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Down with "The Boondocks" By: Jon Thibault
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, March 17, 2004


Deep in the bowels of Los Angeles there sits an angry left-winger, hard at work on his latest screed. His name is Aaron McGruder, and he is the creator of "The Boondocks," the vastly successful comic strip about a group of black kids dealing with life in white suburbia. Aaron McGruder is no Charles Schulz. Instead of providing life lessons and comedy to his young audience, McGruder uses his comic as a tool to spread his leftist, conspiracy theory-laden political beliefs. "The Boondocks" is featured in over 200 newspapers across the country. There is talk of it becoming an animated television series.

Though McGruder claims "The Boondocks" is not a platform for his own political agenda, he uses the comic for precisely that. His jokes are amusing only in their blatant attempt to be controversial (read: insulting to conservatives and their policies). While there is the occasional reference to P. Diddy, Star Wars and other pop culture phenomena, the political opinions espoused by the main character, Huey, are obviously McGruder’s own. Safely entrenched in his Los Angeles apartment, far from the middle-American flag-waivers he clearly detests, McGruder bludgeons his young audience with his benighted ideology with no fear of retaliation or debate. When he gives interviews, he reveals himself as a stone-faced, quixotic wind-bag who, when challenged, brushes off his own comments by reminding the audience that he has no responsibilities as a leader, he’s just a guy saying what he thinks.

McGruder jumps at any opportunity to blast America in general and the current administration in particular. He is also black, so it is no surprise that black conservatives are among his favorite targets. He has publically called Condeleezza Rice a "murderer" a number of times (and claims he once said it to her face). He has also described Rice as being a member of the "oil cabal that’s now in the white house." Huey, McGruder’s "Boondocks" alter ego, said of Rice, "Maybe if there was a man in the world who Condoleezza truly loved, she wouldn't be so hell-bent to destroy it." The Washington Post pulled the strip for five days after that one; the Cincinnati Enquirer dropped it completely. McGruder has also used the comic to call conservative activist Ward Connerly a "boot-licking Uncle Tom" who should be beaten "with a spiked bat," prompting Connerly to send a furious letter to the United Press Syndicate.

Consider also the following zingers:

McGruder on President Bush: "We have to confront the very scary fact that the president is a moron. He's really dumb. He's got some really smart people around him, and people weren't afraid to say that before. They said it in a nice way, but they said it. It was like, he's dumb, but he's got Cheney and he's got Powell, so we'll probably be OK."

McGruder on military policy (conspiracy theory alert): "I don't think the American people should be worried at all about Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein or anybody, because our government is going to do what it wants to do to them regardless of what we want them to do or not. All we can control is what happens here. And what happened here is what allowed those attacks to take place. The intelligence community failed. Security failed. The military failed. Everybody failed at the same time. I can be really nice to them and say, ‘You guys really messed up and need to check yourself.’ Or I could be not nice and say, ‘You know, I don't think it's really probable that all the systems can fail at the same time, which means something far more insidious took place.’"

McGruder on moral relativism: "You know, [Bush] called [the terrorists] ‘evil.’ That's really some childish stuff. They're bad, we're good. That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. That's so incredibly stupid. What do you think they do? They call us ‘evil.’ I just see so many parallels between both sides in this war, and it's really uncomfortable."

McGruder on Cuba (conspiracy theory alert): "There's some new evidence that has just come out about the CIA planning terrorist attacks on U.S. soil in the '60s and how they were going to set up Castro for it in order to get America behind a war in Cuba. That's not even a conspiracy theory."

McGruder on police brutality: "The reality is this: Me, I'm comfortable. I make a lot of money. So I can say, America is OK, up until the point that the LAPD pulls me over and knocks out some teeth on some bullsh-t. That happens enough to black men that it's a legitimate concern for me."

McGruder on racial disparity: "[America] is just not the best place in the world for black people, even the UN knows that. They did some study ranking living conditions by ethnicity, and white American men were No. 1. I don't remember where black American men were, but they were a little bit further on down."

McGruder on Afghanistan (yet another conspiracy theory alert): "[The media is] not exploring, for example, the Bush administration's financial ties with Afghanistan. The fact that George Bush Sr. has financial investments in the area, and those investments become much more valuable when the Taliban government is removed. I'm not talking about getting into a whole bunch of conspiracies."

To give some idea of the prolific nature of McGruder’s nuttiness, keep in mind that the above quotes were all taken from the same interview. If saying wacky things were itself a profitable business, McGruder would be far richer than he already is; he generates product like a well-oiled machine. (Check out Larry Elder’s recent column for more classic McGruderisms.)

Unabashedly cynical and anti-capitalist, McGruder typifies the extreme Left. His belief in conspiracy theories is rivaled only by those of paranoid schizophrenics and Lyndon LaRouche campaign workers. After making libelous allegations against respected, erudite leaders, McGruder cowardly deflects any criticism of his statements by asserting that he’s "just a cartoonist" (the oddly self-defeating implication being that we should ignore his opinions in the first place). This childish intellectual copout is par for the course for McGruder. In an interview with africana.com, McGruder said:

"By the way, I'm just a cartoonist. And I do tell people that very often because with the void in black political leadership, people are desperate for someone to tell them what to do. I'm always the first person to say ‘don't look at me.’ All I do is tell jokes for a living. I ain't a leader."

Thank you for clarifying that.

It is no surprise that the quintessential guilty white liberal, Michael Moore, has embraced McGruder and even wrote the forward to his latest book, A Right to Be Hostile. Moore is possibly McGruder’s most adoring fan, for in McGruder’s work he has found the racial paranoia and free-wheeling leftist vitriol that Moore himself aspires to spew on a regular basis. McGruder is able to plant the seeds of socialism in young minds seven days a week. (Thankfully, Moore isn’t a cartoonist, so America endures his idiocy only when he makes bad movies.) For his part, McGruder has said of Michael Moore: "He's willing to basically share his fans and share his audience and expose them to what I'm doing." In a piece for the The Nation, Moore tried to explain why McGruder’s revolutionary comic genius is needed at this point in our nation’s history. Note the histrionic tone and baseless claims for which Moore is famous:

"Sure, the ‘whites only’ signs are down, but they have just been replaced by invisible ones that, if you are black, you see hanging in front of the home-loan department of the local bank, across the entrance of the ritzy suburban mall or on the doors of the U.S. Senate."

One can’t help but wonder which ritzy suburban malls have been denying entry to blacks. Does the NAACP know about this? One also can’t help but wonder if Moore and McGruder get together over drinks in Malibu and discuss how whitey is keeping them down. It would be fun to see Moore attempt to "keep it real" with his brother in oppression: "I feel your pain, dawg, I really do." They could exchange conspiracy theories and keep a nervous eye out for police during the ride home.

"The Boondocks" is marketed toward young adults, but McGruder’s anti-Americanism and shameless attempts to be controversial can only be considered "edgy" by children who think it’s inherently cool to insult authority figures. "The Boondocks" remains, then, relevant only to kids and liberals, the two most unquestioning and easily amused demographics in America.


Jon Thibault is a freelance writer who lives in Los Angeles.


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