Senator Vicki Marble, come on down! You're the next contestant on The Politics is Wrong!
Marble, a Republican from Fort Collins, was apparently trying to be sympathetic to African-Americans at a State Capitol meeting yesterday, but her words sure as hell didn't come out that way -- unless you think comments about "problems in the black race" were balanced by compliments to the BBQ and chicken served down South. Get details and hear the audio below.
Marble's gaffe came amid a gathering of the Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force. As reported by Fox31 and heard in an audio clip obtained by ColoradoPols, she was trying to address "a number of statistics highlighting racial disparities in the poverty rate," but had trouble making her point due to the way her foot kept sneaking into her mouth.
"When you look at life expectancy, there are problems in the black race," she said. "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. Although I've got to say, I've never had better barbecue and better chicken and ate better in my life than when you go down South and you -- I love it...."
To make a bad situation even worse for Marble, the task force includes Representative Rhonda Fields, an African-American who was subjected earlier to this year to allegedly threatening, racially charged e-mails that resulted in criminal charges against the sender, Frankin Sain.
Fields didn't hesitate to blister her colleague. Her response, also featured in the clip below, includes her statement that "one of the things that I will not tolerate is racist and insensitive remarks about African-Americans, the color of their skin, what you mentioned that we eat. I was highly offended by your remarks."
Fields subsequently took to Twitter and shared the following....
Moving forward, our conversation needs to be elevated to address poverty, economy, and quality of education. Not fried chicken. #COleg
— Rhonda Fields (@reprhondafields) August 22, 2013
...which Representative Joe Salazar echoed in this tweet:
— Rep. Joe Salazar (@HouseSalazar) August 22, 2013
As for Marble, she subsequently issued the following mea culpa: "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."
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Does this reply fix the situation? Decide after listening to the following -- and double-checking a calendar to reassure yourself that this is indeed still 2013.
More from our Politics archive circa February: "Franklin Sain to gun-control backers: 'Hopefully somebody Giffords both of your asses.'"