Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D-Harford), who is white, apologized Tuesday for using a racial slur to describe a majority-black district in Maryland.
The Washington Post reported that last month Lisanti allegedly told a white colleague that campaigning in Prince George’s County was akin to a “nigger district”. Prince County has a population that is 65% Black. Harford, which Lisanti represents, is 80% white.
Lisanti claimed that she apologized for the obscenity weeks ago.
“I am sickened that a word that is not in my vocabulary came out of my mouth,” she said in a statement. “It does not represent my belief system, my life’s work or what is my heart.”
Lisanti said she would undergo racial sensitivity training.
“I understand that the use of inappropriate and insensitive language is not acceptable under any circumstance,” she wrote in her statement. “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.”
Lisanti’s desire to make amends is in sharp contrast to her attitude last month. She told the Post that everryone used slurs.
“I’m sure everyone has used it,” she told the Post. “I’ve used the f-word. I used the Lord’s name in vain.”
The Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland received an apology Monday. However, Lisanti claimed she did not remember using the offensive term. The mea culpa was deemed “inadequate” by the Black Caucus.
“It is clear Delegate Lisanti is unsuited to continue in a position of leadership in the Maryland General Assembly,” the black caucus statement said. “The use of a derogatory term exhibits that she does not hold the requisite contrition to be entrusted in a leadership role moving forward.”
Lisanti also apologized to the entire House Democratic Caucus Tuesday and agreed to step down as chair of the unemployment insurance subcommittee on the House Economic Matters Committee after meeting with House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel).