By Victor Ochieng
Malone’s sentiments resonate with what another NBA legend, Charles Barkley, said on CNN last December about how it is Black people’s responsibility to make the #BlackLivesMatter movement a way to improve their lives and not just fixing racial imbalance.
“I echo his sentiments exactly,” Malone told host Marc Lamont Hill. “We need to look in the mirror ourselves and stop waiting on someone to come march on our behalf. Take ownership our self, make our community better and stop looking for a handout. Do something about it yourself that you can control.”
The opinions expressed by the two NBA greats have rubbed many people the wrong way, with Kenny Smith, Barkley’s “Inside The NBA” co-host, clashing with Barkley live on-air. However, that hasn’t made either of the legends yield one bit.
“Stop using the excuse about race,” Malone said. “I am sick and tired that every time you turn around, that’s what we dangle … Our problem now is we do so much talking and beating things to death. Let’s take ownership in ourselves … stop waiting for someone to come in and march for us.”
Former Presidential candidate, business executive and author Herman Cain said once on CNN that racism has often been used more as an excuse than a reality. He clarified that although racism exists, it doesn’t quite hold anyone back from achieving their dreams.
“I don’t believe racism in this country today holds anybody back in a big way,” Cain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Are there some elements of racism? Yes. It gets back to if we don’t grow this economy, that is a ripple effect for every economic level, and because Blacks are more disproportionately unemployed, they get hit the worst when economic policies don’t work. That’s where it starts.”
Cain, however, admitted that there are indeed some discrepancies between African-Americans and their White counterparts, especially in matters education. But for most Black people, Cain believes the race has a level playing field.
There is a significant portion of Americans who think like Malone, Barkley and Cain. Their belief is that African-Americans should focus on policies that give everyone equal opportunities and working hard to better the lives of every individual.
There is also the idea that Blacks should take advantage of their voting rights to elect leaders who are ready to effect far-reaching changes within the political system to provide a paradigm shift from the “handout mentality” to working hard and smart towards success.