So much for bracket talk.
“The Republicans always do a good job of dividing and conquering,” he said (in a transcript via USA Today and CBS New York). “They do a really good job of making black folks, poor white folks and Hispanics not like each other. Everybody wants to talk about black and white, when the situation is really about rich people against poor people.
“All they talk about is immigration, the notion that illegal immigrants are ruining our country [by] taking jobs. We’re shipping all our jobs out of the country. That’s, to me, worse than a few Hispanics who come here to work their behinds off. If you’re a poor white person and your life sucks, it’s easy for you to blame Hispanics ’cause you don’t want to look in the mirror and say: ‘I’m the reason my life sucks.’ The Republicans do a good job exploiting that.”
But, for Barkley, the lines aren’t drawn at each political party.
“All politics is rich people screwing poor people. Poor people are too stupid to know they’re just chess pieces in a game. All the poor white people, all the poor black people, all the Hispanics, they’re in the same boat. They’ve got no economic opportunities. They spend all their time blaming each other because rich people throw words at them like illegal immigration and racism and things like that. If poor people ever get smart, and realize: ‘We should band together, rise up, instead of fighting each other,’ we probably can make a difference.'”
Barkley, who didn’t indicate which candidate he prefers but said he usually votes for Democrats, has sounded variations of the same theme before, including in a 2008 interview with CNN. In 2006, he considered running for political office in Alabama. “That’s my home,” Barkley said then. “I’m thinking about running for governor; they need the help.” By 2011, he’d decided that “politics are not a lot of fun right now.”
Last December, he torched Donald Trump, the Republican front runner, during the “NBA on TNT” show.
“This Donald Trump thing has been fascinating, sad, funny. It’s all over the place,” Barkley said. “Living in Arizona, I think the Hispanics are amazing people. To lump all Hispanics together, that was insulting. Now to lump all the Muslims together, that’s even more insulting. … To try to divide and conquer, which is what the Republicans always do, it’s just sad. … And then you got these losers who love that because they’re afraid to look in the mirror and say why their life sucks. So they have to blame other people. Your life sucks because of you, not because of Hispanics.”
On Tuesday, he admitted that he’s pretty fed up.
“The whole thing has turned me off because it’s gotten to the point where I watched the last eight years of Barack [Obama],” Barkley said. “The Republicans disagree with every single thing he says. I feel bad for the American people. It’s is going to have zero effect on my life who the president is. I’ll be rich either way.”