Media Contact

Meredith Curtis Goode, media@aclu-md.org, 443-310-9946

February 27, 2019

MEDIA STATEMENT

ACLU Calls for Delegate Lisanti to Resign After Lawmaker Describes Prince George's County as "N--er District"

ANNAPOLIS – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland is calling on Delegate Mary Ann Lisanti (D-Harford County) to resign following public revelation that she referred to Prince George’s County as the “n—er district” and that she further maintained that “everyone” has used that racial slur. Del. Lisanti has demonstrated that she clearly cannot and does not represent the interests of Black residents of her district, let alone Black residents across Maryland, nor the interests of any Marylanders who care about fairness and racial equity.

The following can be attributed to Dana Vickers Shelley, Executive Director of the ACLU of Maryland:

“We join Marylanders from across the state who are calling for Del. Mary Ann Lisanti to resign immediately. The ACLU is committed not only to defending people’s rights but also to calling out and upending systems that perpetuate white supremacy in our institutions, like the General Assembly. We should never accept blatant racism from anyone, much less our elected leaders.

“No, Del. Lisanti, not everyone uses that word. It’s the most pernicious, vile, and hateful word of all. That word is part of a legacy of intentional violence and oppression perpetrated by white people for centuries, especially here in Maryland. Equating racial slurs with curse words shows ignorance and disregard for our history.

“Del. Lisanti not only said the racial slur publicly, denigrating the majority Black constituents of her colleagues from Prince George’s County, but also does not seem to think it is unusual to use the slur. This raises grave concerns about her ability to honorably represent Black residents of Harford County, and all residents across the State who care about fairness and racial equity. All of Del. Lisanti’s constituents deserve to have an elected leader who respects them and takes seriously their needs when making policy decisions that directly impact their lives.

“Del. Lisanti, you must step down.”

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