NBA Analyst Charles Barkley is extremely opinionated. Barkley pulls no punches in conversation, even in sensitive areas regarding race relations in the United States. Following the Grand Jury ruling in Ferguson, Barkley is once again upsetting people as he opines.
In a recent interview, the Hall of Famer stated that he agreed with the grand jury’s decision not to prosecute officer Darren Wilson.
“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. “
“[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?”
Barkley has some valid points. There are some that are taking advantage of the protests for personal gain. And after living through the 92 riots in LA, I’ve never understood the point in destroying the neighborhood you have to live in. Self reflection is always a good thing, looking at what we as a culture – American, not just black – can do to improve.
But, there are larger issues in Ferguson and as a nation. The unbalanced ratio of white cops in a largely black community, the lack of training for officers being provided with weapons of war, and why unarmed black men are dying at the hands of police. Due process is a right to the innocent and guilty.