Charles Barkley the NBA Hall-of-Famer told a Philadelphia radio station that black people have a difficult predicament. “If you go to school, make good grades, speak intelligent and don’t break the law, you’re not a good black person,” Barkley said. “We’re the only ethnic group that says, ‘hey, if you go to jail, it gives you street cred.'” Barkley was asked about assertions that Russell Wilson, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback, isn’t “black enough” for some black fans.
Barkley’s comments align him with the comedian Bill Cosby, who has alienated many younger blacks by decrying what he perceives as self-defeating thuggery and a perverse pride in sounding uneducated. “They’re standing on the corner and they can’t speak English,” Cosby has said. “Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.” Recently the young black comedian Hannibal Buress made news repeating some serious accusations against Cosby. Buress encapsulates some blacks feeling about Cosby when he says: “Bill Cosby has the (expletive) smuggest old black man persona that I hate. ‘Pull your pants up black people, I was on TV in the 80s! I can talk down to you.'” Wonder what Buress thinks of Barkley’s ideas.