So Charles Barkley is the latest in a line of public figures to come under fire from the Liberal media for calling the Ferguson rioters “scumbags.” Not the protestors, the rioters who looted and burned approximately 20 buildings in Ferguson crippling small businesses and causing unknown financial damages. I do not want to diminish Mr. Barkley’s characterization of the rioters because I have made a similar characterizations myself, but the interview in its entirety spoke to a thoughtful and reasoned approach to his opinion on the Ferguson verdict and strong feelings about black culture and issues within the black community. Did anyone who did not take the time to listen to the video hear those thoughtful perspectives? His comments fly directly in the face of the narrative of victimization, oppression and racial tension that is so critical to keeping the racist meme alive.
In fact in Huffington Post's live coverage of the interview, Mr. Barkley was characterized as “siding with law enforcement” in the Ferguson matter. This type of polarizing theme is critically important to the mainstream media (MSM), comprised of the major news networks. They have made victims of, glorified, and coddled these ‘scumbags’ because they fit into the far Left’s storyline. Looters, arsonists and scumbags were easily manipulated into rage on a stage for the whole world to see. The MSM kept up the narrative by minimizing or eliminating facts that did not fit into the networks political narrative. Anyone who saw the abrupt and awkward transition made by Andrea Mitchell on "Meet the Press" this past Sunday just to keep from discussing relevant physical evidence can clearly see how important this continued narrative of racial strife and division is to the media. Meanwhile Conservative activists on social media are raising funds to help the business owners rebuild. I wonder how much MSNBC and Salon have donated to the same?
I truly believe America's Black community wants change but largely fails to encourage change in the most need areas.... that is from within. As long as the media continues to polarize the black community around issues like Ferguson, meaningful dialogue is not possible. We need to talk about the number of young black men who die violently at the hands of other young black men. We need to talk about the destruction of the black nuclear family and the problems fatherless families have created in our communities. We need to talk about the black culture in our poorest cities that discourages academic achievement and good choices. Any number of successful black writers and commentators are bringing up these topics, but we only get play around media circuses like Ferguson and we are only brought on for a sound byte. Nothing gets fixed with a sound byte.
As long as a significant number of Black Americans choose to embracing the misguided attitude that openly discussing our shortcomings is somehow taboo we will continue living under an unnecessary sentence of permanent victim status. Promotion of this groupthink mentality, coupled with the Left’s ability to control the media narrative closes the door on real and productive conversation. This mindset also keeps people like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and other like-minded leaders in positions of prominence while it does nothing for our community as a whole and prevents us from ever truly embracing our potential.
So, is anybody listening? For those who call me "Uncle Tom" and worse, please know it is that type of criticism that fuels my desire to continue on the path I have chosen. I do not hate being Black. I believe Black people are capable of far more than we have allowed ourselves to embrace on a large, visible scale.I am as proud of who I am as any person who takes pride in their identity and cultural heritage. As long as I remain a witness to the black community being manipulated by the media and those with political aspirations into excusing their failures and learned dependence, I will continue to try and start the discussion in vocal and provocative ways.
So are you listening? I agree with all six plus minutes of Charles Barkley’s interview. Are you brave enough to hear what to say?