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The Boondocks: Right To Be Hostile

The Boondocks: Right To Be Hostile back

Aaron McGruder


Page 45 Review by Stephen

BOONDOCKS is a syndicated daily newspaper strip staring two school-age black brothers (no, I mean they are literally brothers), their granddad and their new, overwhelming affluent white neighbourhood which proves quite the contrast to Chicago. Yes, most of the gags are race-related, but Aaron doesn't go at it like a bull in a china shop, opting more often than not for the least obvious approach. Nor is it remotely esoteric: you don't have to a be a constantly stereotyped, racially profiled, pigeon-holed person of ethnically identified origin to enjoy these digs. As far as I know there's minimal black blood inside me (most of mine's red - see, I can do social commentary too - although my constant search for a tan does speak volumes for my skin envy) yet I've been grinning from cover to cover as McGruder nails reality check after reality check and pokes fun at all and sundry.

"I resent racial categories! Why must I be forced to choose between parents?!!!"
"I understand, Jazmine. I'm mixed too."
"You are?"
"Absolutely. I'm part black, part African, part negro and part coloured."
"Poor me, I just don't know where I fit in."
"You're making fun of me!!!"

"Real black people! Here! I'm so excited! I've never even seen a black person before, have you?"
Jazmine [she has pale-ish skin]: "Umm... well...actually."
"Ooohh. I hope one of them is a gangster rapper or a basketball player. That would be soooo cooool!! My Dad keeps saying he's afraid of declining property values, juvenile delinquents and set-aside programmes. But I don't know what any of that means."
"Lucky you."

Here the boys' future teacher and head teacher are trying to prepare themselves culturally for Riley and Huey's arrival:

"Do you think a movie named "Booty Call" will really make me more racially sensitive, sir?"
"The black kid behind the counter said it was a classic. Look, we have "Truck Turner," "B.A.P.S.," "Black Belt Jones" - all powerful portrayals of the black experience according to that kid - and he should know. See here? Jim Kelly in "Black Samurai". I bet you didn't even know there were black samurai. You're learning already."
"Sir, was the kid behind the counter laughing when you rented these?"
"They're a naturally jovial people, John."