The Boondocks Is Back: But Did You Get The Message?

The Boondocks Season 3 is off to a great start, but not without some controversy.
By: Amanda Anderson

It really seems like it takes 5 years for a new season of The Boondocks to premiere on Adult Swim, but when it does, it truly evokes some of the most intense debate regarding politics, Hip-Hop, and the African American culture. If you are really into the show like myself, then you already knew that creator Aaron McGruder was going to come back hard on the election of the nation’s first black President. And when you think about it, what better way to start the 3rd and final season of one this generation’s most controversial shows?

A lot of people had questions regarding the episode, so we thought we would break it down for all of our readers. So let’s get to it…

First and foremost, McGruder is not anti-Obama. If people did the research, they would easily discover that he was in support of Obama. He made it pretty clear that Hillary Clinton and McCain (and definitely Palin), would not get his support. So who were McGruder’s main targets on the first episode? Uninformed Obama supporters.

So what problem does McGruder have with the uninformed Obama supporters? For one thing, these individuals are the same ones who somehow believe that the election of a black man as President somehow signifies the end of the struggle of African Americans. These same voters also believe we no longer need black leaders. Need proof? Look at this ignorant comment rapper Nas said recently regarding Jesse Jackson:

“I think Jesse Jackson, he’s the biggest player hater. His time is up. All
you old n—-s, time is up. We heard your voice, we saw your marching, we heard
your sermons. We don’t wanna hear that s–t no more.

It’s a new day.
It’s a new voice. I’m here now. We don’t need Jesse; I’m here. I got this. We
got Barack, we got David Banners and Young Jeezys.

We’re the voice now.
It’s no more Jesse. Sorry. Goodbye. You ain’t helping nobody in the ‘hood.
That’s the bottom line. Goodbye, Jesse. Bye!”

And how does this tie into the episode? In one scene, Grandad hosts a celebration in honor of Obama’s election. There is a banner that reads “Mission Accomplished” hanging in the house, and he repeatedly mentions to the guests that the black struggle has ended because we have a black President. And when referring to Civil Rights hero Rosa Parks, he labels himself as the next big thing (and actually better). Sound familiar?

Next up, McGruder had to put all the ignorant rappers on blast for some of their ridiculous behaviors and coonish interviews during the election.

In one hilarious scene, rapper Thugnificient (originally created to represent rapper Ludacris, notice the afro puffs) has an interview in which he doesn’t even know who Barack Obama is but proceeds to make fun of his name.

So who is McGruder putting on blast in this scene? DMX. Here’s a DMX interview from 2008 with XXL (DMX’s words are in red):

Are you following the presidential race?
Not at all.

You’re not? You know there’s a Black
guy running, Barack Obama and then there’s Hillary Clinton.
His name is Barack?!

Barack Obama, yeah.

What the fu*k is a Barack?! Barack Obama. Where he from, Africa?

Yeah, his dad is from Kenya.

What the fu*k?!
That ain’t no fuc*in’ name, yo. That ain’t that ni**a’s name. You can’t be
serious. Barack Obama. Get the fu*k outta here.

You’re telling me
you haven’t heard about him before.
I ain’t really
paying much attention.

I mean, it’s pretty big if a Black…
Wow, Barack! The ni**a’s name is Barack.
Barack? Ni**a named Barack Obama. What the fu*k, man?! Is he serious? That ain’t
his fuc*in’ name. Ima tell this ni**a when I see him, “Stop that bullsh*t. Stop
that bullsh*t” [laughs] “That ain’t your fu*kin’ name.” Your momma ain’t name
you no da*n Barack.

And it gets even better. After the ignorant interview, Thugnificent begins to campaign for Obama’s behalf. His style of dress changes (from baggy jeans to too tight jeans), and he begins to refer to himself as an “activist.” In another interview while campaigning for Obama, he says that he is going to refer to all his homeboys as “Baracks” and all the ladies as “Michelles.” So which rapper is McGruder targeting then?

The one and only Jim Jones. In an interview that took place immediately after Obama won the presidency, Jones suggested that he would no longer use the “N” or “B” words. Here’s what he said exactly:

“Shouts to all my Obamas, the niggas is out the Obamas is in,” Jones says,
continuing “The bitches is out and the Michelles is in. So if you’re lady gets
you mad you say, ‘Michelle you betta get out of here before I slap the thunder
out of you.’

And if that wasn’t enough, McGruder also addressed the ridiculousness that is the celebrity ran bandwagon that made Obama more of a cultural icon than a serious presidential candidate. In one scene, Thugnificent can be seen collaborating with Black Eyed Peas front man Will.I.Am in one of the most hilarious scenes of the entire episode. Notable moments in the scene include “cameos” from George Clooney, Madonna, and Gangstalicious. I am pretty sure you know where McGruder was going with this one.

But one of the most crucial aspects of the premiere has to be Huey’s lack of words. I am sure most people expected Huey to say plenty, but he only had a few lines in the entire episode. While some people see this as a cop out, it was actually brilliant on McGruder’s part. Why? Well one thing you have to understand is that Huey is actually Aaron McGruder in cartoon form. McGruder always uses Huey to express his thoughts on politics, religion, and the African American culture. While he may have been a character of few words this episode, his actions spoke loud and clear.

When Huey was asked how he felt about the possibility of having a black President, he simply said “Eh.” Immediately, an angry crowd of black Obama supporters surrounded him and threaten to attack. Huey stated to the crowd that just because he isn’t excited, it doesn’t in any way mean that he is anti-Obama. This scene is important because it is representation of what McGruder himself experienced a year ago. When asked about Obama, McGruder wasn’t too filled with praise. Immediately the media outlets began to report that McGruder was anti-Obama, and he received harsh criticism.

Another notable scene of the episode is the final scene. Before the end credits begin to roll, Huey states that he is retired. The interesting thing is this is the final season of The Boondocks, and Huey is the direct representation of Aaron McGruder. Huey may not really be retiring from being a revolutionary, but McGruder is most certainly retiring The Boondocks. See the symbolism?

And what’s the most notable line from the episode? There were many funny lines, but the best line has to go to Huey. Amidst his growing frustration with uninformed Obama supporters, Huey asks: “Why keep talking if no one ever listens?” This line symbolized McGruder’s thoughts on why he no longer speaks on Obama, and why this just may very well be the last season.

And for that reason, I think this was one of the strongest episodes. The message was clear for some, but many laughed too much or got too offended to see the point. It is totally understandable why we as a people were excited to see a black man become President. But his race does not in any shape or form mean that black people cannot disagree with his policies or even offer criticism. And when we do, it doesn’t make us anti-Obama. It just means we are informed and able to think independently. After all, we never held back our criticism for any other President, so why start now?

But I honestly don’t want to end this post all preachy and serious, so I’ll just leave you with the most popular clip of the episode, “D*ck Ridin’ Obama.”


The Truth is back…


  1. Thanks for this post! I have been online for hours trying to figure out who McGruder was targeting in some of those scenes. I love the Boondocks, and I really appreciated this episode. Great site by the way!-Mike

  2. I loved this episode for some many reasons. I hope it woke some black folks up. I know some people were angry, but they have only reiterated what McGruder was conveying in this episode. Excellent post, and great break down on the plot and character symbolization.

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