An 11-year-old Cub Scout has been kicked out of his den after challenging a Republican state senator on her controversial racial remarks.
Ames Mayfield was, until recently, a member of a Cub Scout den in Broomfield, Colorado. But after five years–and a couple of pointed questions aimed at a politician from Fort Collins–Mayfield has been booted from his scout group.
At an event sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America, state Senator Vicki Marble was given the opportunity to address local scout troops and the scouts were given the opportunity to ask Marble some questions about political issues.
Near the end of the meeting, Mayfield posed his question:
Why did you specifically mark black people–I was astonished that you blamed black people for poor health and poverty because of all the chicken and barbecue they eat.
Marble interrupted the Cub Scout to protest. Using an arguably patronizing tone, she said. “I didn’t, that was made up by the media. So, you want to believe it? You believe it. But that’s not how it went down. I didn’t do that. That was false. Get both sides of the story.”
In the video above, Mayfield is visibly shocked by the tenor of the Republican’s response and her interruptions as he tries to assert himself. The Cub Scout looks back and forth and then asks whether he’s allowed to look at the video of her comments. Marble says:
You didn’t see the presentation that we had. We had a presentation. And the committee–the presentation was about black people dying so much earlier than Hispanics or whites. And I asked them, ‘Do you know why?’ We now know why people die–we have genetics, people sometimes eat poorly, and people don’t exercise. Doctors tell ya, they do research and ask you about your parents. Do you have cancer in your family? Do you have a history of heart disease? Do you have this or that? And, umm, that’s what it was about. We have multicultural foods within the United States and we’re very blessed to have it. And we all love it. And we all eat it. And we just better figure out our genetics.
Marble goes on to rattle off her alleged racial lineage without being prompted for such information. She says, “I have blacks. And Mexican–they aren’t Latino–they’re Mexican. I have Jew. Oh, and I have Native American, too!” Marble ends her racial collecting with a joke about the “Lousy Irish.” A few audience members laugh as Mayfield watches on, determined to ask another question.
The Cub Scout then presses Marble as to whether there are any news sources or media organizations that she thinks people can rely on to tell the truth. She says there aren’t. Off camera, an adult can be heard saying, “Great questions everybody.”
But at least one adult in the audience didn’t think so.
After the October 9 visit, one of the den’s leaders said he disapproved of Mayfield’s questions and the boy was kicked out, according to a report in the Denver Post.
And, apparently, it wasn’t because his question was political in the general sense. Some of the other questions posed to Marble had to do with President Trump’s proposed border wall, the continued wisdom of using fossil fuels, and voting for former President Barack Obama.
None of the Cub Scouts who asked their politically-oriented questions were kicked out of the den, according to Lori Mayfield, Ames’ mother.
Nicole Cosme, an official with the Boy Scouts of America Denver Area Council sat down with Mayfield’s mother after the incident and offered Ames membership in other dens, she said, while releasing the following statement, “The Denver Area Council is evaluating this matter closely and will treat all parties with dignity and respect.”
Marble, for her part, is taking it all in stride–and blamed an unnamed manipulator for the entire turn of events. She said, “Decisions about who is in or out of a den are internal organizational matters that I won’t second guess. I don’t blame the boy for asking the questions, since I believe there was an element of manipulation involved.”
Lori Mayfield dismissed Marble’s accusations. She said her son simply researched the speaker–Marble–when he learned about the event and came up with his own questions. “The only coaching I gave him was to be respectful. Don’t be argumentative, preface things ‘with all due respect.’”
Cosme said she hopes Mayfield will remain a Cub Scout despite the controversy.
[image via screengrab]