Shout-Out/Hat-Tip to Ms. Nolwandle Ntshiza @ for bringing this to my attention.
Charles Barkley responds to Kenny Smith’s open letter on Ferguson
TNT analyst Charles Barkley responded to his colleague Kenny Smith’s open letter to him on Ferguson, Mo. first on 97.5 The Fanatic and then on Inside the NBA on Thursday night.
In his appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic, Barkley responded by saying he disagreed with Smith bringing up slavery in his open letter, which he published on For The Win.
The 97.5 The Fanatic appearance is available online here (his comments begin at the 5-minute mark). Below is a transcript of part of it:
Well, Mike, every time something bad happens in the black community, we can’t bring up slavery. I totally disagree with that. And you know, rioting doesn’t accomplish anything. And you know, to criticize me for using the word ‘scumbag’ or crooks or anything, I’m not going to get into the hyperbole over one word. But I did not like the fact that he brought up slavery. That is ridiculous to bring up slavery, there’s not a slave alive who knows anything about Michael Brown or Ferguson, Mo. I think that was disingenuous.
Listen man, I know that I’m black and I’m always going to be. I know anytime I disagree with black people I’m going to be a sell-out or an Uncle Tom. But I’m gonna try to always be fair, I’m going to judge everyone on their own merits. And like I said, as a black man I do understand that racism exists. It does exist. It always has and always will. And there are black racists also. I was taken back by the slavery comment.
He called me and asked if he could write the letter and I said ‘sure.’ I’m not offended that people disagree with me. As long as we’re having an open dialogue. We should be having an open dialogue about the cops, the black community, we clearly have to do better, we gotta do a better job of policing ourselves. I don’t blame all my ills on white folks, that’s just ridiculous.
On Inside the NBA, the crew discussed Smith’s letter, the Ferguson case and the Eric Garner case in the A-block. The discussion was civil and wide-ranging. Barkley reiterated his point about his disappointment in Smith bringing up slavery in his letter, while Smith pointed out he was more disappointed in the media treating Barkley’s voice as one that should be given equal weight to more prominent civil rights leaders. Shaquille O’Neal also spoke briefly, mentioning he believed that not all the facts were out about the Ferguson case.
Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith openly talk about Ferguson on Inside The NBA
Which led to this response from Sen. Hank Sanders
Open letter to Charles Barkley from Sen. Hank Sanders: ‘Legacy of slavery is everywhere’
Alabama Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma, to write an open letter to the NBA Hall of Famer.
The letter was posted to Sander’s Facebook page. Here is the letter:
Dear Mr. Barkley:
I write you out of love. I write you out of profound pain. I write you out of deep concern. I hope you accept this letter in the spirit that I write.
Mr. Barkley, I understand that you said, in so many words, that slavery was not so bad and that you were tired of people bringing up slavery. I was shocked by both statements. Then I was mad. Then I was terribly disappointed. Finally, I was just in deep hurt and great pain. Now, I am trying to help you and all those who may think like you.
Mr. Barkley, allow me to tell you why slavery was “not so bad,” but very, very bad. First, African people were snatched from their families, their villages, their communities, their tribes, their continent, their freedom. African people were made to walk hundreds of miles in chains. They were often beaten, poorly fed and abused in many ways. Women and girls were routinely raped. The whole continent was ravaged and still suffers to this day. Mr. Barkley, this is very, very bad.
Second, African people were placed in “slave dungeons” for weeks and sometimes months until the slave ships came. They were often underfed, terribly beaten, raped and stuffed together so tightly they could hardly move. African people were packed in the holds of ships with little space to even move. They performed bodily functions where they lay and then lived in it. They were oftentimes beaten, raped and abused mentally, physically and emotionally. Many died from disease and broken spirits. Some were so terribly impacted that they jumped overboard and drowned when brought to the deck of the ships. Millions died during the Middle Passage from Africa to the Americas. Mr. Barkley, this is very, very bad.
Third, African people were broken like wild animals. They were stripped of every element of their identity. Their names were taken. Their languages were taken. Their religions were taken. Their histories were taken. They were forbidden to have family. They had no rights to own anything. They were considered property. Their personalities were permanently altered. Their freedom was taken. They became chattel sold from “slave blocks.” This crushing of identity impacts us to this day. I call it the psychology of the oppressed. Mr. Barkley, this is very, very bad.
Fourth, African Americans were worked from “kin to can’t;” that is from “can see” in the morning to “can’t see” at night. There was no pay for their long, hard labor. Many were poorly fed. Most felt the lash of the whip. All felt the lash of the tongue. Many were repeatedly raped. Their children and other loved ones were sold at will. Some mothers killed their baby girls so they would not have to endure the ravages of slavery. Mr. Barkley, this is very, very bad.
Fifth, African Americans had no right to defend themselves no matter what was done and how wrong it was. By law, they could not even testify against their abusers. As U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Toney said in the 1857 Dred Scott case, “A Black man has no rights a White man is bound to respect.” This became the law of the land and its legacy bedevils us to this day. Mr. Barkley, this is very, very bad.
Sixth, African Americans were perceived and treated as sub human. The only way enslavers could square this terrible treatment with their Christian beliefs was see us as less than human. Therefore, they could proudly place such beautiful words in the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution with impunity: i.e. – “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” To them, African Americans were not human so these beautiful words did not apply. Even the U.S. Constitution designated us as 3/5 of a person. That’s why White terrorists, in and out of uniforms, can kill us without punishment. The legacy of being less human lingers with us today. Black lives are worth much less than White lives. Mr. Barkley, this is very, very bad.
Seventh, it required great violence to implement and maintain the worse form of human slavery known to humankind. It required unbridled violence by enslavers, slave catchers, local, state, federal governments and the entire society. Maintaining the institution of slavery created a very violent society that infests us to this day. That’s why the United States has far more violence than any country in the world. Mr. Barkley, this is very, very bad.
Eighth, even after slavery formerly ended, we still had Jim Crow. These same imbedded attitudes generated state-sanctioned terrorism for nearly another 100 years. The Ku Klux Klan and other terrorist groups hanged, mutilated, maimed and murdered without any punishment. It was state sanctioned terrorism because the “state” did not do anything to prevent it. That’s why even during the Civil Rights Movement murders took many years before even a modicum of justice was forged. Just look at the deaths of Medgar Evers, James Chaney, the three little girls murdered by the bombing of a Birmingham Church and so many others. That is why today Trayvon Martin could not walk the streets of his neighborhood and Jordan Davis could not play loud music in his car and Eric Garner was choked to death and Michael Brown was gunned down. Mr. Barkley this is very, very bad.
Mr. Barkley, if you knew your history, you would not say slavery is not so bad and you are tired of people bringing up slavery. The legacy of slavery is everywhere. However, you are not totally to blame because you were deliberately denied the opportunity to learn your history. That is one more legacy of slavery. I hope you will seek the full history for yourself so that you will not ever say such things again.
In deep concern,
You just schooled a Black man on Black History. I remember Charles making a video saying he ain’t no role model. He also ain’t no spokesman for the Black Community.
Nike “I Am Not a Role Model” commercial w/Charles Barkley – 1993
It’s also evident you don’t get paid for opinions on race relations or common sense logical discussions on current events that involve real live humans. Stick to eating, joking and all the utter nonsense contained within your world of being a House Negro on TNT.
The simple answer is neither of these two buffoons have any idea what it’s like to be Black at this moment in time in AmeriKKKa. They ain’t Black. They have Black skin, but that’s the extent of their Blackness. Looting and fires are not what this is about, and it’s easy for dumbasses to get focused on the bull shit. The issue is the murder of UNARMED Black citizens by caucasian cops. THAT’S THE ISSUE. The looting, done by outsiders, and NOT Ferguson residents (I watched numerous residents stand in defense & protection of Ferguson businesses) IS NOT THE ISSUE. I think Sir Stupid, Kenny and Shaq need to comprehend what cause & effect means.
The Cause/1st event in Ferguson is the murder of unarmed Michael Brown. The Effect/2nd event in Ferguson is the protest, looting & fires, again set by non-residents. Lets stay focused, if racists cop Darren Wilson along with his brotha’s in Blue, had not killed an unarmed Michael Brown then conspired to lie and cover that murder up, as well as corrupt the justice system by all the nefarious work done to have a no indict decision by the Ferguson Grand Jury,……then there would be no unrest.
I rest MY case. Prosecution Rests
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