The Shadow League, like many other media outlets with majority black readers, has chronicled NBA Hall of Famer and Emmy award-winning basketball analyst Charles Barkley’s antiquated and seemingly privileged views of the black and white racial dynamic in America.
Though it may come as something of a shock to his defenders, much of the criticism of Barkley comes from those who actually love the dude. After all, race topics aside, you gotta be made of ice not to appreciate him as person.
With the debut of his TNT docu-series American Race it seemed that Barkley’s views on race had grown across the board. But we didn’t have to wait long to hear whether or not he had become more sympathetic to the plight of impoverished black people. He let us know right after the press conference, which took place three days before the show even aired.
“I don’t think my views on race have changed very much after watching this. I try to judge people on their own merits. We’re all individuals. There’s some white people out there doing some amazing things. I think one of the things that I talk about, and as one of the heroes of the civil rights movement T.T. Vivian said, there were a lot of white people out there that should have gotten more credit for being involved in the civil rights movement.”
“Also, there’s a lot of black people out there that are destroying our race. We never call them out. We’ve gotta do a better job of that. Because if you ain’t for us then you’re against us. There are so many people in the black community that are doing what they should not be doing, black on black crime is an epidemic. We’ve got to address that. My views on race have not changed. If you’re with me then you’re with me, if you’re against me then you’re against me.”
On the surface, all of that seems fine and dandy. But detractors will readily note that his quotes about White people were favorable and conciliatory while his quote on Blacks were, for the thousandth time, admonishing and some would even say condescending.