Monday, August 10, 2020

Is Charles Barkley correct about “brainwashed” African Americans?

barkleyNBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley spoke candidly about the problems facing the black community when appearing on a Philadelphia radio station, accusing “unintelligent,” “brainwashed” African-Americans of keeping successful ones down.

While appearing on “Afternoons with Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis,” Barkley was asked about a rumor that Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was getting criticism from his black teammates for not being, quote, “black enough.”

Barkley went on a long monologue on the subject: ”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; I’m glad it’s coming out.”

Barkley said that young black men who do well in school are accused of “acting white” by their peers. “One of the reasons we’re never going to be successful as a whole, because of other black people. And for some reason we are 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. And it’s a dirty, dark secret.”

Read more here.

So is Barkley on track, or another Black elitest unconcerned about the problems of Blacks who have not found success?


  1. Charles Barkley is correct….somewhat. In order to be entirely correct, he would have to cover more angles of the story. For instance, there are good things which can be said about resisting the oppressor which is what many folk think they are doing when they come out against doing things like the oppressor. This is what could be expected from an athlete who was trained in the fine points of the great sport of basketball as opposed to one who studies life and stuff other than entertainment – which is what basketball happens to be. We should take what our entertainers say with a “grain of salt”. This is not to say that wisdom cannot come from the mouth of a former athlete. But there are many that I’d listen to before I would take Sir Charles word as the “gospel”.

  2. Barkley has experiences that have given him his perspective, and it is not unfounded. No matter what you think about Barkley, at least he had the guts to state them and stand by them. Sure, what he’s saying isn’t the gospel, just like so many other perspectives offered on the myriad of issues that fill our our news programs each night.

    Race discussions are slippery slopes, but again he’s entitled to his opinion just like anyone else.

    To read my commentary on it, see


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