GOP Legislator Brings Fried Chicken To Capitol As Protest For Race Free Speech

In a show of solidarity with a colleague who was rebuked last month for bringing up fried chicken during a discussion about the poverty rate among African-Americans, a Colorado lawmaker brought a box of chicken to the state capitol in Denver on Wednesday.

During an Aug. 21 legislative task force meeting, state Sen. Vicki Marble (R) mentioned both barbeque and fried chicken as she addressed racial disparities in the poverty rate.

“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’s prevalent in the genetic makeup and you just can’t help it,” Marble said. “Although I’ve got to say, I’ve never had better barbeque and better chicken and ate better in my life than when you go down south and you — I love it.”

The remarks were swiftly denounced by state Democrats while Republicans distanced themselves. Marble, for her part, insisted she did not not intend “to be disparaging to any community.”

But on Wednesday, with the task force meeting for the first time since the flap, state Rep. Lori Saine (R) staged what she called a “silent protest” against the uproar generated by Marble’s remarks by placing a box of Popeye’s fried chicken on her desk.

When television station KDVR sought Saine for comment as she made her way through the capitol building, the Republican lawmaker dimissively laughed at the reporter’s question. 

“I’m having chicken for dinner,” she said initially. “Would you like a presser at my house?”

The reporter persisted, but Saine continued to evade the questions.

Saine made light of her actions on Twitter. She shared a photo her dinner, which included a large piece of chicken. In a series of tweets, Saine and KDVR reporter Jeremy Hubbard made a number of jokes related to her “protest.” She also posted a link to a Fox News report on “cultural eating patterns.”

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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