Richmond, Indiana's Pal-item.com is reporting that Aaron McGruder, creator of "The Boondocks" comic strip and animated series, left an audience at local Earlham College a little upset over comments he made about President Barack Obama.
Appearing at the college Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, McGruder answered questions posed by the audience and by associate professor James Logan. On the topic of race and ethnicity, McGruder said that to him, Obama is not black because he is not a descendant of a slave.
"The person who is one of us in the White House is Michelle Obama and her momma," McGruder said. Obama's father was Kenyan; his mother white.
McGruder, a Howard University graduate, went on to express an overall pessimistic view of the incoming Obama administration.
"I don't think you're going to see any dramatic change from Barack Obama," said McGruder, who wore a "Boondocks" T-shirt over a black long-sleeve shirt and jeans. "I'm hoping he proves me completely wrong."
McGruder bases his opinions of the U.S. presidency on the 2000 election and how nothing has been done since then to change the election system. "It was a sham then ... It's got to still be a sham," McGruder said. "I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but it's what I tend to do."
Check out McGruder's statment on this situation after the jump.
"For a long time now, I have tried to keep my opinions on the election and Barack Obama to myself. I occasionally do speaking engagements, which are not open to the press, and unfortunately some of my comments have been twisted around in a silly manner. The claim that I asserted our new President was not Black is categorically false.
"I have seen an endless stream of Black pundits on TV pontificating about the significance of President Obama's election - many of them making reference to the 3/5th's clause in the constitution regarding slaves. The point I was making is that this is not an accurate comparison.
"Barack is the son of an immigrant, not the descendant of slaves. It's like comparing a half-Japanese man to the oppressed Chinese who built the American railroads. Yes, they are both Asian, but it is not an honest or accurate comparison. We all share the common experiences of being Black in America today - we do not all share a common history. A history that in part makes us who we are - and in some cases (as with the psychological damage that still lingers from slavery) holds us back. These are not, I believe, insignificant distinctions.
"I did say I was cautiously pessimistic about Obama's Presidency - but this is simply acknowledging the reality of an American Empire that is out of control and on the verge of collapse. Let us not forget that on the eve of the election, we witnessed a near-trillion dollar robbery of the US treasury. That robbery is still taking place. I do not blame President Obama, but I do not believe the financial and corporate interests that own and control this country will fold so easily. I do not question the integrity of the man as much as the power of his office - which I believe has greatly diminished over the years. I believe the Federal Reserve Bank, the Military Industrial Complex, and the massive corporate interests that run this country have more power than our new President. I hope I am wrong.
"After 9/11, I witnessed most of this country become obsessed with squashing dissent and silencing critics. I hope this election does not turn Black America towards this same, fascist mind state; but already I am starting to see it, and it saddens me greatly. I absolutely wish our new President and his family success and safety. But after all I have witnessed in my lifetime, and especially in the last eight years, I am not ready to lay down my skepticism or my outrage for this government. To do so would be unwise and, ironically enough, anti-American."