Colorado Republican state Sen. Vicki Marble, during a task force discussion about poverty, referenced chicken as one of the reasons for health problems — including sickle-cell anemia, apparently — in the black community, the Denver Post reports. Marble also made a comment about how Mexicans ate healthier in their native country before immigrating to the United States, despite a recent report that Mexico is the world's most overweight industrialized nation.
Her Democratic colleagues said that she reinforced inaccurate stereotypes about black Americans, to which Marble later issued a statement expressing sorrow about how her comments "were taken."
"When you look at life expectancy, there are problems in the black race," Marble 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 mean, I love it. Everybody loves it."
Marble also said Mexicans eat healthfully until they immigrate to America.
Marble serves on the legislature's Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force, which Wednesday was looking at statistics highlighting racial disparities and the poverty rate.
Two Democrats on the committee, Sen. John Kefalas of Fort Collins and Rep. Rhonda Fields of Aurora, later said Marble's comments not only reinforced stereotypes, but that they also are inaccurate. They said those in the committee room appeared shocked by the remarks …
In a statement issued Wednesday night, Marble said her comments "were not meant to be disparaging to any community. I am saddened they were taken in that regard."
Read more at the Denver Post.