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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    Why Charles Barkley supports the Ferguson grand jury decision

    Why Charles Barkley supports the Ferguson grand jury decision

    Former NBA star Charles Barkley called Ferguson looters 'scumbags' and said that 'key forensic evidence, and several black witnesses that supported Officer Darren Wilson’s story.'

    By Husna Haq December 1, 2014 11:37 AM

    Former NBA star Charles Barkley recently called Ferguson looters "scumbags," praised police officers who work in black neighborhoods, and said he supports the decision made by the grand jury not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown shooting.

    Related Stories

    1. Live updates: Ferguson braces for more protests Yahoo News
    2. Poll finds Americans evenly divided on Ferguson decision The Week (RSS)
    3. 30 Powerful Reactions To The Ferguson Decision From Teens And Young AdultsHuffington Post
    4. Across the U.S., thousands protest Ferguson decision The Week (RSS)

    During an interview on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia on Tuesday, the day after the Ferguson decision was announced, host Mike Missanelli asked Barkley about it and why "black America" doesn't trust the ruling.
    His response surprised some listeners.

    Recommended: Race equality in America: How far have we come?

    "The true story came out from the grand jury testimony," Barkley said, adding that he was made aware of "key forensic evidence, and several black witnesses that supported Officer Darren Wilson’s story..." He continued, "I can’t believe anything I hear on television anymore. And, that’s why I don’t like talking about race issues with the media anymore, because they (the media) love this stuff, and lead people to jump to conclusions. The media shouldn’t do that. They never do that when black people kill each other. "

    He also called those who rioted after the decision was announced "scumbags," and said "There is no excuse for people to be out there burning down people's businesses, burning down police cars."

    View gallery

    Kevin Hart (L) and Charles Barkley talk during the Cleveland Cavaliers & Turner Sports Home Open …

    And in a marked departure from other prominent black leaders who have questioned tactics used by officers and, in some cases, accused officers of racial profiling and outright racism, Barkley supported police officers, especially those who work in black neighborhoods.

    “[W]e have to be really careful with the cops, because if it wasn’t for the cops we would be living in the Wild, Wild West in our neighborhoods," he said. "We can’t pick out certain incidentals that don’t go our way and act like the cops are all bad.... Do you know how bad some of these neighborhoods would be if it wasn't for the cops?”

    His comments are in sharp contrast with those made by other black leaders on the Ferguson case. Rev. Al Sharpton and civil rights activist Jesse Jacksonhave both criticized the Ferguson decision and racial profiling by police.President Obama is scheduled to hold meetings with civil rights groups Monday on law enforcement and how to rebuild trust in black communities.

    Other black athletes have also reacted to the Ferguson decision. Prior to Sunday’s kickoff against the Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams football players Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Chris Givens and Kenny Brittentered the field with their hands up, referring to the "hands up, don't shoot," rallying cry of Michael Brown supporters.

    This PBS Newshour chart
    shows that a majority of grand jury witnesses agreed that Michael Brown reached into Officer Wilson's police car, but a majority also testified that Michael Brown had his hands up when he was fatally shot.

    View gallery

    Michael Brown, father of Michael Brown, Rev. Al Sharpton, Kimberly Ballinger, domestic partner of Ak …

    Barkley immediately drew praise from conservative media and bloggers.

    "Charles Barkley speaks the truth about Ferguson, calls out the media, and it’s EPIC," wrote Young Conservatives. "Former NBA star Charles Barkley slams Ferguson rioters, leftstream media and Obama," said the Tea Party News Network.

    While Barkley's comments are a departure from that of some of his black colleagues, they shouldn't be surprising to those who know Barkley.

    In 2013, Barkley famously said he agreed with the George Zimmerman acquittal in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. In July of last year, a Florida jury found that neighborhood watch leader Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, was not guilty in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.

    "That’s probably not a popular opinion among most people. But just looking at the evidence, I agreed with the verdict," he told CNBC host Maria Bartiromo on CNBC's Closing Bell about the Zimmerman verdict.

    Twitter lit up with reaction to Barkley's comments, both angry and supportive.
    View gallery

    Police take a man into custody, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Missouri's governor ord …

    Charles Barkley is the modern day Uncle Tom and he just made every virulent Klan and hate group in America cheer.— Jeff Gauvin (@JeffersonObama) July 18, 2013

    Charles Barkley is the laughing stock of the sports world....dumb as shit and well trained by his slave masters— Jeff Gauvin (@JeffersonObama) July 18, 2013

    Charles Barkley with a measured and thoughtful reaction to the #Zimmerman verdict.— Brian Adam Jones (@bjones) July 18, 2013
    Pretty intelligent comments by Charles Barkley on CNBC. On several topics, actually, including the Zimmerman trial.— Tom Getz (@Getztowondering) July 18, 2013
    Barkley is honest man. Have to respect his take on the #Zimmerman case and on racism.— Richard Golding (@24kt_GLD) July 18, 2013
    Regardless of the feedback he gets on his Ferguson comments, Barkley made it clear on the Philadelphia radio show that he will continue to share his thoughts on the Ferguson decision and on race in America, telling listeners, "I ain't shutting up and I ain't backing down."


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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Kenny Smith's open letter to Charles Barkley about Ferguson

    A For The Win exclusive.

    By: KENNY SMITH 5 hours ago

    (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
    Editor’s Note: NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley’s comments about recent events in Ferguson, Mo. have prompted a strong reaction from many, including Kenny Smith, his friend and fellow analyst on TNT’s “Inside the NBA.”

    Smith addressed Barkley’s remarks in an open letter submitted exclusively to For The Win. The letter is featured below in its entirety:

    Dear Chuck,

    I hope this finds you in the way I always see you, in great spirits, with great joy and full of life. There are some things I want to openly say to you that sometimes in conversation get lost.

    Firstly I lied! You ARE the greatest Power Forward of all time. It’s not (Tim) Duncan or (Karl) Malone, they had size and height that you weren’t blessed with and you never had near the talent around you that they were blessed to have. Contrarily you took your teams to similar heights.

    Secondly, you are a champion in my book. Effort and determination is what makes a champion, not a ring.

    Lastly, you are the most entertaining person in sports television (partly because I throw you so many assists lol).

    However, what I consistently find interesting is how writers and media members view your insights in politics, and now race relations, with the same reverence as your insights in sports.

    They did it in the Trayvon Martin trial and now with Mike Brown and the decision in Ferguson. It’s not that you shouldn’t ever have an opinion, but you are often quoted alongside the likes of Al Sharpton and even President Obama. I would hope that Sharpton or President Obama would never be referenced with you when picking the next NBA Champs!

    The body of work that our Black Civil Rights leaders put in by planning, executing and activating does not justify you being in the conversation.

    While your body of work on the court very few compare to nor should be mentioned when you are giving your expert analysis. Again, I respect that you have an opinion on Ferguson. And here’s mine.

    The question must be asked: Why is there so much distrust in the police and the legal system from the African American community? Without manifesting what the effects of slavery still have today, Dec 1st still marks only 59 years since Rosa Parks sat on that memorable bus. Many of our parents and grandparents have lived through those times and have passed those stories on to all of us. Those civil rights changes were at one time the law! They were not illegal.

    So did the protection of the law by the courts and police make it right? Obviously not, so as African Americans we still know and feel that there are laws and jurisdictions that severely penalize the poor and, most importantly, African Americans greater than any other group. Some laws were initially made without us as equals in mind; that’s just the facts. So the thought process that it’s not for us or by us will unfortunately lead to distrust.

    When someone is in “the struggle”, which many of our black communities are in, they are living with a lack of educational facilities, high unemployment and poor recreational facilities. The masses involved in “the struggle” will react in several ways. They can overcome it, challenge it, live in it, or fall victim to it … For those of us who are decades removed from “the struggle” because of our life through sports or business, we now have to acknowledge that every option listed exists. If not, then we are the ignorant ones.

    That leads me to the looters and civilians burning buildings which you referred to as “scumbags”. Here’s an analogy: If you put 100 people on an island with no food, no water, no hope of a ship coming, then some will overcome it and be resourceful, some will live in it, others will panic and others will show horrific character, which is wrong. But not to understand that all alternatives are possible is wrong as well.

    I was also disheartened to see the reaction of burning buildings and looters by some. However, when you are in “The Struggle” to not expect that that potential reaction is foolish on our part.

    The real issue is learning to positively manage your anger so you can be heard. It’s not that they are “scumbags”, their emotions won’t allow them to rationally think through their anger. I applaud that you have done a great job in your anger management in recent times … but not always.

    Mike Brown wasn’t about race relations, nor Trayvon Martin or even Hurricane Katrina for that matter. It’s about trust. Do I trust you to help me off the island? If so, do you have my best interests at heart? Do I trust that you will you send a ship or allow me access to build my own ship?

    And you were right Chuck, let’s not discredit that there are great police officers in all neighborhoods, but let’s not credit that we shouldn’t have doubt.

    See you Thursday night!

    Kenny Smith


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