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Democratic lawmaker stripped of leadership post for using the N-word to describe a district in her home state
Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Democratic lawmaker stripped of leadership post for using the N-word to describe a district in her home state

She says she's 'sure everyone has used it'

A Democratic state lawmaker in Maryland has been stripped of her leadership post, after allegations emerged that she described the area of Prince George's County as a "n***** district" to colleagues last month.

What are the details?

Harford County Del. Mary Ann Lisanti reportedly used the term while out with a group for happy hour at an Annapolis cigar bar. According to The Washington Post, people present said Lisanti told a fellow white colleague that when he campaigned for a candidate in the county ahead of the midterm elections, he was door-knocking in a "n***** district."

Lisanti initially said she didn't remember making the comment (or much else from that evening), but apologized to leaders of Maryland's Legislative Black Caucus when confronted. When asked by the Post earlier this month if she had ever used the N-word, she responded: "I'm sure I have. ... I'm sure everyone has used it. I've used the f-word. I used the Lord's name in vain."

On Tuesday, House Speaker Michael Busch removed Lisanti from her post as chair of the House subcommittee on unemployment insurance, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Busch told the Sun, "I hope that through the sensitivity training that Delegate Lisanti has agreed to and the help of her colleagues, she will develop a greater understanding of the impact that she has had on her fellow legislators and the entire House of Delegates."

He added, "Like anyone who has made a mistake, she has the opportunity for redemption — but it is her responsibility to do so and earn back the trust of her colleagues."

That afternoon, Lisanti issued a statement admitting that she had, indeed, used the word, saying:

I deeply apologize to the citizens of my district, people of Maryland, all of my colleagues in the Maryland General Assembly and everyone reading this for my word choice several weeks ago. I am sickened that a word that is not in my vocabulary came out of my mouth. It does not represent my belief system, my life's work or what is in my heart.

Anything else?

Zilpha Smith, president of the Harford County branch of the NAACP, told the Sun she was fuming over the news.

"We as an African-American community here in Harford County have supported [Lisanti] overwhelmingly to be elected as a delegate to the General Assembly in Annapolis," she said. "This is just appalling. I'm mad. I'm really mad. You never know what people feel in their hearts."

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