Never a person to shy-away from controversy, Charles Barkley is about to tackle controversy head-on with his new show on TNT, called “The Race Card.” Barkley is a vocal critic of not only the way Black people are treated by whites but also a vocal critic about the problems that Black people need to fix in their own communities. When Barkley has pointed the finger at the Black community, he has received swift and resounding critique. He’s quick to respond to his Black critics by saying, “Like, those people say he’s not black anymore, he shouldn’t speak on black issues. I’m like, ‘Dude, I’m always going to be black,’ but that’s a double-edged sword I’m willing to deal with.”
With that in mind, Barkley’s show is said to be a show that won’t just be about Black and white, but aims to highlight that America’s problems are more about rich versus poor. In a statement about the context of his new show, Barkley said “I just want to do a positive dialogue because I’m sick of arguing over race all the time. Like, I’m very aware that racism does exist, it always has and probably always will, but the media does a really poor job. There’s more good than bad, but the bad pops off the newspaper and on television. And like I said, the truth is somewhere in the middle.”
Charles Barkley reminds people he was born in Alabama in 1963, at a time when the KKK was bombing churches and terrorizing Black people. He says he sees the same struggles occurring now as it did in his youth. Barkley stated that he respects the actions of the various athletes that are currently staging protest but he would like to see more being done. “It goes back to the Kaepernick thing,” he said. “I said, you do what you want to do, you’re a grown man. But I challenge all these guys, what are you actually doing in the Black community to help our people?” Barkley said he puts his money where his mouth is, by donating millions to his high school and colleges in Alabama.
Charles Barkley thinks it’s unfair for the modern athlete to try to solve all the ills in the Black community. He said, unlike Jim Brown, Bill Russell, Muhammed Ali, and others, who were unable to go to a restaurant or go to the same hotel as white people, the modern athlete doesn’t have to endure that. Barkley added, “I ain’t never been through anything like that.” Barkley said he warned his bosses at the Turner network never to censor him from talking about what he wants to discuss on his show.
In snippets from the first episode, Barkley talked to various people from different minorities about how they are portrayed on television. When he spoke to a group of Muslims, they said every time you hear about a bombing, “we’re like please don’t be Muslim.” When he met with a group of Asians, he lamented that from TV, they’re all portrayed as being smart and outperforming Americans. They responded, “We’re not that smart and we don’t know karate.” He also spoke to four Black people who gave various accounts regarding their treatment by police. So far, a debut date for Charles Barkley’s new show has not been set yet.