No stranger to controversial statements, NBA Hall of Famer turned sports commentator, Charles Barkley, blamed stagnation in the Black community on “brainwashed” Black people too “unintelligent” to choose education over street credibility.
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During an appearance on Philadelphia’s “Afternoons with Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis” radio show, Sir Charles responded to a Bleacher Report article claiming that teammates of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson felt that he wasn’t “Black enough.”
Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman denied the locker room racism, telling CBS Sports, “Nobody in here said that. It’s made up.”
Wilson also brushed off the story, saying, “Black enough? I don’t even know what that means. I’m just an educated, well-spoken male.”
Though Barkley’s comments were made before the report was denied, that does little to change the crux of his sweeping statement, which is that Black people believe education and Blackness are mutually exclusive.
“We as black people are never going to be successful, not because of you white people, but because of other black people. When you are black, you have to deal with so much crap in your life from other black people,” Barkley said.
“For some reason we are brainwashed to think, if you’re not a thug or an idiot, you’re not black enough. If you go to school, make good grades, speak intelligent, and don’t break the law, you’re not a good black person. It’s a dirty, dark secret in the black community.
“There are a lot of black people who are unintelligent, who don’t have success. It’s best to knock a successful black person down because they’re intelligent, they speak well, they do well in school, and they’re successful. It’s just typical BS that goes on when you’re black, man.”
Barkley also raised eyebrows when he said that he agreed with George Zimmerman being found not guilty in February 26, 2012 slaying of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
I agree with the verdict,” Barkley told CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo. “I’m sorry that young kid got killed, but they didn’t have enough evidence to charge him.”
“Trayvon Martin, God rest his soul, he did flip the switch and start beating the hell out of Mr. Zimmerman.” He added that he “feels bad” that the trial gave “every white person and black person who is racist the platform to vent their ignorance. That’s the thing that bothered me the most. I watched this trial closely. I watched these people on television talking about it. A lot of these people have a hidden agenda. They want to have their racist views, whether they are white or black… They’re biases come out.”
In another incident, Barkley piggybacked on the myth that there are more Black men in jail than college — a lie comprehensively and methodically exposed by Dr. Ivory Toldson – Barkley explained why Black men need to be armed to protect themselves from other Black men:
“You know, we as black people always, we don’t have respect for one another. You know, we’ve got more black men in prison than we do in college, and crime in our neighborhoods is running rampant.”
Recently, Barkley defended accused child abuser Adrian Peterson by saying that whipping children isn’t abuse, it’s a Southern thing:
“I don’t believe that because, listen, we spank kids in the south,” Barkley said. “I think the question about did Adrian Peterson go overboard? But we all grew up in different environments. Every black parent in my neighborhood in the south would be in trouble, or in jail under those circumstances.”
So, in life according to Barkley, Black people are unintelligent, crabs-in-a-barrel who should carry guns to protect ourselves from each other, whip our children and be nice to dangerous White-identifying men who stalk us on rainy nights.