On Wednesday, speaking on Michael Smerconish’s SiriusXM radio show, NBA Hall Of Famer Charles Barkley, in his inimitably blunt style, said Democrats only talk to black Americans when they want their votes.
As Mediaite reported, Barkley was reminiscing about his work with Alabama Sen. Doug Jones when Jones ran against GOP candidate Roy Moore in a special election in 2017.
Barkley recalled, “I said ‘Doug, I’m going to support you. I’m going to try to get every black person in Alabama to vote for you.’ And it worked out. We won for the first time in 40 years. But I said, ‘We need to start holding you Democrats accountable’ because they’ve been taking black people’s votes – and they only talk to black people every four years. All of these politicians only talk to black people every four years because they want their vote.”
Barkley added, “Oh, actually, the Republicans don’t, the Democrats do. But when they get elected, they do nothing in the four years in-between.”
Barkley also opined on the supposed racism of Trump supporters, saying, “I don’t think everybody who voted for Trump is racist … I think some of them are, but I don’t think everybody who voted for Trump is racist. But this thing started way, way back. When we started shipping all our jobs overseas many, many years ago, it was really going to have a negative effect in the long run; you notice now that all these malls and places are closing because people are doing all their shopping online, that’s going to have a negative effect … that’s not the president’s fault.”
After Jones was elected, Barkley, who hails from Alabama, told CNN, “I’m so proud of my state. I love my state. We got some amazing people here. Yeah, we got a bunch of rednecks and a bunch of ignorant people, but we got some amazing people here and they rose up today.” Then he added that Democrats should stop taking the black vote for granted, snapping, “It’s time for them to get off their ass and start making life better for black folks and people who are poor.”
Barkley is well-known for bluntly challenging the status quo; in January 2016, he ripped ESPN for race-baiting in the run-up to the Super Bowl, saying on “The Dan Patrick Show” that ESPN was “framing the narrative” of the game featuring Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos and Cam Newton’s Carolina Panthers. He said, “ESPN has already started their crap about black versus white, good versus evil—and I know a lot of those fools over there got radio talk shows … It really annoys the hell out of me. We really just can’t appreciate the greatness of Peyton [Manning]. And, clearly, Cam is on the track to become one of the greatest players ever. You can already see them framing this narrative ‘black versus white, good versus evil.'”
He added, “The best way to make talk radio good is to make it racial … I hate bringing up the race card because there’s more important race stuff, but race does have something to do with it. There is a racial component, but I hate talking about that because we, as black people, we got way more important things where race is a factor than something silly like sports.”