Mary Ann Lisanti, a white Maryland Democrat legislator, is apologizing to black lawmakers for referring to a county as “n***r district,” but claims “everyone” has used the racial slur.
Delegate Lisanti reportedly used the racist slur to describe Prince George’s County — which is 62 percent African American — while conversing with a colleague during an after-hours gather at a bar in Annapolis.
According to the Washington Post, Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland confronted the Democrat legislator, whose district includes Harford County, over the alleged slur.
Caucus chair Del. Darryl Barnes (D) of Prince George’s County, told the Post that Lisanti was “contrite” when pressed about the comment, calling her reaction “really disturbing.”
“She apologized several times,” said Barnes. “She recognizes how she has hurt so many within the caucus, and she hoped to repent from this.”
“She said that she doesn’t remember fully what happened, but she recognizes what happened,” he added.
In a statement, House Speaker Michael Busch demanded Lisanti “face the consequences of her behavior.”
“There is no place in the House of Delegates for any racial slurs — or slurs of any kind in society in general,” the Democrat from Anne Arundel added.
While Lisanti did not respond to requests for comment from several news outlets, the Harford lawmaker did tell the Post that she does not remember using the racist slur — before claiming she was “sure everyone has used it.”
“I’ve used the f-word. I used the Lord’s name in vain,” she added.
Reports of the incident come as Democrats in the neighboring state of Virginia are still reeling from several racially-driven controversies. Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) is still fighting for his political life after a 1984 medical yearbook photo emerged of him and another individual wearing blackface and Ku Klux Klan attire. The photo was first reported by Big League Politics and later verified by the Post. Northam denies being in the photo but has admitted to donning blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume. Mark Herring, the state’s Democrat attorney general, has also admitted wearing blackface at a party while an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia.