“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.”

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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