No American minority group has been caricatured as often and in as many ways as blacks. The entertainment media, from vaudeville to television, has portrayed blacks as happy-go-lucky idiots, dangerous thugs, and any definition of a n**ga one could fathom. The industry has degraded the black community for years, simply to make a buck, and always at the expense of the black community. Members of the entertainment industry defend their use of the n-word by saying it’s “just a word” and a way to relate to the African-American population; sadly, many blacks accept this explanation. Even though I’m certain that Boondocks satire and caricature of black people can prove to be humorous and enlightening without being scornful of the sacred memories of victimized African/African-American ancestors, the Boondocks is a ventriloquist for and continues to perpetuate the old stereotypes of blacks.
Carter G. Woodson once said: “When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions.” The American system took this philosophy to heart. They created a racial hierarchy with whites at the top and blacks at the bottom. The hierarchy was fortified by an ideology which justified the use of deceit, manipulation, coercion, terror and violence to control blacks and keep them in their so-called “place.” Blacks’ “place” was their acceptance of being categorized as an inferior, sub-human, better known as a n**ger, and acting out any qualities related to such a mutant. Time and time again blacks were referred to as n**gers to remind them of their place in society.
Today, though, blacks no longer require this inauspicious reminder. Rather, they maintain this inferior position by continuing to develop tools or strategies, such as Aaron McGruder’s Boondocks, to continue to perpetuate adherence to the old American racial hierarchy. Viewers of the show may bellow many laughs at the characters and the manner in which the n-word is used, but the whole while they’re laughing, they are being undermined by the subliminal forces of the term and are continuing to carryout the 400-year-old plight against blacks.
Moreover, some support the false dichotomy between blacks or African Americans, which are classified as respectable folks, versus n**gers, which are considered the disrespectful, impoverished black people. Understand, irrespective of behavior, income, ambition, clothing, ability, morals, or skin tone, NO BLACKS are N**GERS. Sycophant blacks convincing themselves and others (blacks and non-blacks) that there is a categorical split between the classes, and attempting to persuade socioeconomically-challenged blacks that they are n**gers, must come to a screeching halt. The n-word psychologically serves as a conduit to feelings of helplessness, weakness, impotence and powerlessness. It carries the traumatic task and intent to destroy, maim or cripple a person of African decent. No matter how the term is sliced, diced, or served up, once the smoke clears, the mission of this word is still intact. Although every race has it upper, middle, and lower class, referring to someone as something so morally offensive is unacceptable.
Language has been and is an effective means to marginalize minorities, and
the word n**ger was and remains a shorthand way of effective mind control. Boondocks’ vile, wicked and immoral use of the n-word is a sell-out to all of the African Americans who were victimized by this word. Black America’s failure to hold Boondocks ACCOUNTABLE for its use of the n-word manifests an inability to rise above an 18th century mind state.
Many believe that when blacks use the term, there is no power or harm in the word. However, if the producer of the show was white, all of Black America would be up in arms over the use of the n-word, and the fact that Aaron McGruder is BLACK does not give him the license to degrade and demean Black America. The n-word will always be a term of scorn and ridicule regardless to who’s the user or receiver.
Boondocks exemplify the lowly image that Black America has of itself. Because black America continues to accept and support the community’s demise, it is no wonder that in this 21st century Blacks are still treated as second-class citizens. As long as those Blacks exist who look upon themselves and other African Americans as the n-word, the black race, on the whole, will remain in its appointed “place”.
H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc., www.theunitedvoices.com and author of “Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word”.
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