Futility of “Colorblindness” and Republican Colorado State Senator Vicki Marble: Covering Up Anti-Black Beliefs with Grossly Broad Citations of Cuisine and Diseases

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.

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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.

"I don't see race."
“I don’t see race.”

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.”

 

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Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending October 21, 2017; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending October 26, 2017; Three Of Note Items


Of Note

(1) Former Board Vice Chair Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., CEO of TIAA, was mentioned in a New York Times article “Finger-Pointing at TIAA.” The article states that several parties allege that TIAA pushes customers into investments that do not add value but generate higher fees.

Note:  CEO Ferguson’s compensation package is valued at $16.38 million (according to its 2017 compensation discussion and analysis report)

(2) On the Naked Capitalism blog:  “Rise and Fall of the Phillips Curve.”

(3) Also on the Naked Capitalism blog: “Is Capitalism Dead or Merely Dying?” (Author is Raúl Ilargi Meijer, editor at Automatic Earth.)


The Federal Reserve Board (Board) publishes a weekly digest of its activities on its website. The digest is called the H.2 Release and is published every Thursday. The release for the week ending October 14, 2017, is below.

H.2 Release–Actions of the Board, Its Staff, and the Federal Reserve Banks; Applications and Reports Received

Category Action Taken
Extensions of Time Forms — extension to March 31, 2018, of the implementation date for proposed revisions to the Banking Organization Systemic Risk Report (FR Y-15), and extension to November 23, 2017, of the comment period for the proposal.

-Granted, October 18, 2017

Forms Forms — final Board review to extend with revision the Weekly Report of Selected Assets and Liabilities of Domestically Chartered Commercial Banks and U.S. Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banks (FR 2644).

-Approved, October 18, 2017

Forms — final Board review to extend without revision the Government Securities Dealers Reports (FR 2004, composed of FR 2004A, FR 2004B, FR 2004C, FR 2004SI, FR 2004SD, FR 2004SD ad hoc, FR 2004WI, FR 2004FA, FR 2004FB, FR 2004FC, and FR 2004FM).

-Approved, October 18, 2017

Forms — final Board review to implement the Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (FR 3077).

-Approved, October 18, 2017

Forms — final Board review to extend with revision the Application for Employment with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FR 28, FR 28i, FR 28s).

-Approved, October 19, 2017

Regulations and Policies Rules Regarding Availability of Information — final rule amending the Board’s regulations for processing requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to reflect provisions of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016.

-Approved, October 19, 2017

Federal Reserve Board: Balance Sheet (H.4.1 Release)

The Board publishes data of factors affecting reserve balances. The digest is called the H.4.1 Release, and they are published every Thursday (or the next business day if the publication date falls on a federal holiday). The release for October 26, 2017, is below.

[Note: The blog will cover the line titled “Total Factors Supplying Reserve Funds.”]

H.4.1 Release–Factors Affecting Reserve Balances

Total factors supplying reserve funds (as of October 25, 2017):  $4,508,166 (in millions of dollars). (On September 26, 2007, this amount was $900,473 (in millions of dollars)).

(See the release for further information.)

Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending October 14, 2017; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending October 19, 2017; Two Of Note Items


Of Note

(1) The broadness of monetary policy is said to be for all people of the United States. However, based upon the U.S.’s discriminatory past, that broad policy often is shunted to particular groups, namely whites and the rich and powerful.

The Board, therefore, must monitor, and research for, such effects and bring the results to Congress’ attention and for its action. Simply turning away from reality furthers injustice.

See, for example, the still-present effect of anti-black housing policy. #redlining (Video is from a TBS’ TV program “Adam Ruins Everything.”)

(2) An article by D. JoAnne Swanson “Earning a Living” and the Dilemma of Unpaid Work:  On the Injustice of a World Without Unconditional Basic Income.

Even those of us who accept gainful employment often find that it is precarious, exhausting, and poorly paid, with no benefits such as health care or vacation time. Add in the many forms of invisible and devalued labor we do, such as the disproportionate burden of emotional labor shouldered by women and marginalized people in relationships, and it’s not difficult to understand why leisure time is so scarce for us. Between paid and unpaid work combined, we are overloaded. Yet our dilemma often goes unnoticed, because creative work, care work, and housekeeping are not considered “real” work.


The Federal Reserve Board (Board) publishes a weekly digest of its activities on its website. The digest is called the H.2 Release and is published every Thursday. The release for the week ending October 14, 2017, is below.

H.2 Release–Actions of the Board, Its Staff, and the Federal Reserve Banks; Applications and Reports Received

Category Action Taken
Monetary and Financial Policy Term Deposit Facility — floating-rate offering of seven-day term deposits with an early withdrawal feature, same-day settlement, and a maximum tender amount of $1 billion on October 19, 2017.

-Announced, October 12, 2017

Regulations and Policies Disaster-Related Appraisal Exceptions — interagency statement and order granting temporary exceptions to appraisal requirements for real estate-related financial transactions in declared disaster areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

-Approved, October 10, 2017

Enforcement Bank of Gueydan, Gueydan, Louisiana — issuance of a consent order of assessment of a civil money penalty.

-Announced, October 11, 2017

 

Citizens First State Bank of Walnut, Walnut, Illinois — written agreement dated October 29, 2009, terminated October 6, 2017.

-Announced, October 12, 2017

 

Farmers State Bank, Victor, Montana — issuance of a consent order of assessment of a civil money penalty.

-Announced, October 11, 2017

 

Federal Reserve Board: Balance Sheet (H.4.1 Release)

The Board publishes data of factors affecting reserve balances. The digest is called the H.4.1 Release, and they are published every Thursday (or the next business day if the publication date falls on a federal holiday). The release for October 19, 2017, is below.

[Note: The blog will cover the line titled “Total Factors Supplying Reserve Funds.”]

H.4.1 Release–Factors Affecting Reserve Balances

Total factors supplying reserve funds (as of October 18, 2017):  $4,516,574 (in millions of dollars). (On September 26, 2007, this amount was $900,473 (in millions of dollars)).

(See the release for further information.)

Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending October 7, 2017; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending October 12, 2017; Two Of Note Items


Of Note

(1) Randal Quarles took oath of office as member of the Board and Vice Chair for Supervision.

(2) Ben Carson (net worth $22 million and a retired neurosurgeon) testified before the House Financial Services Committee. Carson faced critique

  • of his statement that poverty is “a state of mind” and
  • of his inability to give specific information about HUD’s proposed budget cuts

from Rep. Al Green (D-Tx.).

Comment: Recall the laughter at the unemployed which occurred during some Federal Open Market Committee meetings.


The Federal Reserve Board (Board) publishes a weekly digest of its activities on its website. The digest is called the H.2 Release and is published every Thursday. The release for the week ending September 30, 2017, is below.

H.2 Release–Actions of the Board, Its Staff, and the Federal Reserve Banks; Applications and Reports Received

Category Action Taken
Bank Holding Companies Columbia Banking System, Inc., Tacoma, Washington — to merge with Pacific Continental Corporation, Eugene, Oregon, and thereby indirectly acquire Pacific Continental Bank.
-Approved, October 6, 2017
Enforcement First Bancorp, San Juan, Puerto Rico — written agreement issued June 3, 2010, terminated October 3, 2017.
-Announced, October 5, 2017

Federal Reserve Board: Balance Sheet (H.4.1 Release)

The Board publishes data of factors affecting reserve balances. The digest is called the H.4.1 Release, and they are published every Thursday (or the next business day if the publication date falls on a federal holiday). The release for October 12, 2017, is below.

[Note: The blog will cover the line titled “Total Factors Supplying Reserve Funds.”]

H.4.1 Release–Factors Affecting Reserve Balances

Total factors supplying reserve funds (as of October 11, 2017):  $4,506,295 (in millions of dollars). (On September 26, 2007, this amount was $900,473 (in millions of dollars)).

(See the release for further information.)

Futility of “Colorblindness” and Ben Carson: On Poverty Being a “State of Mind”; Carson’s Own Net Worth is $22 Million

I never cease to be amazed at the callous doublespeak, seeing to be compassionate in one sentence, while advocating harsh treatment in the very next sentence. The practitioners of this sort of deception that I have found so far are Dick Grote, Wardell Connerly, and, the topic of this post, Ben Carson.

At an oversight hearing for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Carson was the witness for HUD, advocating for $6 billion of cuts to the HUD budget (13% of its total budget). Carson was once revered for his surgery on conjoined twins at Johns Hopkins University Hospital; he has for some reason misused that adulation to justify withering attacks on the poor.

The poor exist because it is a product of capitalism–some people have so much that they hoard the cash, cash which is taken from others in the society, who suffer from enduring lack of cash. It is the reason that capitalism must be moderated by a responsible government, lest the entire system collapse.

I do not give a millimeter to Carson; it is disgusting that he uses his black skin and life story of poverty not to help others in similar circumstances but rather to hurt them. He is not the only one: He is joined by Wardell Connerly, David Clarke, Larry Elder, and others.

As Representative Al Green (D-Tx.) commented at the hearing (beginning at approximately 2:55:05), Carson argues–in a false calm tone–to destroy others and justify taking more from the vulnerable so that the rich can get more cash.

In addition, while demanding the vulnerable to act perfectly, Carson himself was woefully unprepared for the hearing. Carson was more interested in posturing before the cameras and receiving praise from the GOP committee members as opposed to knowing the specifics about the budget cuts he was proposing.

Carson, net worth $22 million, had the gall to complain that Rep. Green ascribed to him opinions that were not his (regarding his statement on poverty being a “state of mind”), ignoring that he had not answered Rep. Green’s questions.

In fact, his statements in the interview with Armstrong Williams on SiriusXM engage in a cunning lecture of victim blaming, demand of “personal responsibility”, and rejection of government moderation of the wicked nature of capitalism.

I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind. You take somebody that has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there,” he said during an interview on SiriusXM Radio with Armstrong Williams, a longtime friend.

“And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you can give them everything in the world, they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom,” Carson said.

All of this is in the context of the United States’ centuries of white hegemony. As a result, Carson’s statements are really a stunning, yet hidden, defense of the status quo. Rep. Green was right to bring this to his attention as well as make Carson live up to the demands of his own words (namely, to state specifically which programs were to be cut). Carson failed spectacularly, and so do his words.

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Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending September 30, 2017; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending October 5, 2017; Seth Klarman, Billionaire, Owns Puerto Rican Debt: Bought for Pennies/Dollar–Nearly $1 Billion–Expects Full Face-Value Payment


Of Note

(1) Nearly one Billion dollars of Puerto Rican debt is held by a hedge fund managed by a billionaire, Seth Klarman (his attorney is Jeffrey Katz of law firm Ropes and Gray).

From the Intercept

The Baupost Group, a Boston-based hedge fund managed by billionaire Seth Klarman, owns nearly $1 billion of Puerto Rican debt, purchased under a shell company subsidiary and hidden from public scrutiny. Baupost acquired the debt through an on-paper Delaware-based corporation named Decagon Holdings LLC, whose beneficial owner had been unknown until now.

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Comment:  A key fact of this debt–it was bought for less than the face value, yet the holders are demanding repayment based upon the 100 percent of the debt’s face value. Who is ultimately to pay these “debt holders”–other U.S. citizens (that is, the poor and the (former) middle class).

A quote (again from the Intercept)–

Though the island, currently recovering from a catastrophic hurricane, has been mired in a borrowing crisis for years, it’s difficult to get precise information about the creditors. Many of them scooped up bonds on the cheap, seeking an astronomical payout by forcing the island to pay them back at par (or 100 cents on the dollar). This has led to widespread suffering, as punishing austerity has been imposed to encourage Puerto Rico to pay back the bondholders in full. (Only now has some of this austerity been lifted in the wake of Hurricane Maria.)

 

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The Federal Reserve Board (Board) publishes a weekly digest of its activities on its website. The digest is called the H.2 Release and is published every Thursday. The release for the week ending September 30, 2017, is below.

H.2 Release–Actions of the Board, Its Staff, and the Federal Reserve Banks; Applications and Reports Received

Category Action Taken
Forms Forms — initial Board review to extend with revision the Interagency Notice of Change in Control (FR 2081A), Interagency Notice of Change in Director or Senior Executive Officer (FR 2081B), Interagency Biographical and Financial Report (FR 2081C), and Interagency Bank Merger Act Application (FR 2070).

-Proposed, September 25, 2017

 

Forms — interagency notice and request for comment to transition the Federal Reserve’s Annual Company-Run Stress Test Report for State Member Banks, Bank Holding Companies, and Savings and Loan Holding Companies with Total Consolidated Assets Greater Than $10 Billion and Less Than $50 Billion (FR Y-16) to a Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council reporting form (FFIEC 016).

-Proposed, September 27, 2017

Regulations and Policies Regulatory Capital Rule — publication for comment of interagency proposal to simplify certain aspects of the agencies’ regulatory capital rule. (NOTE: A revised capital proposal was approved on September 26, 2017.)

-Approved, September 20, 2017

(A/C)

Regulatory Capital Rule — publication for comment of interagency proposal to simplify certain aspects of the agencies’ regulatory capital rule to reduce regulatory burden, especially for banking organizations not subject to the advanced approaches capital rule.

-Approved, September 26, 2017

 

Supervision and Regulation Resolution Plans — joint determination with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to extend the resolution plan filing dates (1) for eight large domestic banking organizations to July 1, 2019; and (2) for 82 foreign banking organizations with limited U.S. operations to December 31, 2018.

-Approved, September 27, 2017

Enforcement HSBC Holdings PLC, London, United Kingdom; and HSBC North America Holdings, Inc., New York, New York — issuance of a consent cease-and-desist order and order of assessment of a civil money penalty.

-Approved, September 14, 2017

(A/C)

Federal Reserve Board: Balance Sheet (H.4.1 Release)

The Board publishes data of factors affecting reserve balances. The digest is called the H.4.1 Release, and they are published every Thursday (or the next business day if the publication date falls on a federal holiday). The release for October 5, 2017, is below.

[Note: The blog will cover the line titled “Total Factors Supplying Reserve Funds.”]

H.4.1 Release–Factors Affecting Reserve Balances

Total factors supplying reserve funds (as of October 4, 2017):  $4,507,035 (in millions of dollars). (On September 26, 2007, this amount was $900,473 (in millions of dollars)).

(See the release for further information.)

Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending September 23, 2017; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending September 28, 2017; Three Of Note Items


Of Note

(1) The 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances was released. According to a FEDS Notes article, the net worth for nonwhites, despite a showing of growth, did not begin to approach or match the significantly higher net worth of whites. At similar educational levels, white net worth surpassed, by far, the net worth of blacks and of latinos.

Comment:  This result, while stunning, is unsurprising, given the history and policies of the United States of America.

 

(2) Fed Governor Lael Brainard gave two speeches on the effect of persistent employment disparities (for black and latino peoples) on the wider economy. (Both speeches reflected her own views, not those of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) or the Board.)

Why Persistent Employment Disparities Matter for the Economy’s Health

Labor Market Disparities and Economic Performance

Comment:  For the Board, I do not have confidence, given the closed-door FOMC views and overall derision toward people not socio-economically fortunate. (See blog posts on an article in the Intercept and on the Board’s own nearly 19-year obstinance with its black employees in Artis v. Greenspan Bernanke Yellen)

Such observations would have to become policy positions. With this context, mere reporting on known facts (without remedial policy ideas/proposals) is not sufficient.

 

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(3) Interesting New York Times op-ed by Rana Foroohar, “How Big Banks Became Our Masters.”

Observation:  Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) directed a question to Chair Janet Yellen at the July 2017 Monetary Policy Report hearing. He referred to Foroohar’s book, “Makers and Takers: How Wall Street Destroyed Main Street.”


The Federal Reserve Board (Board) publishes a weekly digest of its activities on its website. The digest is called the H.2 Release and is published every Thursday. The release for the week ending September 23, 2017, is below.

H.2 Release–Actions of the Board, Its Staff, and the Federal Reserve Banks; Applications and Reports Received

Category Action Taken
Bank Holding Companies PacWest Bancorp, Beverly Hills, California — to acquire CU Bancorp, Los Angeles, and thereby indirectly acquire California United Bank.

-Approved, September 20, 2017

Forms Forms — initial Board review to extend without revision the Recordkeeping Requirements Associated with the Real Estate Lending Standards Regulation for State Member Banks (Reg H-5).

-Proposed, September 21, 2017

Personnel Division of Monetary Affairs — appointment of Brian Madigan and Stephen Meyer as senior advisers and Matthew Luecke as associate director.

-Announced, September 22, 2017

Management Division — appointment of Curtis Eldridge as associate director and Katherine Perez-Grines and Daniela Wegmann as assistant directors.

-Announced, September 21, 2017

Regulations and Policies Presidential $1 Coin Program — annual report to Congress on the Presidential $1 Coin Program.

-Approved, September 8, 2017

(A/C)

Enforcement AB&T Financial Corporation, Gastonia, North Carolina — written agreement issued May 7, 2012, terminated September 13, 2017.

-Announced, September 19, 2017

The First Bank of Baldwin, Baldwin, Wisconsin — written agreement issued July 26, 2011, terminated September 19, 2017.

-Announced, September 21, 2017

Federal Reserve Board: Balance Sheet (H.4.1 Release)

The Board publishes data of factors affecting reserve balances. The digest is called the H.4.1 Release, and they are published every Thursday (or the next business day if the publication date falls on a federal holiday). The release for September 28, 2017, is below.

[Note: The blog will cover the line titled “Total Factors Supplying Reserve Funds.”]

H.4.1 Release–Factors Affecting Reserve Balances

Total factors supplying reserve funds (as of September 27, 2017):  $4,502,238 (in millions of dollars). (On September 26, 2007, this amount was $900,473 (in millions of dollars)).

(See the release for further information.)