Colorado State Sen. Vicki Marble (R) is attempting to clear up a recent misunderstanding about comments she made during a recent meeting. On Wednesday, during the Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force at the Capitol lawmakers were presented with a number of statistics highlighting racial disparities in the poverty rate.
“When you look at life expectancy, there are problems in the black race: sickle-cell anemia is something that comes up, diabetes is something that’s prevalent in the genetic makeup and you just can’t help it,” Marble said. “Although I’ve got to say, I’ve never had better BBQ and better chicken and ate better in my life than when you go down south and you — I love it.”
Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.
Marble continued: “The Mexican diet in Mexico with all of the fresh vegetables, and you go down there and they are much thinner than they are up here. They’ve changed their diet. I’ve read studies on that.”
Also in attendance was Rep. Rhonda Fields, (D) Aurora, and immediately took issue with the comments, calling them “racist” and “insensitive”.
“The title for this committee is the Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force; and one of the things I will not tolerate is racist and insensitive comments about African Americans, the color of their skin. You mentioned what we eat — I was highly offended by your remarks,” Fields said, addressing Marble directly.
“I will not engage in a dialogue where I’m in the company where you are using the stereotype references about African Americans and chicken and food and all kinds of things. I will just not tolerate that,” Fields continued.
“This is not what this committee is all about. So I will ask that you suspend your perceptions and judgments about African Americans, about poverty — what we’re trying to do is come up with solutions and it’s not about chicken. It’s not about eating chicken.”
In defense of her statement, Marble of course released an “apology” and explanation:
“My comments were not meant to be disparaging to any community. I am saddened they were taken in that regard. I take my responsibility seriously and I hope our work on this committee will offer real solutions to the health and financial challenges of our vulnerable populations.”
Well, thankfully she didn’t say chicken and watermelon.