Colorado state Senator Vicki Marble (R) found herself at the center of a controversy last summer when she said that Latinos and blacks suffer from health problems because they eat too much chicken and barbeque. Now, she’s responded to the backlash claiming that she has no racist tendencies — some of her best friends are black.
“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, it’s in the genetic make-up and you just can’t help it,” Marble said. “Although I’ve gotta say, I’ve never had better barbeque and better chicken or ate better in my life than when you go down south, I mean I love it and everybody loves it. the Mexican diet in Mexico with all the fresh vegetables and you go down there and they’re much thinner than they are up here, they change their diet.”
Of course that is not quite the case. A 2013 United Nations report found that the United States actually has a lower rate of obesity than Mexico. In the U.S., 31.8% of the population is obese while in Mexico the rate is 32.8%. That same one percent differential holds true for the segment of the adult population who are overweight, 70% in the U.S. and 69% in Mexico.
Now Marble is back to defend her insensitive remarks with some more of the same. Claiming that her own family is racially and ethnically diverse and embrace many religions, she said, “We talk honestly, we talk openly and freely, there’s no sensitivity…”
“We all have genetic traits…that’s what I was bringing up…” she went on.
She then brought out that well known and shopworn argument to “prove” that she can’t possibly be a racist — the friends argument.
“Honestly, I learned how to smoke meat from my black friends down in Texas because they lived with me… and stayed at my house…” she said. “Did we talk about cooking? Yes. The whole time.”
“If there’s sensitivities, that’s the way it is,” she continued. “People aren’t all the same. You don’t just cookie-cutter them out and say, ‘You have to listen to this’. But it would be nice to have an honest conversation to help educate them on what is actually happening and to prevent that with diet and exercise.”
There you have it, she isn’t a racist, she is their friend trying to look out for them and teach them how to stop being so self destructive because she knows that without her assistance, they will never unlearn those destructive behaviors that their ancestors taught them. It isn’t their fault, they just don’t know any better and she is willing to make the sacrifice and take on the role of the “great white savior.”
h/t: Think Progress