A Colorado Cub Scout is looking for a new Scout group after being kicked out of his den for allegedly asking a Republican state senator some rather pointed questions.
The 11 year-old from Broomfield has been a Scout for five years and, at a meeting organized by the Boy Scouts earlier this month, asked Sen. Vicki Marble about gun control and comments she had made in 2013 regarding mortality rates among African-Americans, The Denver post reported.
Ames Mayfield was kicked out of his den as a result, his mother Lori Mayfield, said on Wednesday.
“He is still kind of reeling from this,” she said, according to The Post. “He is really sensitive, my heart breaks for him.”
She recorded her son’s and other Scouts’ questions from the meeting and posted them on YouTube in a video titled “Vicki Marble denies chicken-gate.”
“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,” the GOP senator had said in a 2013 legislative hearing on poverty, The Post reported.
“Although I’ve got to say,” she said at the time. “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.”
The young Scout, a fifth-grader at Prospect Ridge Academy, questioned Marble about the remarks.
“I was astonished that you blamed black people for poor health and poverty because of all the chicken and barbecue they eat,” he said.
“I didn’t, that was made up by the media,” Marble told him. “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.”
Marble calmly spoke to the Scouts at the Oct. 9 meeting, in part responding to Mayfield’s line of questions.
“We have multicultural foods in the United States and we are very blessed to have it. And we all love it and we all eat it. And we just better figure out our genetics,” she said.
The boy’s mother said he had researched Marble himself before the event and had even formulated his own questions.
“The only coaching I gave him was to be respectful,” Mayfield said. “Don’t be argumentative, preface things ‘with all due respect.’” She claimed the den leader was upset with her son’s questions and that is why he is now looking for a new den.
“I felt my son followed directions. He asked hard questions, but he was not disrespectful,” she said, according to The Post.
Other Scouts reportedly asked Marble about the border wall and fossil fuels, but Mayfield’s more than two-minute question on gun control was apparently what got him kicked out of his pack, according to KMGH-TV.
“Why on earth would you want someone who beats their wife to have access to a gun,” he asked Marble before his leader cuts him off. “Ok, Ames, that is a really through question.”
In an email to the station, his mother said her son was “praised” for the question and was “heartbroken” over being kicked out. “What does that teach scouts?” she wrote.
A check of Lori Mayfield’s social media by KMGH revealed the mother is “very active politically” and said she helped her son craft the questions “but they were his ideas.”
Marble, majority caucus chair, responded Wednesday in an email to The Post.
“Decisions about who is in or out of a den are internal organizational matters that I won’t second guess,” she wrote. “I don’t blame the boy for asking the questions, since I believe there was an element of manipulation involved, and it wasn’t much different from the questions I normally field in other meetings. The invitation to meet with the scouts was never intended to cause friction and controversy.”
Nicole Cosme, marketing director of the Boy Scouts of America Denver Area Council, offered Mayfield membership in other dens.
“The Denver Area Council is evaluating this matter closely and will treat all parties with dignity and respect,” she told the Post, adding that the Boy Scouts is “a wholly nonpartisan organization and does not promote any one political position, candidate or philosophy.”
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