By Josh Israel
Two weeks after Colorado State Senator Vicki Marble (R) came under fire for racially charged comments suggesting that the reason for poverty among certain minority groups was that they eat too much chicken and barbecue, a second Republican on the panel brought a box of Popeye’s chicken to the most recent Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Task Force. After criticism from the state party chairman and communications director, Rep. Lori Saine (R) denied Thursday that the action was a “silent protest,” as had been widely reported.
On August 21, Marble claimed that those in the “black race” are more likely to have diabetes, but that African Americans in the South can’t help it because she has “never had better barbecue and better chicken and ate better in my life than when you go down south.” She also said that Mexicans gain weight when they come to the U.S. because “they change their diet” and stop eating fresh vegetables, ignoring recent data showing that Mexico has higher obesity rates than the United States.
Last week, Saine placed her open box of chicken on the table on the dais, in full view of the audience at the first hearing since the flap. A KDVR report cited an unnamed witness claiming Saine told Marble that the chicken was a “silent protest” of the flap that followed her earlier comments.