You Do More Harm to Yourself Than Others Could Ever Do


“Unless you are a thug or have a criminal record or you are just a jack***, some Black people don’t think you are Black enough,” said Charles Barkley about recent comments by members of the Seattle Seahawks that quarterback Russell Wilson is not “Black enough.”

“It’s a dirty little secret in our community,” the basketball Hall of Hamer continued.  “I want Black kids to be strong and intelligent.  We’re telling kids if you are doing good in schools, you are acting White.  If you speak intelligently, then you are acting White.  That is bull****.  It’s one of the reasons we as a group struggle.  We don’t have respect for each other.”

Although the outspoken Barkley has been criticized by some for his controversial comments, he is absolutely correct in his assessment of some in the Black community.  Furthermore, anyone who does not see the validity in his comments is either in denial or they have been living under a rock since slavery.

What is most unfortunate is every so-called “successful” or “educated” African American probably has their own story of how love from their community turned to animosity when they started achieving greatness.

When I first started the love from my peers was immediate.

People that I knew only in passing began showing their support because they knew where my journey started and they were excited to see where it was headed.

Furthermore, many believed that Black men needed an outlet to address issues that were affecting them and provided the perfect outlet.

However, when dreams became a reality that love unfortunately turned into animosity.

When my interviews with up-and-coming artists turned into interviews and promotional events with the likes of Kevin Hart and Marlon Wayans you could feel the negative vibe in the air.

Intelligent conversations that had been commonplace began to be looked down upon.  And the admiration and respect that I had once received seemed to be given more to the killers, dealers and prostitutes of the community.

However, what Barkley correctly admitted later is that all races experience the same thing to a certain degree.

“I’m learning my Hispanic friends went through the exact thing,” Barkley said.  “A Native American friend of mine went through the same thing.  When he went away to college, [people said] ‘Oh, you don’t want to be part of the tribe anymore.’”

Likewise, my childhood friend Shane Dinwiddie, who happens to be White, said that educated Whites experience the same jealousy from uneducated Whites who view them as “entitled, prissy and unrealistic.”

He went on to say that many have a “woe is me mentality” when they assess their life and their accomplishments.

Nevertheless, it hurts more when an African American experiences that jealousy from his own community because the African American community should know how much of an uphill battle it is for one of us to get an opportunity to shine in a predominately White society.

Everyone knows the struggle that African American quarterbacks had to endure to get an equal opportunity so it hurts more when your own community is the group trying to hold you down.

Everyone affiliated with the Black press knows how hard it is for Black media entities to survive because of the prejudice they experience at the hands of advertising executives, so it hurts more when one’s own community does not support such companies.

Other races have to deal with the same type of jealousy that we face from our peers but when you combine that internal envy and hate with the racism we receive from other communities it sometimes makes success unbearable or even unachievable.

It is time that those that are supposedly “Black enough” start acting like they care about their community and its people and stop helping bigots in their quest to hold us down.

Sometimes it seems that the people claiming to be “Black enough” are those that are least likely to support a Black-owned business, go to a historically Black college or even support a Black candidate for public office.

If one falls into one of the aforementioned categories, it might be them that are not “Black enough,” not the person striving to lift him or herself up and uplift their community.

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