Charles Barkley is putting his money where his political mouth is.
The Alabama native and former Auburn and NBA basketball star is pledging $1 million to help minority women start internet and technology businesses. Barkley said the pledge is part of a thank you to black women for their support of Doug Jones, the Democratic Senate candidate who pulled off a major upset against Republican Roy Moore on Tuesday (Dec. 12th).
“I’m proud of my people in Alabama,” Barkley said. “They really stood up this week. Black women really came out and supported Doug Jones.”
Barkley said he would pick the companies that would receive the startup funds, but added in typical Charles Barkley fashion, “This does not mean hair salons or restaurants, black women…no more weave shops.”
“It means start ups,” Barkley said.
Barkley was a vocal supporter throughout the campaign, urging Alabamians to “stop looking like idiots to the nation” by supporting Moore, a controversial candidate who faced allegations he had improper sexual contact with teenage girls in the 1970s.
After the Jones win, Barkley said he was proud of his home state.
“We’ve got some amazing people here. Yeah, we got a bunch of rednecks and a bunch of ignorant people, but we got some amazing people here and they rose up today,” Barkley said.
On CNN, the Hall of Famer addressed the Democratic Party and the loyal support of African Americans, reports The Intercept’s Shaun King:
Well, this is a wakeup call for Democrats. … They’ve taken the black vote and the poor vote for granted for a long time. It’s time for them to get off their ass and start making life better for black folks and people who are poor.
They’ve always had our votes, and they have abused our votes and this is a wakeup call. We’ve got it in a great position now, but this is a wakeup call for Democrats to do better for black people and poor white people.
And King wrote in his article:
The disparity between the loyalty of black voters and Democrats’ efforts to bring them into the circles of political and financial power extends to the way the party spends its money. Of the $759 million the Democratic Party spent on contractors back in 2010, a dismal 1.5% was spent on African American groups.