The politician said she didn't remember much of the night in question when she allegedly said it, but admitted to saying the slur in the past.
A Democratic delegate from Maryland is in hot water after being accused of using a racial slur while conversing with a fellow colleague. Mary Ann Listani and a White associate were reportedly having a conversation about campaigning in Prince George County, an area whose demographic is approximately 60 percent Black. According to The Washington Post, Lisanti told her acquaintance that focusing on the area would be akin to campaigning in a "n****r district."
Lisanti was confronted by committee members regarding the accusation and instead of outright denying that she ever made the statement, as many do, she has openly apologized. "I understand that the use of inappropriate and insensitive language is not acceptable under any circumstance,” Lisanti said in a statement. "I’m 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 [my] constituents. I pray for forgiveness. I’m sickened that a word that is not in my vocabulary came out of my mouth,” Listani stated. “It does not represent my belief system, my life’s work or what’s my heart."
The lawmaker also announced that she would be leaving her position within the unemployment insurance subcommittee on the House Economic Matters Committee. When asked by The Washington Post if she'd ever used that word in the past she said, “I’m sure everyone has used it. I’ve used the f-word. I used the Lord’s name in vain."
Maryland Del. Darryl Barnes who chairs the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland suggested that it might be time for Lisanti to step down completely. 'This is not a one-time incident,” he told HuffPost. “This is a behavioral pattern â those are her words. She has to take a real close look in the mirror and do a judgment call … and decide whether she should stay in the General Assembly or if should she move on.”
“We know she is one of our colleagues, we know she is a Democrat, but party has nothing to do with the hatred and bigotry that comes out of someone’s mouth,” said Barnes. "There is no place in the House of Delegates for that type of language to be used. It is unacceptable, it is offensive and it is very hurtful.”