Charles Barkley’s ‘American Race’ Looks As Tone Deaf As You Expected [WATCH]
There was a lot of head-scratching happening when it was announced that Charles Barkley would be hosting a two night television event called American Race for TNT. Barkley isn't known for being the most aware dude-- and in fact has been widely criticized his out-of-touch comments and stance about race relations in America, particular as it pertains to the systemic oppression of black and brown folks.
Yesterday, after the playoffs, TNT aired a sneak peak of the program, and one clip in particular had people talking because it seems as if the skepticism about Barkley hosting such a program in today's climate has been validated. The clip shows Barkley having a town hall meeting in Baltimore, which has long been a hotbed for police violence in the black community, with criticism gaining a national spotlight following the killing of Freddie Gray, an unarmed black man who died in police custody. The incident sparked protests across the country and drew attention to the city's ongoing issues with community and police relations.
In the clip, Barkley explains that he did a ride along with Baltimore police and got a sense of the dangers they face, and how quickly they have to make split decisions, which can sometimes be deadly. The community, however, wasn't having it. One woman, who said her son was beaten to death by police, stood up during the seemingly heated town hall discussion and point blank told Barkley, "I don't know you and I don't like you. "
She proceeded to tell Barkley that the "split decision" argument is bogus because it took 15 cops approximately 15 minutes to beat her son to death.
"They did some horrific stuff to my child, and I know this to be real. Baltimore City's dirty," she exclaimed.
A visibly ruffled Barkley responded, "Listen, racism exists but I'm trying to start a dialogue."
American Race will air over two nights—Thursday, May 11, and Friday, May 12— with two episodes each night at 9 and 10 p.m. (ET/PT). As of today (May 8), all four episodes are available to subscribers through VOD and on the TNT app. Watch the heated clip above.