“When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.”- Mark Twain
The Boondocks, created by Aaron McGruder, is an animated series that shows the life of a grandfather. Robert Freeman is a retired veteran residing in suburbia looking for peace and romance in his old age. He is the caregiver of his two grandsons Huey and Riley Freeman that have moved with him from Chicago.
Forging along in its fourth season, this series raises questions of urban culture. What are African Americans worth in this country? What do we really value? Is race the only issue?
In the seventh episode, Freedomland < June 2,2014>, Robert, Huey and Riley are forced to work in an amusement park which reenacts slavery. Women, black and other races, clothed in Aunt Jemima garbs singing old negro spirituals, getting bashed upon the head. Little boys learning to tap dance to a sad beat and men picking cotton.
And please….. Let’s not forget about Uncle Ruckus (no relation).
For nine years, Mr. McGruder has shown us the rise and fall of a middle class African American family. The grandfather has worked hard for his country and family, has saved up enough money to retire and is now broke.
What happened to this family?
Wrong choices. As a culture, we feel entitled to the good life; that it is our birthright to inherit the best there is in life. This is true to a certain extent . Yes, we are entitled to clean air, fresh water, clothes, love, peace and hair grease. Most of us have these things and don’t even know it. I don’t think that we lack, I think that we are unsatisfied with what we have.
I am a clothes fanatic. Yeah, sure. I’m a girl and all girls love clothes, but I have a different type of love for clothes. When I was younger, my mother brought me clothes that other girls my age were not wearing. She dressed me like a young lady ready for an education while my friends had all of the fads.
I lusted for their style and that began to follow me into adulthood. I wanted to wear the low-cut tops and the skin tight jeans gaining the attention of my peers. It never fit me. I hate holding my stomach in. I hate for my feet to hurt. I hate putting on make-up.
With all these negatives, I still forced myself to fit into a mold that was not me. I felt that since the other’s around were doing it , I had to do it too to be liked. Or in my case adored.
The Freeman’s (and myself) suffer from a case of Jones-itis. This is a a terrible case of wanting to be accepted by society. If this disease is not put in check consistently we are liable to find ourselves in the most sticky situations. Like… having to pay off your debt by working as a slave.
Our culture has become engrossed in the dramatic schemes of ex-wives, girlfriends and baby mamas who want to be saved from doing real work. Baby daddies, boyfriends and ex-husbands feeling single trying to get out. We love talk shows, court dramas and anything that has to do with a celebrity doing something.
Freedomland gave the family a home, clothes and a job, but stripped the family of the rights to choose the former. Though we are not to Freedomland yet, we take a step closer every time we live above our means. We become indebted to finance companies, title pawn shops and bill collectors when we refuse to take responsibility for what we get involved with.
Please trust me, I am most definitely a slave to Chinese food and Bath and Body Works (ladies BBW sale starts June 9th). I cannot blame anyone for my lack of wants but myself because I choose to buy these things.
Once we take responsibility for our actions, we begin to come out of the chains of denial.