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Kenny Smith’s open letter to Charles Barkley about Ferguson

Mafa:

“The question must be asked: Why is there so much distrust in the police and the legal system from the African American community? Without manifesting what the effects of slavery still have today, Dec 1st still marks only 59 years since Rosa Parks sat on that memorable bus. Many of our parents and grandparents have lived through those times and have passed those stories on to all of us. Those civil rights changes were at one time the law! They were not illegal.

So did the protection of the law by the courts and police make it right? Obviously not, so as African Americans we still know and feel that there are laws and jurisdictions that severely penalize the poor and, most importantly, African Americans greater than any other group. Some laws were initially made without us as equals in mind; that’s just the facts. So the thought process that it’s not for us or by us will unfortunately lead to distrust.”

Originally posted on For The Win:

(Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

Editor’s Note: NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley’s comments about recent events in Ferguson, Mo. have prompted a strong reaction from many, including Kenny Smith, his friend and fellow analyst on TNT’s “Inside the NBA.”

Smith addressed Barkley’s remarks in an open letter submitted exclusively to For The Win. The letter is featured below in its entirety:

Dear Chuck,

I hope this finds you in the way I always see you, in great spirits, with great joy and full of life. There are some things I want to openly say to you that sometimes in conversation get lost.

Firstly I lied!  You ARE the greatest Power Forward of all time. It’s not (Tim) Duncan or (Karl) Malone, they had size and height that you weren’t blessed with and you never had near the talent around you that they were blessed to have. Contrarily you took your…

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Lesley Gore – You Don’t Own Me

You don’t own me
I’m not just one of your many toys
You don’t own me
Don’t say I can’t go with other boys

And don’t tell me what to do
Don’t tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don’t put me on display ’cause

You don’t own me
Don’t try to change me in any way
You don’t own me
Don’t tie me down ’cause I’d never stay

I don’t tell you what to say
I don’t tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That’s all I ask of you

I’m young and I love to be young
I’m free and I love to be free
To live my life the way I want
To say and do whatever I please

And don’t tell me what to do
Oh, don’t tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don’t put me on display

I don’t tell you what to say
Oh, don’t tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That’s all I ask of you

I’m young and I love to be young
I’m free and I love to be free
To live