Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:07 PM
Eleanors38 (10,901 posts)
Tonight: Eye-opening comments by Barkley re: Costas affair...
In the wake of controversial remarks about guns and "gun culture" during an NFL game, Bob Costas will feature two guests from the sports world on his weekly NBC T.V. program "Costas Tonight:" John McEnroe of tennis fame, and Charles Barkley the NBA great. McEnroe pretty is pretty much in favor of gun-control: "...Mayor Bloomberg in New York City, where I live, has advocated, I think rightly so, that we get as many guns as possible off the streets. There are too many scenarios…that would make it that much easier to pick up a gun and do something."
Take those comments as you wish. But the eye-opening comments come from Barkley:
"I think, especially in the black culture, it's a crime culture," Barkley said. "We, as black people, and I always say we, we don't have respect for each other. We got more black men in prison than we do in college, and crime in our neighborhoods is running rampant. I know everybody reacts when something like the Belcher thing happens, but being black, this is something you deal with all the time, and it's just sad. I'm a guy and I carry a gun. I carry a gun."
"I carried a gun in my car, every year of my life since I was 20 — never had to use it," he said. "I just feel safer with it because we have jocks who get robbed all the time, road rage and things like that. I feel a sense of peace when I have it with me, but it would take extreme circumstances for me to even touch it."
There will be many who will recoil from what Barkley will say, but his comments resonate with much of what Malcolm X was saying some fifty years ago, even during his follow-the-leader phase with Nation of Islam head Elija Muhammad (in Malcolm's later words, a "zombie" to Muhammad), and when he viewed whites as devils:
"He cleans us up--morally, mentally and spiritually--and he reforms us of the vices that have blinded us here in the Western society. He stops black men from getting drunk, stops their dope addiction if they had it, stops nicotine, gambling, stealing, lying, cheating, fornication, adultery, prostitution, juvenile delinquency. I think of this whenever somebody talks about someone investigating us. Why investigate the Honorable Elijah Muhammad? They should subsidize him. He's cleaning up the mess that white men have made. He's saving the Government millions of dollars, taking black men off of welfare, showing them how to do something for themselves. And Mr. Muhammad teaches us love for our own kind. The white man has taught the black people in this country to hate themselves as inferior, to hate each other, to be divided against each other. Messenger Muhammad restores our love for our own kind, which enables us to work together in unity and harmony. He shows us how to pool our financial resources and our talents, then to work together toward a common objective. Among other things, we have small businesses in most major cities in this country, and we want to create many more. We are taught by Mr. Muhammad that it is very important to improve the black man's economy, and his thrift. But to do this, we must have land of our own. The brainwashed black man can never learn to stand on his own two feet until he is on his own. We must learn to become our own producers, manufacturers and traders; we must have industry of our own, to employ our own."
Even as a teen growing up in North Florida, where Malcolm X was sometimes more feared than MLK, some of my "redneck friends" stopped and listened carefully to similar comments. In any case, since those times, there has grown up a rather large black middle class. But the working class, plagued by lay-offs, outsourcing, the crumbling of small, independent black businesses since the mid-60s has been detrimental, IMO, to black communities. With shrinking community-based business, continued unemployment, little improvement in family life, is it too much to say that a "crime culture" has evolved to fill the vacuum?
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