Ruckus has been a consistent force of self-hatred on Boondocks, and we get a healthy dose of his background in “The Color Ruckus.” But if you were gearing yourself up for an episode where Uncle Ruckus finally sees the light and stops hating his own kind, please back up in your seat.
“The Color Ruckus” opens with a story about Ruckus’ birth and childhood. The opening sequence tips its hat to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, while the plot contains a truckload of references to The Color Purple. Shortly after Ruckus’ birth, a white gentleman dumps him off on the steps of a random black family because he’s afraid the baby will turn blacker and blacker. The couple stumbles on baby Ruckus and decides to keep him.
While Ruckus is telling his pity tale, Granddad cries up a river from every orifice in his body. Riley insists he won’t cry because, well, that’s gay. As Ruckus and Granddad are trying to kick Grandma Ruckus out of the house, her entire family shows up.”
As the story progresses, we also get an idea of where Ruckus’ self-hatred comes from – his mother. Ma Ruckus is black woman who’s eternally determined to turn herself into a white man. Interestingly, his father is the exact opposite: Mr. Ruckus hates white men almost as much as Uncle Ruckus hates black folk.
Ruckus tells yet another tale about getting kicked out by his dad, with his mom kicking and crying all the way. This time, Riley cries, then offers this explanation: “I ain’t crying ’cause of the story. I’m crying because I got allergies.” Suuuure. While this is happening, Grandma Ruckus dies in the living room.
Body Count: 1
Later on in the show, we see Ruckus’ brothers trying to make sense of their father’s parenting style, which basically consists of barking at them or beating the living daylight out of them. They explain that it was his misguided way of dressing them up for this tough world. At the funeral, Ruckus finally stands up to his old man. They get into a war of words. Just as Mr. Ruckus makes a move toward his son, ready to rip his head apart, his back gives out from one of his old injuries when he was manhandled by slave masters. The worst happens. Mr. Ruckus slips, falls into the grave Ruckus dug for his grandma.
Body Count: 2
“The Color Ruckus” wraps up with Ruckus having an epiphany. He realizes that there’s no point hating black people. “It’s time to stop hating niggas for being black,” he says, “and start feeling sympathy for them for being hopelessly inferior to white folks.”
Overall, this episode serves one main purpose: to show us why Ruckus is a little nutso.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you and I’m very sorry about your impending demise, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave.” – Granddad
“My grandmother was the only other person I met mo’ miserable than myself.” – Uncle Ruckus
“You work hard and don’t get shit. You a damn Mexican.” – Mr. Ruckus
“You ain’t even gotta speak English to be Mexican.” – Mr. Ruckus
“I never thought I’d say this, but our family ain’t as fucked up as I thought.” – Huey