29 Oct Charles Barkley on the “dirty, dark secret” in the Black Community
While appearing on Afternoons with Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis, NBA legend Charles Barkley was asked about the situation surrounding Mike Freeman’s reporting on the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson not being “Black enough”, according to some of his teammates. And his response was spot on:
Unfortunately, as I tell my white friends, we as black people, we’re never going to be successful, not because of you white people but because of other black people. When you’re black, you have to deal with so much crap in your life from other black people. It’s a dirty, dark secret…
As Barkley said, this issue is prevalent in the Black community. And any African-American who has obtained or sought success knows it all too well.
Those of us who choose to pursue our ambitions and not settle are faced with feelings of alienation, ridicule, and accused of “forgetting” where we come from, “changing”, or being “too good” for those who feel abandoned.
Any time this issue arises, I think to myself: how did a people who endured hundreds of years of torture and dehumanization survive, fight for equality, education, and the right to pursue excellence, become “crabs in a barrel”?
Barkley continued with this:
For some reason we’re 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.
I’m glad Charles Barkley was asked about this situation because he is one of the few prominent African-Americans who will speak candidly on hot topics. But the unfortunate truth is that he’ll be attacked for his comments and be seen as an “Uncle Tom” to those he’s speaking about because he’s airing dirty laundry and “embarrassing us.
Despite the backlash, we not only need other influences to speak out, but we need to be more proactive about teaching young Black girls and boys that excellence is the standard, not the exception.