolulu City Council Member Rod Tam about a racial slur he made during a Zoning Committee Meeting on May 13.

On Wednesday, they urged the Council to reprimand him.

The Council voted to censure Tam, a move Tam himself voted in favor of.

Representatives from the Hispanic community who testified at the meeting had some harsh words for Tam.

One person said censuring Tam isn't enough, that he should be stripped of his title as Chair of the Zoning Committee.

Tam apologized once again.

"People say why? Aren't you going to be on the defensive? What is there to defend? I publicly said that I made a mistake in terms of how people may react toward this term. Although it's a legal term, I guess I have to be more politically correct," said Tam.

 "We are all human beings, can you not forgive?" Council Member Romy Cachola asked Marie Villa, the President of Latin Business Hawaii.

"He tried to give excuses for why he used that word. If he's used it once, then he's used it other times and that sir is derogatory and racial," said Villa.

Tam and reps from Hawaii's Hispanic community have agreed to hold a meeting so they could try and reconcile.

Council Member Charles Djou introduced the resolution to censure Tam, which is basically an official statement saying the Council frowns on his use of the racial slur.

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