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Lisanti's return to State House is unacceptable

The House of Delegates publicly censured Harford County Del. Mary Ann Lisanti for her use of a racial slur, which members said “brought dishonor to the entire General Assembly of Maryland.” After the vote, the Democrat said she would not resign. (Ulysses Muñoz / Baltimore Sun video)

I got a very sick feeling when I opened The Baltimore Sun and saw the photo of Del. Mary Ann Lisanti back at the State House in Annapolis (“Harford leaders ask if Lisanti can still effectively effectively represent them after censure; others offer support,” March 5). This elected delegate violated the trust of the people of Maryland when she casually dropped a vile racial slur at an Annapolis bar, and this reprehensible behavior disqualifies her from the honor of standing among our state legislators, making decisions that affect all of us.

Ms. Lisanti’s round of apologies is not sufficient to restore constituents’ trust. In fact, her jumbled explanation about using the n-word that included her egregious idea that she is “sure everyone has used it” is what truly sticks in my craw. I am an older white woman who grew up in a conservative county and I’ve lived and worked in Maryland my entire life, and yet I have never been in any arena in which it is considered common or acceptable to use or hear this racial slur.

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It is unfortunate that this incident may negate legislative work Ms. Lisanti has done in the past, but the General Assembly has many other, non-racist representatives who will pick up where she left off. Mary Ann Lisanti demonstrated a level of conscious and unconscious racism that is unacceptable, and she must heed the many, many calls for her resignation.

Susan Lloyd Lattimore

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