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Childrearing

Charles Barkley’s Claim That “Every Black Parent In The South” Whups Their Kids Is Offensive And Wrong

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Former basketball star Charles Barkley was on the NFL preview show this weekend to discuss football because…well, we’re not sure why, as he’s not a football player. But he is a dude who often says controversial things, which is why a conversation about the recent Adrian Peterson abuse charges took a turn for the WTF real fast.

His chat with host Jim Rome starts off reasonably enough, with Barkley saying this about Ray Rice: “The NFL obviously fumbled the entire Ray Rice situation. But we are bringing awareness to domestic abuse. That’s a good thing.” He adds: “You can’t hit a woman.”

“Can you hit a child?” asks Rome. And with that, Barkley unleashes a verbal kracken with his reply.

“I’m from the south. I understand Boomer’s (Esiason) rage and anger. He’s a white guy and I’m a black guy. I don’t know where he’s from, I’m from the South. Whipping — we do that all the time. Every black parent in the south is going to be in jail under those circumstances. We have to be careful letting people dictate how –“

Rome interrupts him. “It doesn’t matter where you’re from: Right is right and wrong is wrong.” Barkley responds:

“I don’t believe that because, listen, we spank kids in the south. I think the question about did Adrian Peterson go overboard — Listen, Jim, we all grow up in different environments. Every black parent in my neighborhood in the South would be in trouble or in jail under those circumstances.”

While Barkley seems to agree with Rome that Peterson’s actions were “child abuse,” he still goes on to defend spanking and “whipping” kids. Obviously spanking is a controversial parenting practice that people still use, and though banned in some countries it is legal in the United States. But to clump every black Southerner together and accuse them all of whupping their kids is straight up crazy talk, not to mention untrue. Barkley should know better. If not, he deserves a firm…talking to.

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