THE NEWS BLOG

 
Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Independent
Washington Post
Newsday
Iraq Order of Battle
Agonist
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News
CNN
Blogger

 
Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Atrios
Digby's Blog
Skippy
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Uggabugga
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Tbogg
Corrente
Gropinator
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Wonkette
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Driftglass
At-Largely
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

 
Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Friday, January 27, 2006

The blackest thing you've ever seen on TV


In trouble once again

Al Sharpton Criticizes 'Boondocks'

Wed Jan 25, 3:59 PM ET

NEW YORK - The Rev.Al Sharpton has asked for an apology from Cartoon Network for an episode of edgy animated series "The Boondocks" that shows the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. saying the n-word.

"Cartoon Network must apologize and also commit to pulling episodes that desecrate black historic figures," Sharpton, a civil-rights activist and former Democratic presidential candidate, said in a statement Tuesday.

"We are totally offended by the continuous use of the n-word in (cartoonist Aaron) McGruder's show."

The episode, "The Return of the King," aired Jan. 15, the day before the national holiday honoring the slain civil-rights leader. It shows King emerging from a coma and using the n-word in an angry speech venting his frustration toward sexually explicit hip-hop videos, among other things.

In the episode, King is branded a traitor and terrorist sympathizer for his "turn-the-other cheek" philosophy of nonviolence in response to post-Sept. 11 retaliation. Exhausted, he moves to Canada, but his speech provokes a second civil-rights revolution.

So don't watch the show.

You have BET showing uncut videos which are basically strippers, and silence from the black community. The problem is not the videos, but the network which shows them.

Then you have the absolutely useless editor of Essence who wants to tell rappers what to say.

Earth to critics: black writers and performers work under the same First Amendment as anyone else. If you don't like what people have to say, don't buy their books or watch their shows. You don't have the right to demand a retraction or to tell McGruder what to say on his show.

If you want to talk about denigrating the King legacy, get the King family on the phone and ask them why they have mismanaged their foundation. They still selling Yolanda's book there?

The fact is that McGruder is unsparing about black culture and folkways in a way which is pretty much undecipherable to white America. They may get the jokes, but not the context. It's why Diary of a Mad Black Woman escaped most reviewers while making a fist full of money.

Where were these critics when Bob Johnson attacked him viciously? Nowhere. Now they want to determine what he says.

The first episode mocked the tendency of hero worship in the black community. Another, the fake gansterism of rappers, which ends with the rapper and his former lover kissing. That is pretty fucking radical for black America. The ONLY other place you see black men kissing is Jerry Springer. But there it was, revealing something widely acknowledged in private. Another episode parodied Rumsfeld and Bush as crazy wigger gangstas, who wind up robbing a store owned by a Saddam look-alike over hunting down the "X Box" killer.

Last week's episode "The Itis" discussed the problem with eating tons of soul food. The grand father creates a burger with five slices of bacon, cheese and placed between two grilled Krispy Kreme dounts. Needless to say, it turns into crack, with people begging for food and hanging outside his new restaurant.

Besides the gorgeous, anime-level animation, the politcs here are much more aggressive than in the strip. The word nigga is the least reason to complain about the show. The grandfather beats a man to death over an argument, Uncle Rukus is a self-hating black man who would surpass the clowns who work for NRO. In short, there is a lot to dislike about the show.

But, the fact is that this is the first time a non-rapper, non-novelist gets to have a forum to discuss black life from someone under 50. This is a nearly unique perspective on modern African American life and it is not comfortable at times. But it is not ignorant either. It is extremely well thought out and makes points in a way which need to be made.

The King show was NOT critical of King in any way. It was, however, a brutal take on our celebrity driven culture and how trivial many black people have become. It made a point that people need to reclaim their dignity and stop worrying about Diddy's latest aquisition. In fact it lamented his absence in a very real way, an important way. In fact, McGruder showed greater fidelity to King's message than his own family has in recent years.

We have so many people making trivial messages and making millions, yet, these people want to go after McGruder for a word we all use? That's bullshit and it's wrongheaded. There's a deeper message in his work, if you want to find it.

posted by Steve @ 2:13:00 AM

2:13:00 AM

The News Blog home page





 

Editorial Staff
RSS-XML Feeds

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
 
 
 
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans