Not Black Enough?!
by rachel.vienneau on October 28, 2014 - 3:31pm
The article “Charles Barkley: ‘Brainwashed’ blacks hold up success” published on CNN on October 27, 2014, author Breeanna Hare writes about a recent radio interview done by former NBA player Charles Barkley, who is an African-American. In the interview, Barkley talks about another African-American athlete named Russel Wilson who is the quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks football team. Barkley talks about the rumors surrounding Wilson that state that some of his teammates dislike him because they feel like he is not “black enough”. Barkley goes on to say that he is not surprised to hear this because it is common for members of African-American communities to put down those who are successful. They believe that being successful and speaking well makes them less of a black person. While some people were upset by what Barkley said and disagree with him, saying that he overgeneralizes a few peoples experience, many more people strongly agree with him. On twitter, many people, including some well-known African-Americans, validated what Barkley said and shared their personal experiences, showing that what Barkley said was not just a few isolated incidents.
I find it quite sad that some people in African-American communities put one another down when they find success. I find it sad when anyone put someone else down, but the fact that they are already oppressed enough by white people makes me think that when one of them succeeds at something they should be encouraging that person. I also find it strange that they will say that someone is not “black enough”. What does that even mean? What is considered black enough? It must really hurt someone’s ego to say this to them, and it must make them feel like they are not good enough. Of course this is not how every African-American feels towards each other, but the fact that such a large amount of them have experienced it or have seen someone else experience it means it is a problem. Hopefully now that Barkley and many other well-known people are openly talking about the issue they will be able to make a difference.
Hare, B. (2014, October 27). Charles barkley: ‘brainwashed’ blacks hold up success. CNN. Retrieved from: http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/27/showbiz/celebrity-news-gossip/charles-barkley-russell-wilson-not, -black-enough/index.html?hpt=en_c2