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There’s Something in the Water in the Mid-Atlantic

Gabriella Hoffman
by Gabriella Hoffman Read Profile arrow_right_alt

Democrat Governor of Virginia: The infant would be kept comfortable [during post-birth abortion] and I may have worn blackface or a KKK hood in my medical school yearbook.

Democrat Maryland House of Delegates member: Hold my crab cakes. Prince George’s County is a n***** district.

It appears Mid-Atlantic region and their politicians, especially Democrat lawmakers, can’t catch a break with racist revelations plaguing their state parties in Virginia. Now, all eyes are on Maryland.

Earlier this month, Governor Ralph Northam (D-VA) and Attorney General Mark Herring both admitted to wearing blackface in medical school and University of Virginia, respectively. Our governor then pledged to “right his wrongs” with an apology tour, but was disinvited from Virginia Union University. Many view Northam’s efforts as disingenuous, and they aren’t wrong.

Now, Maryland Delegate Mary Ann Lisanti (D-Harford County) is facing scrutiny for calling Prince George’s County a “n*****” district several weeks ago. She referred to PG County in this derogatory manner at a cigar lounge in Annapolis, Maryland’s state capital in the presence of another white colleague. She implied going there on behalf of another candidate amounted to door-knocking in a “n***** district.”For context,  PG County’s population is 65 percent black and one of the most affluent majority-black counties here per the U.S. Census.

As a result of Lisanti’s remarks, Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch removed her from her leadership post yesterday. Then she proceeded to apologize:

“I am sickened that a word that is not in my vocabulary came out of my mouth,” she said in a statement. “It does not represent my belief system, my life’s work or what is my heart.”

It’s a little too late for Delegate Lisanti, however. The Maryland Legislative Black Caucus called her apology “woefully inadequate.”

That same group also just called for her resignation.

We may see the resignation of Delegate Lisanti take hold because Maryland Democrats boast supermajorities in the General Assembly, so the removal of one Democrat does little to alter the balance of power. In contrast, Virginia Democrats have gone silent on their calls for resignations of the Commonwealth’s top three lawmakers because they realize all three bowing out would result in a Republican taking over.

Both Virginia and Maryland have storied, sensitive pasts with racism. It’s unconscionable to see Republicans embrace it, but they rightly bow out immediately. However, Democrats eschew addressing racism inset in their state parties and removing it from their ranks. Why the double standard?

There’s something in the water in the Mid-Atlantic and Democrats must clean house, or be replaced by Republicans—especially here in Virginia.


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