From the Republican Central Committee of Harford County:
Harford County RCCHC Chair calls for resignation of Delegate Lisanti of Harford County District 34A.
While we live in a society of second chances, and I believe everyone deserves a second chance; however, I feel the sum of Delegate Lisanti’s actions show a lack of remorse and/or understanding of the issues involved.
It took her several weeks following the incident to meet with the Black Caucus and only after the use of the racial slur was publicly brought to light. In her initial statement to the Washington Post she did not take responsibility but stated: “I don’t recall much of that evening” and when asked if she ever used a racial slur she stated: “I’m sure I have…. I’m sure everyone has used it…”. This is highly offensive language to the vast majority of us who certainly have not and do not use this racial slur in private or publicly.
I feel Delegate Lisanti can no longer effectively provide representation to the diverse district 34A and for this reason I join with the Harford County Democratic Central Committee Chair and call for the immediate resignation of her legislative seat.
Jeffery McBride, Chairman
Republican Central Committee of Harford County
From Progressive Maryland:
PROGRESSIVE MARYLAND CALLS FOR MARY ANN LISANTI’S RESIGNATION
Larry Stafford, executive director of Progressive Maryland, made the following statement calling for the resignation of Mary Ann Lisanti:
“Progressive Maryland calls for Mary Ann Lisanti to resign following both the allegation of racist speech and her tone deaf statements following the revelation of the original incident. Lisanti has lost her ability to credibly represent the people of her district and make policy for all Marylanders. Anyone who disrespects African Americans — as Mary Ann Lisanti clearly does — has no business serving in the Maryland General Assembly.
“There are issues pending before the Maryland General Assembly that have serious implications for people of color. For example, the $15 minimum wage bill that will be voted on by the House of Delegates has been amended with weakening policies that disproportionately affect workers of color. Based on Lisanti’s comments, she shouldn’t vote on these measures.
“Racism is perpetuated in a million ways, overt and covert, including racist speech and racist action. As with the hateful Jim Crow laws, racism can be expressed in policy. Our hope is that this ugly incident challenges the Maryland General Assembly to create an equitable minimum wage bill that address past injustices and includes all low wage workers, as well as a legislative body where all Marylanders are considered and treated equally.”
From the Harford County Caucus of African-American Leaders:
DELEGATE MARY ANN LISANTI MUST RESIGN
The Harford County Caucus of African-American Leaders (HCCAAL) demands the immediate resignation of Mary Ann Lisanti from her position as a State Delegate (District 34A) in the General Assembly of Maryland.
The HCCAAL recognizes that all people have vices, and that the consumption of alcohol may diminish inhibitions or loosen tongues. But in this case, we believe that Ms. Lisanti has revealed her inner beliefs and attitude, and we find them, as well as her words and behavior, appalling and unacceptable.
A representative (whether a delegate or a state senator) must, first and foremost, REPRESENT her district, and in this case, no one who harbors and holds sentiments so opposed to common decency, so ignorant of an understanding of the electoral process, and so hardened against the true and deserving desires of the people of her district and of Prince George’s County, can represent a district in this county and this state.
The language she used was an example of the worst racist and demeaning thinking. It is unforgivable, no matter what the circumstances surrounding its utterance. But perhaps worse, the thoughts and opinions behind the statement uttered reveal Ms. Lisanti to be brutally insensitive and lacking in awareness—characteristics we must not permit any elected official to hold.
Amidst our disappointment, it is imperative that she acts in the best interest of her district and vacate her office. During this time of national discord, heightened ethnic tensions and increased hate crimes, the Caucus cannot afford to be complacent in any acceptance of racial slurs from elected officials. This is not the time, nor has it ever been, to provide a “free pass” to anyone who has steered so wayward as to not be cognizant of better judgment. As we urgently call for her immediate resignation, we also hope that Mary Ann Lisanti will build upon her professional acumen not just by taking sensitivity training, but also by arriving at a true understanding and appreciation of the needs and interests of a diverse constituency.
The Harford County Caucus of African-American Leaders is convened by a diverse body of leaders within Harford County who represent business, clergy, educators, parents, fraternal organizations, professionals and community advocates. We are a non-partisan organization driven to facilitate a wide range of interests on the behalf of people of color within Harford County.
From Harford County government:
Statement on Del. Lisanti from Harford County Executive Barry Glassman
Harford County Executive today issued the following statement:
“I am deeply disappointed in Del. Lisanti and concur with the calls for her resignation coming from her constituents and leaders in Maryland’s African American community.”
From J.D. Russell:
I am outraged at the use of the “N” word to describe an entire community by our Delegate. It is both shocking and disturbing to see the continued support of Del. Mary Ann Lisanti by Del. Steve Johnson, who is from the same Harford County district.
I am disgusted by the lack of immediate and unanimous calls for her resignation from some leaders in Harford County. While the list below shows some of the people and organizations calling for the Delegate’s resignation, the silence by many is disconcerting. Silence to racism is consent to racism. When it happens, it must be called out by every elected official and community leader if we are ever to defeat it.
The initial indifference of the Delegate in the initial Washington Post article (*1) by not apologizing and claiming a lack of recollection, then the admission to the Delegate’s regular use of the “F” word and taking the Lord’s name in vain as regular means of terms used by “all,” shows a complete lack of respect for those the word has been used to demean and degrade. The lack of repentance and indifference shown to the CBS reporter in the halls of our state house is just as disgraceful (*2).
A simple press release will not suffice. An apology will not heal. Removal from office is the only cure to ending institutional racism.
Those calling for resignation so far:
– Dr. Maya Rockeymoore-Cummings, Chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party
– Howard County Register of Wills Byron McFarlane
– Howard County Councilwoman Liz Walsh
– Howard County Councilman Opel Jones
– Baltimore City Council candidate Christopher Ervin
– Delegate Stephanie Smith
– Delegate Melissa Wells
– Delegate Alice Cain
– Delegate Gabriel Acevero
– Delegate Vaughn Stewart
– Delegate Jessica Feldmark
– Former House of Delegates Candidate Ysela Bravo-Schwetje
– Prince George’s County Board of Education Member Ed Burroughs
– Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy
– Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks
– Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee At-Large Christopher Luis Stevenson
– Maryland State NAACP Y&CD President Chanel Ferguson
– The Legislative Black Caucus
– Center for American Islamic Relations
– Maryland State Conference of the NAACP
– American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland
– African American Democratic Clubs of Maryland Inc.
– Ujima People’s Progress Party
– Maryland Democratic Party
– Maryland Republican Party
– Governor Larry Hogan
– Harford County Executive Barry Glassman