If you’ve been disappointed thus far with season three of “The Boondocks” series, then you’re not alone. From barber shop conversations to social networking sites, the sentiment is the same. As an avid Boondocks watcher and supporter, I feel that something is definitely lacking from the eagerly anticipated third season.
So, the questions now become “What is it?” What did seasons one and two of the satirical show provide that the current episodes are missing?
Simply put, the answer is …content. The usual sharp and witty storylines that we supporters were drawn in by and grew to crave have become dull, substanceless, and quite frankly boring. The biting commentary and hilarious socially-aware content seems to have been watered-down. Something is amidst with “The Boondocks” which similar to the “Dave Chapelle Show” became a voice for the voiceless.
These shows offered an artistic and funny way to display the ills plaguing our society in general and our community, in particular. The characters on “The Boondocks” reflect the many different personalities and attitudes within the inner cities across America. These shows found a way to be entertaining and educational at the same time. While being side-splitting humorous, they also shine a light on the problems that lie just beneath the surface of society. Problems that we know exist, but are too afraid to discuss openly and frankly.
That’s why many of us fell instantly in love with these shows. Finally, we had a reason to bring up the issues of race relations, self-hatred, corporate greed, education, politics, war, Hip Hop, etc. All one had to say was “Did you catch that Boondocks episode last night?” That one question alone could blossom into some of the deepest conversations you could ever hear across the globe. The people were beginning to wake up. And that was the problem. We, as Black people, seem to be allowed to make money, only if we are degrading ourselves. The moment we get creative and find a way to demonstrate our plight before the world, we become dangerous. So we are forced to compromise, forced to become more passive in our approach. So what message is being conveyed to our youth? Are they being told not to be creative, not to stand up for what is right, to simply accept things as they are with no hope of change? With the “watering down” of season three of “The Boondocks” series, that is exactly what is being conveyed not only to the youth but to every age, gender and nationality.
What could cause such a stunt in the growth of such creative brilliance? Was it that the writers had simply lost their edge or was it something deeper; something more malignant? It is my belief that shows such as the “The Boondocks” and “The Dave Chapelle Show” made us laugh, but also made us more socially, culturally and globally aware of the events that shape our destiny.
Take Hip Hop for instance. The music began as an outlet for the youth of the inner cities to tell their story. It gave us a chance to voice our opinions and concerns in a forum that was safe and suitable to us. We didn’t own any outlets such as major television networks, national dailies or radio stations. So, how was it that our troubles were to be heard?
Music was the answer. Hip Hop in its early years became a breath of fresh air to the downtrodden people of the U.S. ghettoes. All one has to do is compare the content of Hip Hop’s formative years to the lyrics and mind state of current Hip Hop artists. You will see a stark contrast between the two. So, if you look at the current state of Hip Hop, you can’t help but ask “What happened?” The same tactic of infiltrate and destroy employed in war applies here.
Early Hip Hop dealt with local and global issues that directly affected the people it entertained. Today’s Hip Hop still entertains, however that seems to be the extent of it. Today’s Hip Hop artists seem to be more concerned with degrading our women and how big their rims are or how much dough they’re stackin’. They appear not to understand that no matter how much “dough” they stack, the problems of racism, poor education and self-hatred still exist. And, instead of speaking on the true issues at hand, they add more burden to the load.
What happened to the fire, the enlightenment, and the passion to reach and teach the youth? It was easy recognizing that same fire and passion on display with the first two seasons of “The Boondocks.”
However, there seems to be an entity that remains on the watch for any improvement among the masses. And this entity or institution’s duty seems to be the successful disruption of such progress. So, begins the tactic of infiltrate and destroy.
The same logic applies to these great satires. Whenever oppressed people discover new and creative means to remove or break whatever is holding them down, whether it’s people or a system doing the oppressing, the same course of action seems to take place. The people are infiltrated and the means they were using to free themselves are destroyed. At first glance, these odds may seem a bit overwhelming and discouraging. However, “Without struggle the gem cannot be polished.” Thus, the trials that we go through and the setbacks we endure as a people will only be to our benefit in the journey of life.