Charles Barkley, former NBA basketball player and now sports commentator, has of late become newsworthy for his controversial, off-the-cuff comments. His latest controversy related to his comments regarding teammates of Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson, allegedly saying he isn’t “black enough.”
Barkley wasn’t having any of that. In an interview with “Sports Illustrated,” Barkley had a few things to say about that notion:
There are a lot of black people who are unintelligent, who don’t have success … Unless you are a thug or have a criminal record or you are just a jackass, some black people don’t think you are black enough … It’s a dirty little secret in our community. I want black kids to be strong and intelligent. We’re telling kids if you are doing good in schools, you are acting white. If you speak intelligently, then you are acting white. That is bulls**t. It’s one of the reasons we as a group struggle. We don’t have great respect for each other … you don’t have to be a thug or unintelligent. You are supposed to do great academically. You are supposed to speak correctly. You don’t have to have street cred. I tell people we are the only group where if you have a criminal record it makes you more black. That’s ridiculous …
Of course, a lot of blacks jumped on Barkley for what he said, particularly that part about a lot of black people being unintelligent.
There is indeed a sense that certain things define “blackness,” and Barkley is right: For a lot of people in the community, a drive for education, speaking proper English, and striving for typical middle-class success and experience are deemed as being “white” or as someone “trying to be white.” It is ludicrous and only serves to hold people back.
Source: Opposing Views