Speaking with liberal commentator Mark Lamont Hill on Huff Post Live Thursday, former NBA star Karl Malone said he was “sick and tired” of fellow African Americans using “that excuse about race,” arguing that it was time for personal responsibility and for the community to “stop waiting on someone to come march on our behalf.”
Malone’s comments came in response to Charles Barkley’s criticism of the anti-law enforcement riots in Ferguson after the shooting of Michael Brown, an excerpt from which Hill played for Malone:
Barkley: We, as black people, we got a lot of crooks. We can’t just wait till something like this happens. We got to look ourselves in the mirror. There’s a reason [law enforcement] racially profile us at times. Sometimes it’s wrong, but sometimes it’s right. So to … sit there and act like we all hold no responsibility for some of this stuff is disingenuous.
When Hill asked Malone his take on Barkley’s call for the African American community to “look in the mirror,” Malone said he completely agreed:
Malone: I echo his sentiments exactly. We need to look in our mirror ourselves, stop waiting on someone to come march on our behalf, take ownership in ourself, make our community better, and stop looking for a handout. Do something about it yourself that you can control. Stop using that excuse about race. I am sick and tired that every time you turn around, that’s what we dangle. Everybody can dangle it. [...] Race goes both ways—it really goes both ways.
Hill then asked him if he thought race did not play a part in Ferguson, to which Malone said while his heart went out to the family, he thought “everyone was at fault." He then stressed the importance of valuing our first responders and taking personal responsibility:
Malone: Let me tell you something, our first responders have a hell of a job to do. They have families as well. But I think this right here: our problem now is that we do so much talking and beating things to death. Let’s take ownership in ourself. What can we do? What can we do as a society, what can we do as African Americans? And stop waiting on someone to come in and march for us. Be your person and own up to what you need to do and handle your business. I have nothing wrong with what Charles said because I believe him as well.
As TopRightNews highlights, Malone was immediately denounced online by the left for bucking the Democrat party line on race, with one commenter saying he “wants to be white so bad it’s sickening,” while another said it’s time for the Barkley and Malone to “stop talking in general.” Others, however, agreed with Malone and thanked Malone for “keeping it real.”
Barkley’s most quoted comments on Ferguson came during an interview with 97.5 The Fanatic (transcript via USA Today):
Barkley:[Those expletives] who are looting, those aren’t real black people, those are scumbags. Real black people, they’re not out there looting. I just watched a great story on CNN where bunch of folks wouldn’t let them burn down an establishment, it was a great story…. But unfortunately, the way the media portrays a lot of black people, we only put the negative black people on television. We don’t put the good hard-working black people. That’s what I said and that’s what I meant. There’s a perception amongst some black people that if you’re not a thug or a hood rat, you don’t wear your pants down by your [expletive] you’re not black enough. And they’re always holding us back, plain and simple. And I a’int shutting up and I a’int backing down. […] I know I’m black, but I’m going to try to always be honest and fair – we have to be really careful with the cops. If it wasn’t for the cops, we’d be living in the wild wild west in our neighborhoods. We can’t pick out certain incidents that don’t go our way and act like the cops are all bad.