Who said that black people “got to do better?” Surely, it was not President Obama who believes, despite the evidence that his presidency has not produced deeper racial divisions. In fact, a recent poll shows that 69% of the people believe that race relations in America are bad. That counts as the worst number in the Obama presidency.
As for all that racial healing the president was promising, he has been discussing it with Rev. Al Sharpton and even hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar. You know Lamar, a while back he sang this on Saturday Night Live:
I put a bullet in the back of the back of the head of the police….It’s a war outside, bomb in the street, gun in the hood, mob of police….
So, who was it who said that black people should do better? Why, it was none other than basketball legend Charles Barkley, a dissident voice in the din.
The Daily Mail reports on an ESPN interview that featured Sir Charles:
Charles Barkley says black people have 'got to do better' in response to last week's shootings of black men by police and the sniper attack that left five officers dead in Dallas.
In an interview on ESPN radio's Dan Le Batard show Tuesday, Barkley said that police 'have made some mistakes' but 'that don't give us the right to riot and shoot cops.'
He continued that it bothers him that black people 'never get mad when black people kill each other. We never get mad when black people kill each other, which has always bothered me.'
And Barkley continued:
'I’ve always said if we as black people want more respect, we have to give each other respect. You can’t demand respect from white people and the cops if you don’t respect each other.
He added that 'there's a lot of blame to go around but I’m not going to get on TV and yell like all these other idiots.'
The 11-time NBA all-star and TNT commentator has often been outspoken on issues of race.
'I'm not perfect. I'm not trying to be perfect. But you have to ask yourself, "Are you part of the problem or are you part of the solution?"
He added, 'I think some of these cops are panicking under pressure.'
When challenged by the white interviewer about his views on black-on-black violence, Barkley responded:
Dan, I've been black all my life, most black people I know are killed by other black people.'
Barkley went on to say that the officers in both the recent shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile 'clearly overreacted' but says he can sympathize with the pressure of their job.
'There's no doubt in my mind if I'm fighting with a guy and I hear somebody scream gun, and I got a gun, I'm going to shoot the guy,' Barkley said.
While he thinks several cops have made mistakes in the killings of black men, the black community is going to need to work with law enforcement in order to make change.
'We gotta look at the big picture. We have to work with the cops because we need the cops. If it wasn't for the cops, we'd be living in the Wild Wild West,' he said.
As I said, a dissident voice. One that does not seem to have gotten too much press.