Monthly Archives: February 2019

Maryland House censures Lisanti over N-Nation slur; lawmaker remains defiant.

mary-ann-lisanti-1551296923

Delegate Mary Ann Lisanti

Maryland’s House of Delegates unanimously voted 136-0 to censure Del. Mary Ann Lisanti for using a racial slur.

Lisanti, a Democrat who represents Harford County, was disciplined overwhelmingly by her colleagues days after it was reported that she referred to a legislative district in Prince George’s County as “a nigger district.”

Censure typically means that a lawmaker may not serve on a committee, but that they may vote on the floor.

In remarks before the vote Thursday evening, the House’s majority leader, Del. Kathleen Dumais, said Lisanti’s words merited a serious response.

“With this vote, we are saying as a body that racial slurs and racially charged language cannot and will not be tolerated by this house,” she said.

“… It is incumbent upon us not just speak for our own hurt and disappointment at the use of this language, but speak for every one of our constituents, the district in question and every district and every county in Maryland to say that this is not acceptable.”

In terms of disciplinary measures by House leadership, censure falls between a public reprimand and expulsion. Previous disciplinary measures in the body include:

  • Del. Tony McConkey’s 2013 reprimand for working language into a bill that would have directly benefited his real estate business.
  • State Sen. Ulysses Currie’s 2012 censure for failing to report work for a grocery store chain. He was acquitted of federal charges, but an ethics committee found violations.
  • State Sen. Larry Young 1998 expulsion for using his office for personal gain.

Many problems in Maryland emanate from state or Federal institutions in which major crimes involving elected or appointed leaders in positions of power are covered up of wrong doing willfully due to white supremacy in our institutions. A brutally hostile Democratic Party machine over the years has facilitated an entrenched system of legalized racism which continues today. It’s time to change this culture of misusing the court system for legal lynching and the legislature to cover up criminal legislators. Younger generation of leaders currently in various leadership roles must be in the forefront more than ever to demand answers and help change the status quo.

Institutional racism was defined by Sir William Macpherson in the 1999 Lawrence report (UK) as: “The collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their color, culture, or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behavior which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people.”

In a statement Thursday night, House Speaker Michael Busch said Lisanti “has a lot of work to do to rebuild her relationships with her colleagues, her constituents and the people of Maryland.”

“I hope she is ready and prepared to put in the effort for the long road ahead,” he said.

However, Maryland as a state needs to prepare for Change management (sometimes abbreviated as CM) in order to attack and dismantle institutional racism currently in progress within the Maryland legislature, Maryland state agencies, county agencies, Maryland school systems and court system in Maryland. CM defined as  a collective term for all approaches to prepare and support individuals, teams, and organizations in making organizational change is a vital tool in today’s society. Major changes in the coming years will include the Maryland General Assembly, the county councils, Offices of the County Executives, the Maryland governor’s office as a whole and their relationships with various unions around the world.

More to come.

We reprint the report by Washington Post below:

pbox

Lisanti under major water vows to stay in office after racial slur censure. It’s possible she knows much more violations have been committed over the years by others and she might be getting ready to expose various vices in order to change Maryland for the better. Time will tell in the next few weeks. If she does not produce an earthquake to advance positive policy changes in Maryland, she might be expelled.  There are confirmed reports that, racism played a major role in the defeat of democratic nominee Mr. Ben Jealous in the November 2018 general elections.

By Arelis R. Hernández Ovetta Wiggins

The Maryland House of Delegates voted unanimously Thursday to censure Del. Mary Ann Lisanti for referring to a Prince George’s County legislative district as a “n—– district,” a slur that Majority Leader Kathleen M. Dumais said “cannot and will not be tolerated.”

The House voted 137 to 0, with two excused absences, to impose its second-most-severe punishment on Lisanti (D-Harford), who used the racial slur in a conversation with other lawmakers at an after-hours gathering in late January.

Lisanti, who issued a public apology earlier this week, told The Washington Post after the incident that she did not recall making the remark. On Thursday, she said there was no “independent verification” that she had used the slur, even as she accepted responsibility for doing so.

Del. Jay Walker (D-Prince George’s), whose district Lisanti was referring to, was present at the gathering and told The Post he heard the remark and addressed it with Lisanti privately. Other Democratic lawmakers, including some in leadership positions, say lawmakers who heard the remark told them about it as well.

The censure is the first imposed by the House in decades, staffers said. It comes as Lisanti, 51, is resisting calls from House leaders and others across the political spectrum to step down.

“This is a serious situation and it warrants a serious response from this body,” said Dumais (D-Montgomery), her voice emotional. “Outside of elections, the power to discipline members is ours and ours alone.”

Lisanti, one of only a few elected Democrats in mostly white Harford County, told reporters after the vote that she plans to stay in office and work to regain the trust of her constituents and fellow lawmakers.

But she also struck a defiant tone, saying that her colleagues who “heard or thought they overhead an inappropriate word” should have filed an ethics complaint against her instead of speaking to reporters.

Lisanti — who in a statement Tuesday apologized “for my word choice several weeks ago” — said Thursday that some of her critics “rushed to judgment” and “jumped on the bandwagon of condemnation” for political expediency.

“Quitting is easy, but not the road to redemption,” she said. “Staying here, accepting responsibility, is hard work. . . . But I am up for the challenge. And that is why I am staying. Healing begins tomorrow.”

Asked by The Post in early February whether she had ever used the slur, she said: “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.”

The revelation of Lisanti’s remark has sparked outrage across the state and an uproar in the State House. It is the latest race-related embarrassment for Democratic politicians, who were already reeling from revelations in Virginia that Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) decades ago wore blackface. Northam, too, has vowed to stay in office and make amends.

House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) stripped Lisanti of her leadership posts on Tuesday and took away her committee assignments Thursday, leaving her with little to do in the legislature other than testify on proposed legislation and cast votes on bills on the House floor.

Censuring Lisanti was necessary, Busch said, to “protect the integrity of the House.”

“It’s not an easy thing to do,” Busch said, adding that he and other House leaders spoke to Lisanti about the pros and cons of resigning. “It’s a sad day for everybody.”

Resignation, he added, is “her decision — her call to make,” he said.

Before Thursday, the last Maryland lawmaker to be censured was then-Sen. Ulysses Currie, a Prince George’s Democrat, in 2012, after his acquittal on federal bribery and corruption charges.

Del. Michael A. Jackson (D), who chairs the Prince George’s County legislative delegation, said Lisanti’s reluctance to leave office is a distraction that threatens to compromise the integrity of the legislative body and its work.

“You cannot serve effectively and have these biases,” Jackson said. “We are considering legislation that looks at housing conditions, educational equity, the criminal justice system . . . I don’t think she should be in this body.”

If Lisanti were to resign, the Harford County Democratic Central Committee would recommend a replacement for her to Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who would be charged with appointing someone to fill the seat.

In the House on Thursday morning, two Republican colleagues patted Lisanti on the back and gave her a hug as they waited for House leaders to enter the chamber. The session started late, and people familiar with the situation attributed the delay to meetings among House leaders about what steps to take regarding Lisanti’s conduct.

Referring Lisanti’s case to the House Ethics committee did not seem like a good option, lawmakers said, because it was not clear she had violated any ethics law.

House leaders told the Democratic caucus in a closed-door meeting that they would vote for censure, which requires a simply majority to pass. A censure is one step short of expulsion — which would require referral to the ethics committee and a two-thirds vote from the entire chamber.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

***

Lisanti & Annapolis Bosses: Culture of Silence Continues in Annapolis

53224092_2092244417733743_6324746038108225536_n.jpg

(Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D) (left) is pictured with Governor Larry Hogan (Right). There are confirmed reports that, racism played a major role in the defeat of democratic nominee Mr. Ben Jealous in the November 2018 general elections.

By Richard DeShay Elliott

On February 25th, an article from the Washington Post’s Ovetta Wiggins detailed how 2nd term Delegate Mary Ann Lisanti (Democrat, D34A) described District 26 in Prince George’s County as a “nigger district” when a white colleague said they did door knocking there. Her follow up response that “she couldn’t recall” and “that everyone uses that word”, along with her cavalier usage of such an ugly, racist term in front of a racially mixed, bipartisan audience says a lot. The fact that this happened nearly a month ago and not a word was said to the public until now says even more. Let’s put this circumstance in context.

Lisanti’s justification that “I’m sure everyone’s used it” is indicative that this is not a term “outside of her vocabulary”, as her weak apology stated. It shows that she is clearly in overtly racist circles, which helps to explain why white Democrats in Harford County and the Lisanti-Art Helton machine do not support black candidates (Carlos Taylor, Marla Posey-Moss, & Sarahia Benn) as much as they supported Steve Johnson in this past cycle. Hers is a particularly disturbing pattern of thought, as Lisanti’s district is nearly ⅓ black. She won her primary and general elections with black votes, and uses one of the most disgusting and blood-soaked words in the English language to describe us.

Why is Lisanti being so protected by Annapolis? She was being groomed to run for Congress in MD-02, currently represented by Dutch Ruppersberger. Dereck Davis, Prince George’s County corporate Democrat, was present while Lisanti made these remarks and is preparing to run for Speaker of the House. Keep those two names in mind with the donation amounts below. Delegate Luke Clippinger (D46), the new Chair of House Judiciary and presumed future Attorney General candidate, also did door knocking on her behalf during the general. Ask how many of his constituents saw him during the primary election.

Lisanti is also an influential member of the House Economic Matters Committee (chaired by Delegate Dereck E. Davis), which recently gutted the $15 minimum wage bill to exclude agricultural workers and tipped workers: the exact same tactics the Dixiecrats used to water down the New Deal.

However, all of the blame does not go to Delegate Lisanti. For the Republicans AND the black Democrats who were present when she uttered this disgusting statement, why were there no immediate consequences? Why did we have to wait for this rumor to trickle into the press instead of calling her out in General Assembly the next day. This multi-week wait (during Black History Month, no less) shows that neither her apology was sincere nor did the Black Caucus discuss this in earnest prior to the news leak. To party leadership, particularly House Speaker Busch & State Senate President Miller, why are you not leading the calls to right this? Of course, Mike Miller has his own history of racist remarks, including calling Baltimore “a fucking ghetto, shit, worse than inner-city Washington D.C” and his defense of a statue to the Dred v. Scott author Roger Taney. The original response by the Black Caucus and Speaker Busch to give her “sensitivity training” and remove her from her leadership position of the Unemployment Insurance sub-committee was widely viewed as a weak response when even Steve King was reprimanded for his racist statements. The following were in the same space as Lisanti at the time this racist statement was made:

  • Del. Jay Walker (D-Prince George’s), who represents the district Lisanti was allegedly referring to;
  • House Majority Whip Talmadge Branch (D-Baltimore City);
  • Dels. Theresa E. Reilly (R-Harford)
  • Delegate Warren E. Miller (R-Howard)
  • Delegate Carl L. Anderton Jr. (R-Wicomico)
  • State Sen. Brian J. Feldman (D-Montgomery)

In her campaign finance reports during the 2014 & 2018 races, she received a lot of money from a wide variety of corporate PACs, but also plenty of money from Maryland politicians. She received:

Could one wonder if this deluge of money from these elected officials and influential members of the Democratic Party be one of the reasons why party leadership and the rank-and-file are muted in their response? There’s a reason that the freshmen are charging ahead in calling for a resignation, while others have still not even commented. Historically, white Democrats have gotten off with not just racist rhetoric, but racist campaigns. 36 year State Senate President, Senator Thomas V. “Mike” Miller Jr. (D, D27, was asked in a 1983 interview why he was having a $250 fundraiser in Baltimore. He responded: “It helps educate my constituents as to why Baltimore needs the economic help. I mean Baltimore is a goddamn ghetto. It’s worse than inner-city Washington, D.C. It is shit. I hope you’re not going to play this on tape,” Miller then said to the interviewer, laughing nervously. “I mean, it is a war zone, I mean, it’s crack. I mean, it’s these dime bags of PCP. One quarter of every kid is not in school each day. Fifty percent of the kids that start out in school don’t graduate. So looking at things from a statewide perspective, we really have to do things to help.” What was his punishment? Nothing. State Senator Anthony Muse (D26) called for a censure on Miller, after he refused to vote to remove a statue on State House grounds to Roger Taney, the chief author of the horrifically racist Dred v. Scott decision. Because Miller faced no consequences for these actions, it is not surprising that Delegate Lisanti believes she can also walk away from this. At time of writing, the following have called for her resignation publicly and seen by the author:

  • Dr. Maya Rockeymoore-Cummings, Chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party
  • Howard County Register of Wills Byron McFarlane
  • Howard County Councilwoman Liz Walsh (D1)
  • Howard County Councilman Opel Jones (D2)
  • Baltimore City Council candidate Christopher Ervin (District 5)
  • Delegate Stephanie Smith (D45)
  • Delegate Melissa Wells (D40)
  • Delegate Alice Cain (D30)
  • Delegate Gabriel Acevero (D39)
  • Delegate Vaughn Stewart (D19)
  • Delegate Jessica Feldmark (D12)
  • Former House of Delegates Candidate Ysela Bravo-Schwetje
  • Prince George’s County Board of Education Member Ed Burroughs
  • Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy
  • Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks
  • Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee At-Large Christopher Luis Stevenson
  • Maryland State NAACP Y&CD President Chanel Ferguson
  • The Legislative Black Caucus
  • Center for American Islamic Relations
  • Maryland State Conference of the NAACP
  • American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland
  • African American Democratic Clubs of Maryland Inc.
  • Ujima People’s Progress Party
  • Maryland Democratic Party
  • Maryland Republican Party
  • Governor Larry Hogan
  • Harford County Executive Barry Glassman

I join in many to call for the Legislative Black Caucus (which represents nearly ⅓ of the General Assembly) to begin whipping votes for a censure. Both her and Delegate Curt Anderson (D43), who has already been exposed as a sexual harasser, need to resign immediately. However, Lisanti has stated in a statement that she does not plan to resign. Here is a petition to force her resignation.

Richard Deshay Elliott is a Ph. D candidate at Johns Hopkins University, an electoral fellow for Progressive Maryland, the former campaign manager for Allison Berkowitz (District 7) and director of digital strategy for Allison Galbraith (Maryland’s 1st congressional district). You can find him on Twitter at @RichElliottMD.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

***

Bipartisan Calls mount for Democratic lawmaker to resign ASAP over use of racial slur N- Nation

022719+del+mary+ann+lisanti.jpg

Del. Mary Ann Lisanti

ANNAPOLIS, Md.  — The leaders of the Maryland Democratic Party and the state’s Republican Party are supporting calls in a bipartisan version for the resignation of Del. Mary Ann Lisanti after she used a racial slur “Nigger Nation” for African-Americans at an after-hours gathering while smoking cigars in Annapolis.

Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who chairs the state’s Democratic Party, and Republican Party Chairman Dirk Haire, both called on Del. Mary Ann Lisanti to resign ASAP on Wednesday morning through an email and social media outlets circulated widely.

Lisanti, a Democrat, apologized Tuesday for making the comment last month in reference to Prince George’s County, which is majority black.

According to urban dictionary, “Nigger Nation is the wishful prediction that if all the Niggers moved back to Africa, it would form a Nigger Nation in which Niggers can live with Niggers in total peace, Thus leaving the rest of the population free of Niggers! 

This is just a hypothetical idea that will never happen, but is a logical solution.” 

Cummings says African-Americans comprise about a third of voters in Lisanti’s district, and they deserve to be represented by a person who is considerate of their views. Haire says Lisanti’s comment “is beneath the office of Delegate.”

Del. Mary Ann Lisanti told the Post earlier this month that she didn’t recall using the slur, but was “sure everyone has used it.”

Lisanti’s apology stems from allegations she used the slur at a January gathering of Democrat lawmakers, The Post reports:

“Lisanti allegedly made the remark at Annapolis Cigar in late January in front of a small, racially mixed group of lawmakers. Those in attendance at some point during the evening included Del. Jay Walker (D-Prince George’s), who represents the district Lisanti was allegedly referring to; House Majority Whip Talmadge Branch (D-Baltimore City); Dels. Theresa E. Reilly (R-Harford), Warren E. Miller (R-Howard) and Carl L. Anderton Jr. (R-Wicomico); and state Sen. Brian J. Feldman (D-Montgomery).”

“It’s not just Lisanti, but the good negro culture that has black leaders silent,” one social media user said on Facebook. Already the Governor and other leaders who have facilitated shenanigans for years have not been forceful enough. Many problems in Maryland emanate from state or Federal institutions in which major crimes are covered up willfully due to white supremacy in our institutions. A brutally hostile Democratic Party machine over the years has facilitated an entrenched system of legalized racism which continues today. It’s time to change this culture of misusing the court system for legal lynching and the legislature to cover up criminal legislators. Younger generation of leaders currently in various leadership roles must be in the forefront more than ever to demand answers and help change the status quo.

Maryland and County residents are asked to call the following offices;

  •  Delegate Darryl Barnes – Chair of Legislative Black Caucus Tel: (410) 841-3557, (301) 858-3557, 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3557 (toll free) e-mail: darryl.barnes@house.state.md.us
  • Delegate Michael A Jackson, Chair of the Prince George’s County Delegation Phone: 410-841-3103 | 301-858-3103, email to: Michael.Jackson@house.state.md.us, 
  • House Speaker Michael Busch Tel: 410-841-3800 | 301-858-3800 email to: michael.busch@house.state.md.us.

Maryland residents are encouraged to call other elected officials in the state to add the pressure. This is a watershed moment in Maryland history. Racism has no place in our institutions.

Delegate Mary Ann Lisanti must resign for calling our county the Nigger District.

A petition to force her out is currently in circulation.

We reprint the report by Washington Post below:

XIJ4KDB2WMI6TMIL6BNCFZ2YMU

Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D-Harford) in the Maryland House of Delegates in Annapolis, Md., on Wednesday. Her party is calling for her resignation. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post

By Ovetta Wiggins

A groundswell of Maryland elected officials, including the state’s powerful black legislative caucus, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Prince George’s County executive Angela Alsobrooks (D), called Wednesday for the resignation of Del. Mary Ann Lisanti, the Harford County Democrat who used the n-word in a conversation with colleagues to describe a Prince George’s County legislative district.

“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 Del. Darryl Barnes (D), who chairs the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and represents part of Prince George’s, one of the wealthiest and most highly educated majority African American jurisdictions in the nation.

“There is no place in the House of Delegates for that type of language to be used,” Barnes said. “It is unacceptable, it is offensive and it is very hurtful.”

Democratic Party chair Maya Rockeymore Cummings also called for Lisanti to step down. She noted in a statement that Lisanti had apologized for using the racial slur at an after-hours gathering with a few other lawmakers — black and white, Democrat and Republican — in a cigar bar in Annapolis in late January.

But Rockeymore Cummings said “further insight provided by some of [Lisanti’s] African American constituents about the kind of political positions and actions that she has taken that are consistent with the sentiment reflected in her poor choice of words underscores that an apology and promise to undergo diversity training are not enough.”

The statement did not elaborate.

Hogan said any public official who “engages in this reprehensible conduct should do the right thing and step down . . .

“The language of racism and hate has no place in our public discourse,” the governor said in a statement.

The Maryland American Civil Liberties Union, the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Maryland Republican Party also called for Lisanti to step down.

Lisanti, 51, could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday. Her office door was closed and locked. During the morning legislative session, she did not make any public comments, and she left the chamber as soon as the session ended.

Since the incident became public Monday, Democratic lawmakers say, it has generated outrage and hurt among Maryland’s African American population, which makes up a considerable swath of the Democratic electorate in the state.

None of the lawmakers who witnessed Lisanti’s comment made a formal complaint to House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) or publicly criticized Lisanti for using the racial slur. But members of the Black Caucus heard about what happened and urged that group’s leaders to take action.

On Monday night, the caucus executive committee asked Lisanti to meet with them and discuss the incident behind closed doors.

After The Washington Post reported that the meeting was to take place, Busch issued a statement expressing disappointment in Lisanti’s conduct and urging her to apologize and “face the consequences of her behavior.”

Lisanti apologized to the caucus executive committee but said she did not recall making the remark. Asked by The Post in early February whether she has ever used the slur, she said, “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, Lisanti apologized to the House Democratic Caucus and in a public statement, saying: “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 my heart.”

Busch stripped her of her chairmanship of a subcommittee, and she agreed to undergo sensitivity training. The incident is the latest race-related embarrassment for Democratic politicians, who were already reeling from revelations in Virginia last month that both Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and Attorney General Mark Herring (D) decades ago wore blackface.

Del. Charles E. Sydnor III (D-Baltimore County), who sits on the executive committee of the 57-member Black Caucus, said Tuesday that many of Lisanti’s colleagues are struggling to accept her apology.

“It’s a privilege to be down here representing the citizens of the state of Maryland,” he said. “When you characterize a segment of your community in that light, it really calls into question the decisions that you are likely to be making.”

Lisanti, a second-term lawmaker, is one of just a few elected Democrats in rural Harford County, where voters overwhelming chose Hogan for a second term in November over Democratic challenger Ben Jealous. Voters also backed losing Republican candidates for attorney general and U.S. Senate.

The county, which is northeast of Baltimore County, has a population of about 250,000, and is about 76 percent non-Hispanic white and 14 percent black, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Prince George’s, the state’s second-most populous jurisdiction with about 912,000 people, is about 65 percent black and 13 percent non-Hispanic white.

“African Americans comprise approximately a third of the voters in Lisanti’s district and they deserve to be represented by a person who is considerate of their views, a champion for their issues, respectful and appreciative of diverse people, and dedicated to cultivating an inclusive economy and democracy,” Rockeymoore Cummings said in the statement.

CFEYYc8WYAAZaIw

(Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D) in blue dress is pictured with Governor Larry Hogan (in dotted yellow tie),  Michael Busch, Maryland House of Delegates speaker (4th right) and Maryland Senate President  Thomas V. Miller Jr. (left). There are confirmed reports that, racism played a major role in the defeat of democratic nominee Mr. Ben Jealous in the November 2018 general elections. The same leaders are accused of interference of the courts in certain cases to make the judicial system useless in Maryland due to modern day legal lynching of the Maryland citizens.

G4PZ4KR2CYI6TMIL6BNCFZ2YMU

Del. Darryl Barnes, chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, talks to reporters on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, about a state legislator’s use of a racial slur in describing a majority black county the state. The legislator, Del. Mary Ann Lisanti, has apologized and was stripped of a leadership post Tuesday by House Speaker Michael Busch. However, that is not enough. She needs to resign (Brian Witte/Associated Press)

***

Lawmaker’s Racial Slur irritates Maryland Assembly after trashing PG county

1977157_741281619239014_164189466_n-640x480.jpg

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. She also told the Black caucus she couldn’t remember.

A democratic lawmaker (Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D) who was caught red handed using the n-word to describe the Prince George’s County in Annapolis has been stripped of her leadership position and will undergo sensitivity training, the House speaker’s office announced Tuesday.

Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D-Harford), who is white, issued a public apology Tuesday afternoon, after apologizing to the executive committee of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland on Monday night and to the House Democratic Caucus on Tuesday morning.

The issue came about due to widespread Institutional racism in Maryland tied to the Maryland legislature and the Maryland court system which has always been used by  Maryland’s Democratic Party leadership for legal lynching.

However, Maryland voters on the street want more than an apology from the racist delegate. First, they want Governor Larry Hogan to speak out…. “Where is the Governor on this to show some real leadership? He’s got something to say about everything else local,” stated  counsel Wyndal Gordon. Above all, they want Del. Mary Ann Lisanti to resign her seat ASAP.

Many Maryland citizens reacted with anguish on social media. One concerned voter Mr. J. Wyndal Gordon stated in part the following, ….“if Delegate Lisanti doesn’t resign or is not removed from elected office, the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus needs to disband, and somebody needs to shake the sh*t out of the Democratic party leadership. If there ever was a time to fight blatant fat-headed, beady-eyed, bigotry on this level, it is now. I can’t believe the Caucus recommended “Racial Sensitivity Training”. What??”

Institutional racism (also known as systemic racism) is a form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions. It is reflected in disparities regarding wealth, income, criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power and education, among other factors.

The term “institutional racism” was coined and first used in 1967 by Stokely Carmichael (later known as Kwame Ture) and Charles V. Hamilton in Black Power: The Politics of Liberation. Carmichael and Hamilton wrote that while individual racism is often identifiable because of its overt nature, institutional racism is less perceptible because of its “less overt, far more subtle” nature. Institutional racism “originates in the operation of established and respected forces in the society, and thus receives far less public condemnation than [individual racism]”.

Institutional racism was defined by Sir William Macpherson in the 1999 Lawrence report (UK) as: “The collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their color, culture, or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behavior which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people.”

“This fight is not over, and it is a fight we can win”, stated one Maryland parent Sue Jordan. “We have some courageous leaders in our struggle, the first and foremost who are part of the Maryland legislature who are prepared to take this issue heads on,” she added. “We also have some allies in local politics and in the mainstream media, who have given these stories a broader exposure and credibility,” she concluded.

Most importantly, we have each other. African Americans in the 1950s and ’60s led a mass movement to overcome a brutally hostile Democratic Party machine and turn the political tide against an entrenched system of legalized racism which continues today in Maryland. As we reported yesterday, many of these racist entanglement continues to date without consequences.

Corruption is born in a society when its citizens fail to believe that the nation is a common property of all its citizens and of generation yet to come. Whenever you leave truth, you are giving birth to corruption, no matter how simple or how complicated the matter is. Del. Mary Ann Lisanti’s behavior, which was documented in PUBLIC by other lawmakers, does not excuse legislators who are elected by the people.

According to Rick, a county voter on social media as reported earlier, “It’s a tip of the iceberg of what occurred within the Maryland Democratic Party during the 2018 general elections in Maryland and what is yet to come.” He concluded, “Nothing works in isolation. It’s time to change these conditions for the sake of the future generations and to work together.”

Below are samples of social media posting currently in circulation on the issue: 

Pamela M. Hawk She forgot to add, THEE most affluent county in the Country that is predominantly African American. 

Antioinette Myles When a person show you who they really are,believe them!

Nikkie Haney And we sit in wonder why NO African American especially male gets a fair trial in Harford County! They still have slave owners pictures in the Circuit Court!!

Neal Seckler I’m with you Jon. There is no place in this world for that. She needs to go immediately. Sensitivity training is not an option for someone like that. 

Roxy Umphery Her vote is not to be trusted. She should be removed immediately! The Harford County delegation appears racist as a whole as long as she stays.

J. Wyndal Gordon APOLOGY NOT ACCEPTED, B*TCH: If this repugnant, rat-faced, racist from [Hate]ford County, Maryland, doesn’t resign or is not removed from elected office, the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus needs to disband, and somebody needs to shake the sh*t out of the Democratic party leadership. If there ever was a time to fight blatant fat-headed, beady-eyed, bigotry on this level, it is now. I can’t believe the Caucus recommended “Racial Sensitivity Training”. What?? GTFOH. And where are the rest of the flat-footed Democrats to condemn her statement?!?!

Where is the Governor on this to show some real leadership? He’s got something to say about everything else local.

Lisanti needs to resign NOW!! She is an embarrassment to our State. Prince George’s Delegation!! Are you offended enough to not let this go? Baltimore City Delegation!! Has this not passed your threshold of racial intolerance? You mean Mike Busch came out with a stronger statement of condemnation than our very own Legislative Black Caucus? I’m so embarrassed and humiliated by the lack of leadership in the Maryland General Assembly.

First, this ugly woman said ““I am sickened that a word [N*gger] that is not in my vocabulary came out of my mouth,” but forgot she’d earlier said “sure [I’ve used the word N*gger before]” and then doubled down by saying “I’m sure everyone has used it.”

God save our State and get rid of this Democratic-Nazi elected official from Harford County. –The Warrior Lawyer! #thewarriorlawyer#GetGordononthephone

Janna Parker Please please please don’t let racist Democrats get a pass simply because they are Democrats.

Maryland Matters  reports:

IMG_7348

Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D-Harford) at the end of Tuesday’s House of Delegates session. Photo by Bruce DePuyt

By Bruce DePuyt and Danielle E. Gaines

A Maryland lawmaker who used a racial slur while talking with colleagues at an Annapolis bar in January has resigned from a leadership post under pressure from the House speaker and the Legislative Black Caucus, but she signaled that she intends to remain in office, despite the uproar her remarks have provoked.

Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D-Harford) released a statement on Tuesday afternoon apologizing for her “word choice.” She also said she has agreed to participate in sensitivity training.

“I understand that the use of inappropriate and insensitive language is not acceptable under any circumstance,” the lawmaker said. “I am 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 constituents.”

“I pray for forgiveness.”

The Washington Post reported on Monday that members of the Legislative Black Caucus met with Lisanti on Monday night “over allegations that she told a white colleague, during an after-hours gathering at an Annapolis cigar bar, that when he campaigned in Prince George’s on behalf of a candidate last fall he was door-knocking in a ’n—– district.’”

Lisanti apologized to the caucus’ leadership team for her use of the offensive term even as she said she didn’t recall using it, a conflicting explanation that appeared not to calm the controversy.

Asked by the Post whether she had ever used the term, Lisanti replied: “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.”

House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) issued a statement on Tuesday after meeting with leaders of the black caucus.

“While I believe her apology was heartfelt, the damage among her colleagues and the public has been done,” Busch said.

The speaker said he has removed Lisanti from her post as head of the unemployment insurance subcommittee because “I believe that leaders in the House need to be able to bring people together — not tear them apart.”

Legislative-Black-Caucus

Members of the Legislative Black Caucus stand to be recognized on the House floor Tuesday. Photo by Bruce DePuyt

In a letter distributed by the speaker’s office, the black caucus accused Lisanti of a “blatant act of racism” that had marred Black History Month, “a month which celebrates the rich history, culture and progressions of African-Americans.”

“While Delegate Lisanti did provide an apology for her bold and offensive actions,” the letter continued, “we feel as though her apology is woefully inadequate.”

The letter, signed by Del. Darryl Barnes (D-Prince George’s), the caucus chairman, said Lisanti is “unsuited to continue in a position of leadership in the Maryland General Assembly. We have been receiving calls for her resignation, removal of a subcommittee chairmanship, and to be censured on the House floor.”

“We are asking the speaker to move swiftly in reprimanding her in a disciplinary manner. The use of a derogatory term exhibits that she does not hold the requisite contrition to be entrusted in a leadership role moving forward.”

Whether Lisanti will ultimately be censured or pressured to resign remained unclear at day’s end.

Fifty-six members of the 188-member General Assembly belong to the Legislative Black Caucus, a record high. On the House floor Tuesday, a dozen members of the caucus stood to make announcements, including recognition of colleagues’ birthdays and committee, subcommittee, delegation and caucus announcements.

It was seen as a way of noting the Lisanti controversy without directly addressing it.

Del. Jheanelle Wilkins (D) – who, with Dels. Charlotte Crutchfield (D) and Pam Queen (D) became the first black women from Montgomery County elected to the House in 2018 – read a Black History Month tribute to the late Sen. Verda Welcome, who was the first black woman to be elected to the House of Delegates and then, later, the first black woman to be elected to any state senate seat in the United States.

“She had many firsts, but she also was not the last,” Wilkins said.

During her remarks, Wilkins asked the members of the Legislative Black Caucus who represented any first or who had blazed a trail in some way to stand alongside her on the floor.

“I would like to ask all members of the black caucus to stand as we recognize and commemorate our Black History Month and our contributions to the United States and in this chamber and stand unified in our commitment to bettering the lives of African Americans and all residents of Maryland,” Wilkins said, as members of the caucus joined her in standing, to a round of applause.

In his statement later in the day, Busch held out the possibility of redemption for Lisanti, but took pains to make no promises regarding her future.

“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,” Busch wrote.

“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.”

On the same day that the Lisanti news dominated the discourse in and around the State House Tuesday, the Maryland Democratic Party announced a new “diversity training requirement.”

The party’s initiative would make diversity, equity and inclusion a mandatory part of all training offered by the MDP and would make “diversity in hiring and contracting [a] fundamental aspect of party operations,” among other actions.

Without referencing the Lisanti controversy directly, the party’s announcement said the initiative was prompted by “rising incidents of hate crimes and displays of general ignorance, insensitivity and intolerance.” The last words in that sentence of the party’s news release linked to Monday’s Washington Post report.

Via Maryland Matters 

1200px-map_of_maryland_highlighting_harford_county.svg_

Location of Har­ford County is shown in red within a Maryland Map

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

***

A Md. lawmaker apologizes for allegedly using n-word trashing PG county

CFEYYc8WYAAZaIw.jpg

(Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D) in blue dress is pictured with Governor Larry Hogan (2nd left),  Michael Busch, Maryland House of Delegates speaker (4th right) and Maryland Senate President  Thomas V. Miller Jr.(left). There are confirmed reports that, racism played a major role in the defeat of democratic nominee Mr. Ben Jealous in the November 2018 general elections.

A democratic lawmaker (Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D) has been caught red handed using the n-word trashing the Prince George’s County in Annapolis. According to people familiar with ethics surrounding lawmakers, “the n-word is never uttered accidentally, nor does one forget using the word.  “You cannot serve your constituents if you harbor racist views, ” stated a concerned citizen online. “You have no business making laws to govern the people of Maryland if you are racist,” he concluded.

People who have been marginalized and discriminated against come together as a Caucus, in part, because – as a group – they will be more effective in changing the conditions under which they have experienced discrimination, mistreatment, and inequality. However, employees who have been victims of the same in Prince George’s County are not treated well by executives with ties to the establishment which raises questions of double standards around the state and in many parts of the country.

In Maryland, Blacks in the 1950s and ’60s led a mass movement to overcome a brutally hostile Democratic Party machine and turned the political tide against an entrenched system of legalized racism. Many of these racist entanglement continues to date.

Corruption takes birth in a society when its citizens fail to believe that the nation is a common property of all its citizens and the generation yet to come. Every situation, where you leave truth, you are giving birth to corruption, no matter how simple or how complicated is the matter. Her behavior which was documented in PUBLIC by other lawmakers does not, excuse a legislator, who was elected by the people.

According to a county voter Rick on social media, “It’s a tip of the iceberg of what occurred within the Maryland democratic party during the 2018 general elections in Maryland and what is yet to come,” He added. “Nothing works in isolation. It’s time to change these racist conditions for the sake of the future generations and to work together,” he concluded.

Washington Post  reports:

BVTRMVAUKQI6TK3ZGDGU66JG6I.jpg

The Maryland State House, reflected in a window in Annapolis. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

By Ovetta Wiggins

A white lawmaker from Har­ford County apologized to the leaders of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland for using a racial slur to describe a legislative district in Prince George’s County — but also told her black colleagues that she did not recall saying it, according to two lawmakers who attended the meeting.

Caucus members confronted Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D) on Monday night over allegations that she told a white colleague, during an after-hours gathering at an Annapolis cigar bar, that when he campaigned in Prince George’s on behalf of a candidate last fall he was door-knocking in a “n—– district.”

Del. Darryl Barnes (D-Prince George’s), who chairs the Black Caucus, said Lisanti appeared contrite during the meeting.

“She apologized several times,” Barnes said. “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.”

Lisanti, 51, did not return calls seeking comment.

Her apologies came after each of the seven members of the caucus’s executive committee told her how they felt upon learning that their colleague allegedly used the racial slur.

Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes (D-Wicomico) recounted a recent trip she took with her young children to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, where she spoke to them about words and symbols used throughout history to denigrate African Americans.

“To hear from a colleague, in 2019, to express that same tone . . . it is very disheartening and frustrating,” Sample-Hughes said.

Barnes said he was “really disturbed” by accounts of what Lisanti said, and he wants her to apologize to the entire caucus and participate in sensitivity training. He left open the possibility that the caucus might offer other recommendations to House leadership.

“I do think that someone who uses the word, it’s a reflection of what’s in their heart,” Barnes said.

Lisanti, a second-term lawmaker, is a member of the House Economic Matters Committee, which hears legislation that deals with alcohol, banking and insurance. She chairs the unemployment insurance subcommittee. Before being elected to the General Assembly, she served two terms on the Harford County Council and worked as city manager in Havre de Grace.

The allegation against her comes during the 90-day legislative session in Annapolis, and on the heels of a legislative session in Richmond scarred by revelations that Virginia Gov. Ralph S. Northam (D) and Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) used blackface decades ago.

Questioned by The Washington Post earlier this month about her alleged use of the racial slur, Lisanti said: “I don’t recall that. . . . I don’t recall much of that evening.”

When asked whether she has ever used the slur, she said: “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.”

Sample-Hughes said Monday night that she wondered why Lisanti seemed comfortable with the word and asked during the meeting if Lisanti grew up in a household where the word was used. “She didn’t give a direct response,” Sample-Hughes said.

Lisanti allegedly made the remark at Annapolis Cigar in late January in front of a small, racially mixed group of lawmakers. Those in attendance at some point during the evening included Del. Jay Walker (D-Prince George’s), who represents the district Lisanti was allegedly referring to; House Majority Whip Talmadge Branch (D-Baltimore City); Dels. Theresa E. Reilly (R-Harford), Warren E. Miller (R-Howard) and Carl L. Anderton Jr. (R-Wicomico); and state Sen. Brian J. Feldman (D-Montgomery).

Feldman and Miller said they left before the alleged slur was made. Branch said he came later. Reilly and Anderton declined to answer questions from The Post about what happened.

Walker, who earlier this month declined to discuss the incident, said Monday that he was there when Lisanti used the slur and addressed it with her privately.

“I was leaning on my time in football,” said Walker, a former professional quarterback. “It was something I had to handle inside the locker room, and I handled it appropriately. I made my disappointment known. When she apologized, I told her how disappointed I was.”

House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) also expressed disappointment in Lisanti’s alleged conduct in a statement Monday. He urged her to apologize to her colleagues “and 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,” Busch said.

Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) called the reports of what Lisanti said “disturbing and offensive.”

“I would love for her to come here and visit so I can show her the true Prince George’s County,” Alsobrooks said.

Before the meeting with Lisanti on Monday, one member of the caucus executive committee said that an apology “would be a good start.”

“When you are using that type of language, that type of offensive language, it calls into question how you view an entire community and your colleagues,” said the committee member, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly in advance of the closed-door meeting. “We have had a number of members who expressed concern, and we wanted to make sure we talked to all parties involved. This gives her an opportunity to address us.”

Another member of the Black Caucus, who had been told of the incident by three people who were there, called it “highly offensive.”

“You are making policies for black people,” said the lawmaker, one of several caucus members who brought the issue to the attention of the executive committee. “If multiple individuals said you referred to a district in Prince George’s [with a racial slur], you should apologize.”

1200px-Map_of_Maryland_highlighting_Harford_County.svg.png

Location of Har­ford County is shown in red within a Maryland Map.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

***

District of Columbia: Broadies Take Control of All Top Leadership Positions

Lewis-Ferebee-Main-768x576

Lewis Ferebee after the announcement of his nomination
Photo by Jenny Abamu / WAMU

The Edythe and Eli Broad Foundation now owns complete control of the schoolsof the District of Columbia.

With the appointment of Lewis Ferebee, former superintendent of Indianapolis, where he collaborated with the Mind Trust to expand privatization, D.C. is now a Broadie district.

DCist.com reports:

“The top three educational leaders in the District of Columbia all have one thing in common: they’ve all studied under a wealthy philanthropist’s educational leadership program that promotes a business perspective in the management of public schools and the use of charters.

“The D.C. state superintendent Hanseul Kang, the deputy mayor of education Paul Kihn, and acting schools chancellor Lewis Ferebee have each been through training at the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems, which houses both the Broad Academy and the Broad Residency in Urban Education.

“Those who support the training program say it offers a unique corporate-like training experience for school leaders and helps them form lasting friendships. Critics of the program say the teachings encourage school leaders to undermine democratic control of public education by making top-down reforms and promoting charter schools.

“There have been hundreds of school leaders that have gone through Broad training, including former DCPS chancellor Antwan Wilson. Kaya Henderson was also named a superintendent in residence at The Broad Center in 2017. But, if Ferebee is confirmed, this will be the first time all of D.C. Public Schools’ top public education leaders will be Broad scholars.”

Michelle Rhee started the Corporate Reform takeover of D.C. in 2007, imposing a harsh evaluation system that led to high turnover of teachers and principals. She was not a Broadie, however; she came out of Teach for America. But after she became a superstar, she joined the board ofthe unaccredited Broad Superintendents’ Academy.

Since 2007, the district has experienced major cheating scandals and, recently, a graduation rate scandal that cast doubt on many of the claims of success.

Despite it’s “reform” leadership, D.C. continues to havethe biggest achievement gaps of any district in the nation, about double the size of the black-white, Hispanic-white gaps in other urban districts.

There is something strangely satisfying about knowing that disciples of Eli Broad have taken complete control of D.C. They will have no one else to blame if they don’t turn the District into one of the nation’s top-performing  districts, as Rhee long ago promised.

IMG-6850

***

Funeral service held for 5 kids killed in Bowie crash

bd9418ca-6d2d-46c4-ab63-0c8ea958e003_750x422UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — Two weeks ago a horrific crash in Bowie, Maryland claimed the lives of five children.

5-year-old Paris Dixon, 8-year-old London Dixon, 6-year-old Rickelle Ricks, 14-year-old Zion Beard and 15-year-old Damari Herald were all died after the vehicle they were traveling in suddenly ran off the road.

Loved ones gathered for their funeral service Saturday at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro, Md.

Sisters Paris and London went to Northview Elementary school, where Paris loved art and London loved to read. “Both girls loved being together, it was truly a beautiful bond,” said Leslie Vanbokkem-Boone, a teacher at the school.

Rickelle Rick’s grandfather, Ricardo Ricks, held back tears as he remembered what it felt like to hold the six year old on his lap. “They look up at you and you can see all their possibilities for their life,” he said.

Zion Beard and Damari Herald’s grandfather, Robert Herald Sr. described their love of dance and music — and life.

“He had a lot of potential, to do and be the best at whatever he put his mind to,” Herald said of Damari Herald.  “I loved him very much and I miss him, I loved his smile, it was just contagious when you see it.

“And then you have Zion…I know you’re not supposed to have favorites..but he was my baby boy,” said Herald.

Police are still investigating what caused the van they were in to leave the road but police say the kids were thrown from the van because they were not wearing seat belts.

via WUSA9

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

***