Charles Barkley political party, comments politicians for racial division

Charles Barkley, a former NBA star, criticizes politicians for fostering racial discord.

NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley blasted politicians of all stripes – Democrats and Republicans alike – for fostering racial discord in the nation, claiming they are attempting to "make whites and blacks dislike one another."

Barkley, a former Philadelphia 76ers star forward, was speaking during Saturday's Final Four broadcast on CBS Sports.

During a January 28, 1996 game, Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan conversed.
During a January 28, 1996 game, Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan conversed.

He was referring to a pre-game segment about Sen. Robert F. Kennedy informing a crowd in Indianapolis – this year's host city – in 1968 of the Rev. Martin Luther King's assassination in Memphis.

Barkley, who is not averse to making controversial remarks, said that politicians "divide and conquer" the populace for their own gain.

“Man, I believe that the majority of white people and black people are excellent people. I sincerely believe that, but I believe our system is set up in such a way that our leaders, whether Republicans or Democrats, are programmed to make us hate one another in order to preserve their grip on money and power. They divide and conquer,” Barkely, a former NBA player who retired in 2000, explained.

On June 22, 1963, Robert F. Kennedy was photographed with Martin Luther King Jr.
On June 22, 1963, Robert F. Kennedy was photographed with Martin Luther King Jr.

“I genuinely believe that the majority of white people and black people are good people, but we're so dumb that we blindly obey our leaders, whether Republicans or Democrats, whose sole aim is to make these people hate one another. We don't live in their neighborhoods; we all have money; let's make whites and blacks hate one another; let's make rich and poor people dislike one another; let's scramble the middle class," he added.

His remarks come at a time of heightened racial tensions in the nation and during the ongoing trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in connection with the May killing of George Floyd.