Friday, May 11, 2007

Politics, Charles Barkley Style

I KNEW there was a reason I liked Barkley when he was a professional basketball player. This interview with The New Republic just emphasizes his unique greatness. (If you cannot access the link, let me know and I'll email you the article. It is definitely worth the read!)

In this interview, Barkley talks about everything from illegal immigration, the (unjust) civil war in Iraq, racism and even gay marriage.

An excerpt:

So is that what interests you primarily--economic issues?

America is divided by economics strictly. You know, people always talk about race, and we have racial problems in this country. Of course we do. But the real issue is the rich against the poor. We've got to get poor white people and poor black people and Mexicans to realize they are all in the same boat. If you in one of those three groups and you are poor, you are going to be in a bad neighborhood, you are going to go to a bad school, and you are going to have strikes against you. You can't commit crimes in good neighborhoods. They will get your ass. Their kids go to private school, or they go to school in a good economic area. But the poor people, they are all in the same boat but they divide you based on race or stuff like that. A lot of these politicians say things like "We've got to stop all these illegal immigrants." I am like, "That is so easy to stop." They are not working for other immigrants.

Has your perspective on these issues changed in the last few years?

Yes, when I realized that rich people will always be rich and the poor people are like crabs in a barrel. They are going to fight with each other, but they are really in the same boat. They want you to argue about gay marriage. They want you to argue about the war in Iraq. There is not a single person in this country in good conscience who can say the war in Iraq is going well. But then when you see someone criticize it ... some other guy from the other party says he is badmouthing the troops. And I am like, "No he's not." We are able to disagree, and saying that the war in Iraq is not going well is not treason. Some of these guys want to try people for treason. The war in Iraq is not going well.

When did you stop considering yourself a Republican?

I never was a Republican. I said this when I was playing. I was doing some interview talking about politics, and my grandmother was there, and the reporter said, "Are we Republicans or are we Democrats?" My grandmother said that Republicans were only for rich people, and I said, "Well, I'm rich."

Didn't you say you wanted to run for governor of Alabama as a Republican?

No. If I run, I would run as an independent more than anything. But I am not sure you can win as an independent because there is so much money at stake in politics. My only goal in life is to help poor people. The problem I have is, in America, people just believe anything they read or see on television, and some of those things are slanted. If you watch Fox, it's slanted--and I mean really slanted. Sometimes I think the people just don't have any common sense. A lot of them don't.