NBA analyst Charles Barkley drew heavy criticism from the black community this week, simply for refusing to condemn Confederate statues and calling for an end to black-on-black crime.
Michael Harriot, a writer for The Root, blasted the former NBA basketball star in a piece titled, "Charles Barkley Is a Great Example of a Black White Supremacist" after Barkley infuriated the black community last week with his stance on Confederate monuments and flags.
Barkley told a Birmingham, Alabama, news station that he felt time and energy spent debating the viability and necessity of Confederate monuments was a "waste."
In the same interview, Barkley also attacked black-on-black crime and noted that blacks should get their acts together by uniting instead of dividing.
Harriot's analysis of Barkley was scathing — in addition to calling the basketball player a "white supremacist," he begged the question of "Why won't Charles Barkley shut the f*** up?"
"Is there anyone who thinks that Barkley’s statements about race reveal anything other than his repeated willingness to throw black people under the bus for our stupid unwillingness to assimilate into whiteness?" Harriot wrote.
Harriot said that Barkley's comments on race serve only to "coincide with those of the oppressors of Black America." Harriot even went so far as to say that, if a black person begins a sentence with "What we as black people need to do is ...," then people should "stop listening immediately."
Further, the writer said that too many people believe that the only solutions to black issues are "white-people solutions," and that only "black white supremacists" find nothing wrong with a "white man's methodology."
The end result, according to Harriot, is ending up "on the Caucasian side of the argument."
Barkley answered a question about monuments to white supremacy by going into a rant about black-on-black crime and insinuating that it somehow had something to do with black people being dumb and poor. Because Barkley doesn’t want to hear logic. He is a true believer in the infallibility and superiority of whiteness.
Because Charles Barkley is a white supremacist.
The comments that got Barkley into trouble
About the Confederate memorabilia, Barkley previously said, "I’m not gonna waste my time worrying about these Confederate statues."
As for how to solve the controversy surrounding the Civil War-era monuments, Barkley had an idea.
“You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna keep doing great things,” Barkley said. “I’m gonna keep trying to make a difference — No. 1, in the black community, ’cause I’m black — but I’m also gonna try to do good things in the world."
Barkley added that the prospect of “screaming at a neo-Nazi who’s gonna hate me no matter what” is wasted energy just like the effort one expends “worrying about these statues that they’ve got all over the country.”
The problem with Harriot's accusations are not necessarily whether he's right or wrong — the issue lies in the fact that he perceives Barkley to be a "black white supremacist" because he begs to differ with the writer of the piece.
Not only is it time to politically reach across the aisle, it's time to apply the same bipartisanship to our fellow brothers and sisters by listening to what they have to say and applying critical analysis to their comments.
If, after that fellow brother or sister's analysis is received and understood, a disagreement is to be had, perhaps it's a good idea to fight intellect with intellect, and not with allegations of racism.