"The Boondocks," comic strip and animated series creator Aaron McGruder entertained, intrigued and outraged his audience at Earlham College on Monday night.
McGruder launched the comic strip, "The Boondocks," in 1999 and it is now an animated series on the Cartoon Network.
Appearing at the college for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, McGruder answered questions posed by the audience and by associate professor James Logan.
Mixing political opinion and satire is hard to do in comics and cartoons, he said. "It's not having a statement, it's entertaining people so they listen."
On the eve of President Barack Obama's inauguration, McGruder is "cautiously pessimistic" about the presidency.
"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."
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
is Michelle Obama and her momma," McGruder said.
His comments outraged Dionne Robinson, 44, of Richmond.
"I want my $5 back," she said. "It's one thing to have an opinion, but he doesn't have any facts. He needs to go back to college."
Robinson said that people were enslaved in many parts of the world, not just in America.
Her son, Zane Robinson, 14, of Richmond watches "The Boondocks," but was disappointed by the show's creator.
"He's nothing like his show," Zane said. "I thought it was kind of boring. His answers were long and they didn't make any sense."
Like his mother, Zane -- who wore a sweatshirt that celebrates Obama's presidency -- didn't like McGruder's comments about Obama. "He didn't seem to know what he was talking about," Zane said.
On the other hand, "Boondocks" fan Tristian Gregory, an Earlham senior from Evansville, Ind., said McGruder "fulfilled my expectations.
"He mentioned some things that are off-the-wall to some ... I think he's very skeptical," Gregory said.
Gregory said he supports McGruder's idea of waiting to support Obama when he's seen what decisions the president makes.
"That's pretty amazing coming from a strong African-American and I definitely agree with him," Gregory said.