In remarks to the media on Tuesday, NBA legend Charles Barkley said he was less than impressed with the 2020 candidates vying for the Democratic nomination. Barkley was there in Detroit to see the debates live this week, but he didn’t come away with any particularly warm feelings towards the crop of candidates. Indeed, he said, it was time for black voters to begin questioning exactly what the Democratic Party had done for their communities.
“Every black person I know has always voted Democratic,” he said. “And with the exception of a few guys who can play sports, all those people are still poor.
“It’s an economic thing,” he continued, “and that’s what both parties have been neglecting, especially the Democratic Party.”
Barkley noted that this was not the first time he’d said these things about the Democrats; he mentioned the same problem back in 2017. As far as he could see, though, nothing had changed.
“I think all politicians take black folks for granted,” he said. “They talk to black folks every four years, and that’s about it, and then do nothing about it. Both parties suck in that aspect.”
While Barkley made no indication that he would switch parties – he’s currently favoring either Pete Buttigieg or Julian Castro – he did have some pointed criticism for the way the 2020 Democrats were going after President Trump. Particularly, he said it was time to stop demonizing the president as a racist.
“I’m leery of calling people ‘racist.’ He says some things that can be construed as racist. Some things he’s said are very wrong and flagrant,” Barkley said.
Well, you know, that’s Donald Trump. But it doesn’t change the fact that under his administration, black unemployment rates have soared to record lows. It doesn’t change the fact that the economy is reaching such heights that it “lifts all boats,” to quote Jack Kemp. And if black Americans really want to see positive change in their communities, they will take a close look at the questions Barkley is asking and realize that Democrats are taking them for granted. The ONLY way they will stop doing that is if black voters stop automatically pulling the lever for whichever politician has a (D) beside their name.
Until then…take a look at Baltimore, Chicago, or Detroit to see what Democratic leadership does for their constituents. It ain’t a pretty picture.