The Negro who lives on the patronage of philanthropists is the most dangerous member of our society, because he is willing to turn back the clock of progress when his benefactors ask him so to do.– Marcus Garvey
The abovementioned quote by Mr. Garvey paints a portrait of what is wrong with some black people in our race whom opinions are taken as fact. Charles Barkley for example on last week, made his opinion well-known about Mike Brown and Eric Garner by broadcasting it across the white media, though it was his opinion and merely his opinion the damage is far more than he believe it to be. A ten minute segment to discuss the topic alongside Shaq, Kenny Smith, Ernie, and himself on TNT (Ted Turner’s network) cannot erase the detriment of his comments. His comments may had some truth and validity to them, but they should not have been revealed in that form or fashion on that platform. The problem that I see a lot of times with black sports figures and entertainers is that their opinions are taken as the bible for black people all over America, when not made truth or to improve race relations. When Bill Cosby made his comments about the state of the black community, the vitriolic language used in his lambasted comments were playing into the hands of those benefactors in which Mr. Garvey spoke of. These our the same benefactors that use such vile self-hatred of the black race to their advantage, especially when things that require prejudice as a defense comes into play. Those people who think they are addressing the problems plaguing the black community are actually pulling the pants down of an entire race to shame the entire group, that does not need anything extra to make us be considered more of a 3rd class citizens (I use that term loosely). The intra-race detractors only set themselves up to lose the backers that support them wholeheartedly within the black race and to be ostracized and humiliated by the benefactors. Where those individuals like Barkley and Cosby feel that are exposing truths through their opinions(which some of the points hit the mark), they need to focus on speaking their opinions directly to black people to create a dialogue for change in thinking and actions. Once those inflammatory comments and opinions are disseminated to CNN, MSNBC, and especially FOX News it does not look like constructive criticism, but rather another strike against the black community from people who they feel are our best assets. The Barkleys, Cosbys, or any other “black elitist” does not speak for me or any other black person that is out in the world trying to kill the stereotypes bestowed on us since our births. The progress of black race does not start with those whom are rich or ultra talented, but with the normal people whom are exposed to ills of society because of their socio-economic status and “Melanin Badge” and don’t have the money or bullet-proof image to shift the mind of the benefactors to think their lives matter. Progress is not possible if there is a mole that brings the dirt to the surface for the world to see, progress must be made in the underground channels create amongst every black person. Do not profess our problems to the world, because the world has already created and provided enough problems for us to handle because of our “Melanin Badge”, before adding ether to the fire. Just know everybody is not worth listening to, no matter their status or stature.