Hispanic groups to hold rally against Tam for slur
Hispanic community members, angered by Councilman Rod Tam's use of an ethnic slur during a meeting last month, will hold a rally at 3 p.m. Thursday outside Honolulu Hale calling for Tam's removal as chairman of a powerful committee.
Tam apologized for using the term "wetbacks," saying he had not known it was offensive when referring to undocumented workers from Mexico during a May 13 Zoning Committee meeting.
Marie Villa, editor of Hawaii Hispanic News, said that Hispanic community leaders, meeting over the weekend, have decided the apology was not sufficient and want Tam removed as Zoning Committee chairman.
Council Chairwoman Barbara Marshall, who has the sole power to remove Tam as committee chairman, said she will not do so because Tam did not used the phrase maliciously and has vowed never to utter it again.
The Council rebuked Tam last week for his comments.
However, Villa said that is not enough. She said she has received dozens of e-mails and phone calls expressing hatred against Mexicans and undocumented workers since media reports of Tam's comments last week.