“N—– district” comment unacceptable
(BALTIMORE – February 26, 2019) – Harford County Delegate Mary Ann Lisanti is clearly unqualified to be considered a leader and needs to resign from office. There are no two ways about it.
She is in the hot seat for saying publicly that a colleague “was door-knocking in a n—– district.”
I do not care for an apology, just a resignation.
Even more, all Maryland elected officials as well as the Maryland Democratic Party need to push this resignation.
While our elected officials in Annapolis are taken by surprise, there needs to be swift action and no apathy.
The Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland issued a statement that said Lisanti is “unsuited to continue in a position of leadership” and how it has been receiving calls for her resignation. The Caucus has asked House Speaker Michael Busch to “move swiftly” in reprimanding her and the Caucus suggests “sensitivity training” for her.
I think that is a safe response, but I’m not buying it. In my book, Lisanti has got to go.
Here’s what the Maryland Democratic Party’s official statement stated:
Maryland Democratic Party Announces New Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative
MDP Chair Applauds Anne Arundel County Public Schools For Diversity Training Requirement
Annapolis, MD—In light of rising incidents of hate crimes and displays of general ignorance, insensitivity, and intolerance, the Maryland Democratic Party announced today that it will be adopting a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative to strengthen the values of inclusion within the party, and make party operatives more effective at serving the diverse communities of Maryland. The Maryland Democratic Party also applauds Anne Arundel County Public Schools for making diversity training a graduation requirement. Following this announcement, Maryland Democratic Party Chair Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings issued the following statement:
“We applaud Anne Arundel County Public Schools for approving the new requirement that students complete a diversity training class before graduation. The prevention of racism, cultural insensitivity, antisemism, islamophobia, homophobia, xenophobia, ableism, misogyny, sexism, and sexual assault starts by teaching our children to respect the dignity and humanity inherent in all people. We believe that this bold step taken by our public schools will become a model for others to follow elsewhere in our state and across the nation.
Political parties also have a role to play in promoting cross-cultural understanding and building community across perceived differences. Our nation has become a pluralistic, multi-cultural society where people of all backgrounds have gained social and political rights and established a legitimate ownership stake. To see this in action, look no further than our own state: nearly half the population of Maryland is made of up ethnicities other than white. As such, the ability to understand, navigate, and respect people of different backgrounds, beliefs and cultures is now a strategic democratic imperative that must be understood and honored by elected officials and public servants of all stripes.
That’s why we are announcing today that the Maryland Democratic Party will be adopting a new initiative to strengthen our party on the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We need our current and future elected officials, campaign operatives, and volunteers to be more effective and efficient in engaging and serving ALL communities of our state.”
The Maryland Democratic Party’s new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative includes the following new directives:
Making guidance on diversity, equity, and inclusion a mandatory component of all political trainings offered by the Maryland Democratic Party
Integrating culturally appropriate materials and outreach into our year-round community engagement and mobilization strategy
Implementing a diversity in hiring and contracting policy as a fundamental aspect of party operations
Promoting dignity and respect for all human beings as a core value of the state party
Once again, I am reminded that African Americans are targeted by the Democrats every election. The Democratic Party puts up signs in the black community that read “Vote for the Democrats”. What’s implied is that Republicans are the “boogie man” and racist.
In a 2-to-1 Democratic state where our President is not seen as a friend of African Americans, the road for Democratic leaders to garner African American voter support should be relatively easy .
Yet, Lisanti felt comfortable enough to make such an ignorant statement. According to Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, who is African American, “It’s outrageous!”
He added, “And she and the Democrats seem okay with her response.”
I wholeheartedly agree. Our Democratic leaders should be demanding nothing short of a resignation.
According to Marvin “Doc” Cheatham, President of the Matthew Henson Neighborhood Association, “Clearly, it is a quote that mandates her addressing it.”
He added, “Even more importantly, she needs to resign. There is no excuse she can give to substantiate such language.”
When asked about black elected officials who have gone silent on this hot issue in Annapolis, he replied, “It shows they are the type of African Americans we put in Annapolis that do us a great disservice.”
Personally, I’m all for political politeness, but this is not a time for caving in to weakness. Maryland’s elected officials need to grow a set and remove this person from elected office immediately. Her actions are inexcusable. (Period).