Colorado State Senator Vicki Marble (R-Fort Collins) was questioned (in 2017) by a 10-year-old Cub Scout for her anti-black comments at a 2013 legislative task force meeting on poverty. What she did with her words was express her anti-black animus with a fig leaf–citation of diseases and cuisine. Note that Marble did not receive any apparent training in medicine, genetics, or health care.
Whenever a person of good will is faced with mind-bending statements like Marble’s, the person should take time to closely investigate all claims made. It is galling that these statements are made, and that Marble shamelessly promotes them through all her statements on the matter (emphasis mine).
One colleague took offense when I observed that some of these problems stem not just from biological factors beyond an individual’s control, but due to personal choices and food preferences, which is something widely recognized as true. That somehow got twisted by the PC police into a case of racial stereotyping, by inserting words or meanings that furthered their narrative but weren’t true. Then, through the echo effect of repeated re-telling, it’s become a political myth.
Marble’s approach was described in a book, David K. Shipler (1997), “A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America,” page 280:
In the realm of proper political discourse, where overt racial slurs can destroy a career, the expression of prejudice takes a more circuitous route. There, the lesser regard for blacks’ intelligence and initiative is diluted into less obviously racist forms to please the current taste in acceptable debate. You cannot speak of black people as indolent, but it’s all right to urge that (black) welfare mothers be required to work.
Marble used the so-called circuitous route to castigate black people (and then attempt to soften the harsh, broad conclusions with her like of barbecue). The quotes come from a Denver Post article.
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 is prevalent in the genetic makeup, and you just can’t help it. Although I’ve got to say I’ve never had better barbeque and better chicken and ate better in my life than when I went down South and you, I mean, I love it.
Sidebar: Sickle Cell Anemia (from the National Institutes of Health)
“In the United States, most people with sickle cell disease (SCD) are of African ancestry or identify themselves as black.
- About 1 in 13 African American babies is born with sickle cell trait.
- About 1 in every 365 black children is born with sickle cell disease.
There are also many people with this disease who come from Hispanic, southern European, Middle Eastern, or Asian Indian backgrounds.
Approximately 100,000 Americans have SCD.”
Also in the same Denver Post article, Colorado State Representative Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora), an African American, stated the following in response:
“You mentioned what we eat — I was highly offended by your remarks,” Fields said.”
“I will not engage in a dialogue where you are using these stereotypical references about African Americans and chicken and food,” Fields said to Marble. I will not tolerate that. This is not what the committee is all about. What we are trying to do is come up with meaningful solutions. This is not about eating chicken.”