Mary Ann Lisanti, a white Maryland Democrat legislator, is apologizing to black lawmakers for referring to a county as “n***r district,” but claims “everyone” has used the racial slur. She also told the Black caucus she couldn’t remember.
A democratic lawmaker (Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D) who was caught red handed using the n-word to describe the Prince George’s County in Annapolis has been stripped of her leadership position and will undergo sensitivity training, the House speaker’s office announced Tuesday.
Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D-Harford), who is white, issued a public apology Tuesday afternoon, after apologizing to the executive committee of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland on Monday night and to the House Democratic Caucus on Tuesday morning.
The issue came about due to widespread Institutional racism in Maryland tied to the Maryland legislature and the Maryland court system which has always been used by Maryland’s Democratic Party leadership for legal lynching.
However, Maryland voters on the street want more than an apology from the racist delegate. First, they want Governor Larry Hogan to speak out…. “Where is the Governor on this to show some real leadership? He’s got something to say about everything else local,” stated counsel Wyndal Gordon. Above all, they want Del. Mary Ann Lisanti to resign her seat ASAP.
Many Maryland citizens reacted with anguish on social media. One concerned voter Mr. J. Wyndal Gordon stated in part the following, ….“if Delegate Lisanti doesn’t resign or is not removed from elected office, the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus needs to disband, and somebody needs to shake the sh*t out of the Democratic party leadership. If there ever was a time to fight blatant fat-headed, beady-eyed, bigotry on this level, it is now. I can’t believe the Caucus recommended “Racial Sensitivity Training”. What??”
Institutional racism (also known as systemic racism) is a form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions. It is reflected in disparities regarding wealth, income, criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power and education, among other factors.
The term “institutional racism” was coined and first used in 1967 by Stokely Carmichael (later known as Kwame Ture) and Charles V. Hamilton in Black Power: The Politics of Liberation. Carmichael and Hamilton wrote that while individual racism is often identifiable because of its overt nature, institutional racism is less perceptible because of its “less overt, far more subtle” nature. Institutional racism “originates in the operation of established and respected forces in the society, and thus receives far less public condemnation than [individual racism]”.
Institutional racism was defined by Sir William Macpherson in the 1999 Lawrence report (UK) as: “The collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their color, culture, or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behavior which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people.”
“This fight is not over, and it is a fight we can win”, stated one Maryland parent Sue Jordan. “We have some courageous leaders in our struggle, the first and foremost who are part of the Maryland legislature who are prepared to take this issue heads on,” she added. “We also have some allies in local politics and in the mainstream media, who have given these stories a broader exposure and credibility,” she concluded.
Most importantly, we have each other. African Americans in the 1950s and ’60s led a mass movement to overcome a brutally hostile Democratic Party machine and turn the political tide against an entrenched system of legalized racism which continues today in Maryland. As we reported yesterday, many of these racist entanglement continues to date without consequences.
Corruption is born in a society when its citizens fail to believe that the nation is a common property of all its citizens and of generation yet to come. Whenever you leave truth, you are giving birth to corruption, no matter how simple or how complicated the matter is. Del. Mary Ann Lisanti’s behavior, which was documented in PUBLIC by other lawmakers, does not excuse legislators who are elected by the people.
According to Rick, a county voter on social media as reported earlier, “It’s a tip of the iceberg of what occurred within the Maryland Democratic Party during the 2018 general elections in Maryland and what is yet to come.” He concluded, “Nothing works in isolation. It’s time to change these conditions for the sake of the future generations and to work together.”
Below are samples of social media posting currently in circulation on the issue:
Pamela M. Hawk She forgot to add, THEE most affluent county in the Country that is predominantly African American.
Antioinette Myles When a person show you who they really are,believe them!
Nikkie Haney And we sit in wonder why NO African American especially male gets a fair trial in Harford County! They still have slave owners pictures in the Circuit Court!!
Neal Seckler I’m with you Jon. There is no place in this world for that. She needs to go immediately. Sensitivity training is not an option for someone like that.
Roxy Umphery Her vote is not to be trusted. She should be removed immediately! The Harford County delegation appears racist as a whole as long as she stays.
J. Wyndal Gordon APOLOGY NOT ACCEPTED, B*TCH: If this repugnant, rat-faced, racist from [Hate]ford County, Maryland, doesn’t resign or is not removed from elected office, the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus needs to disband, and somebody needs to shake the sh*t out of the Democratic party leadership. If there ever was a time to fight blatant fat-headed, beady-eyed, bigotry on this level, it is now. I can’t believe the Caucus recommended “Racial Sensitivity Training”. What?? GTFOH. And where are the rest of the flat-footed Democrats to condemn her statement?!?!
Where is the Governor on this to show some real leadership? He’s got something to say about everything else local.
Lisanti needs to resign NOW!! She is an embarrassment to our State. Prince George’s Delegation!! Are you offended enough to not let this go? Baltimore City Delegation!! Has this not passed your threshold of racial intolerance? You mean Mike Busch came out with a stronger statement of condemnation than our very own Legislative Black Caucus? I’m so embarrassed and humiliated by the lack of leadership in the Maryland General Assembly.
First, this ugly woman said ““I am sickened that a word [N*gger] that is not in my vocabulary came out of my mouth,” but forgot she’d earlier said “sure [I’ve used the word N*gger before]” and then doubled down by saying “I’m sure everyone has used it.”
God save our State and get rid of this Democratic-Nazi elected official from Harford County. –The Warrior Lawyer! #thewarriorlawyer, #GetGordononthephone
Janna Parker Please please please don’t let racist Democrats get a pass simply because they are Democrats.
Maryland Matters reports:
Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D-Harford) at the end of Tuesday’s House of Delegates session. Photo by Bruce DePuyt
By Bruce DePuyt and Danielle E. Gaines
A Maryland lawmaker who used a racial slur while talking with colleagues at an Annapolis bar in January has resigned from a leadership post under pressure from the House speaker and the Legislative Black Caucus, but she signaled that she intends to remain in office, despite the uproar her remarks have provoked.
Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D-Harford) released a statement on Tuesday afternoon apologizing for her “word choice.” She also said she has agreed to participate in sensitivity training.
“I understand that the use of inappropriate and insensitive language is not acceptable under any circumstance,” the lawmaker said. “I am sorry for the hurt I have caused and will do everything I can to help heal that pain and regain the trust of my colleagues and constituents.”
“I pray for forgiveness.”
The Washington Post reported on Monday that members of the Legislative Black Caucus met with Lisanti on Monday night “over allegations that she told a white colleague, during an after-hours gathering at an Annapolis cigar bar, that when he campaigned in Prince George’s on behalf of a candidate last fall he was door-knocking in a ’n—– district.’”
Lisanti apologized to the caucus’ leadership team for her use of the offensive term even as she said she didn’t recall using it, a conflicting explanation that appeared not to calm the controversy.
Asked by the Post whether she had ever used the term, Lisanti replied: “I’m sure I have. . . . I’m sure everyone has used it. I’ve used the F-word. I used the Lord’s name in vain.”
House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) issued a statement on Tuesday after meeting with leaders of the black caucus.
“While I believe her apology was heartfelt, the damage among her colleagues and the public has been done,” Busch said.
The speaker said he has removed Lisanti from her post as head of the unemployment insurance subcommittee because “I believe that leaders in the House need to be able to bring people together — not tear them apart.”
Members of the Legislative Black Caucus stand to be recognized on the House floor Tuesday. Photo by Bruce DePuyt
In a letter distributed by the speaker’s office, the black caucus accused Lisanti of a “blatant act of racism” that had marred Black History Month, “a month which celebrates the rich history, culture and progressions of African-Americans.”
“While Delegate Lisanti did provide an apology for her bold and offensive actions,” the letter continued, “we feel as though her apology is woefully inadequate.”
The letter, signed by Del. Darryl Barnes (D-Prince George’s), the caucus chairman, said Lisanti is “unsuited to continue in a position of leadership in the Maryland General Assembly. We have been receiving calls for her resignation, removal of a subcommittee chairmanship, and to be censured on the House floor.”
“We are asking the speaker to move swiftly in reprimanding her in a disciplinary manner. The use of a derogatory term exhibits that she does not hold the requisite contrition to be entrusted in a leadership role moving forward.”
Whether Lisanti will ultimately be censured or pressured to resign remained unclear at day’s end.
Fifty-six members of the 188-member General Assembly belong to the Legislative Black Caucus, a record high. On the House floor Tuesday, a dozen members of the caucus stood to make announcements, including recognition of colleagues’ birthdays and committee, subcommittee, delegation and caucus announcements.
It was seen as a way of noting the Lisanti controversy without directly addressing it.
Del. Jheanelle Wilkins (D) – who, with Dels. Charlotte Crutchfield (D) and Pam Queen (D) became the first black women from Montgomery County elected to the House in 2018 – read a Black History Month tribute to the late Sen. Verda Welcome, who was the first black woman to be elected to the House of Delegates and then, later, the first black woman to be elected to any state senate seat in the United States.
“She had many firsts, but she also was not the last,” Wilkins said.
During her remarks, Wilkins asked the members of the Legislative Black Caucus who represented any first or who had blazed a trail in some way to stand alongside her on the floor.
“I would like to ask all members of the black caucus to stand as we recognize and commemorate our Black History Month and our contributions to the United States and in this chamber and stand unified in our commitment to bettering the lives of African Americans and all residents of Maryland,” Wilkins said, as members of the caucus joined her in standing, to a round of applause.
In his statement later in the day, Busch held out the possibility of redemption for Lisanti, but took pains to make no promises regarding her future.
“I hope that through the sensitivity training that Delegate Lisanti has agreed to and the help of her colleagues, she will develop a greater understanding of the impact that she has had on her fellow legislators and the entire House of Delegates,” Busch wrote.
“Like anyone who has made a mistake, she has the opportunity for redemption – but it is her responsibility to do so and earn back the trust of her colleagues.”
On the same day that the Lisanti news dominated the discourse in and around the State House Tuesday, the Maryland Democratic Party announced a new “diversity training requirement.”
The party’s initiative would make diversity, equity and inclusion a mandatory part of all training offered by the MDP and would make “diversity in hiring and contracting [a] fundamental aspect of party operations,” among other actions.
Without referencing the Lisanti controversy directly, the party’s announcement said the initiative was prompted by “rising incidents of hate crimes and displays of general ignorance, insensitivity and intolerance.” The last words in that sentence of the party’s news release linked to Monday’s Washington Post report.
Via Maryland Matters
Location of Harford County is shown in red within a Maryland Map