Columnist Gantt, Lucius Perspective Politics Uncategorized

The Gantt Report – Howdy Doody and Clarabell

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The Gantt Report


By Lucius Gantt

“The Howdy Doody Show” was once an iconic American television program. Two of the show’s most memorable characters were Howdy Doody, a puppet, and Clarabell, a clown.

THE HOWDY DOODY SHOW, from left: ‘Buffalo’ Bob Smith, Howdy Doody, Lew Anderson, 1947-60.

Millions of children and young people loved to watch The Howdy Doody Show that entertained and influenced so many kids of all races, creeds and colors.

Too many so-called African American leaders remind me of the two TV stars.

Let me explain.

You see, Howdy Doody was a puppet. Howdy couldn’t and wouldn’t do anything unless someone pulled his strings. The freckled faced, big-headed doll in a cowboy suit couldn’t stand up, couldn’t sit down and couldn’t speak out unless his puppet master pulled his puppet strings.

Everybody loved Howdy. He wasn’t a radical, a rebel or a rabblerouser,

Howdy Doody jumped when he was made to jump, Howdy Doody danced all across the TV screen when he was made to dance. Howdy came to work every day and worked from morning until night and took his cues and instructions from his controlling puppet master.

Howdy’s sidekick, Clarabell, was a clown. No matter what went down or what happened on the TV show, good or bad, Clarabell always had a smile on his face.

Some characters on the Howdy Doody Show criticized Clarabell, they disrespected Clarabell, they sprayed water on Clarabell’s striped clown suit but Clarabell continued to grin like it was no sin!

Occasionally, things were tough and things got rough on the show for Clarabell but the clown suffered and continued to smile, with both painted smiles and real smiles.

I don’t care what city, state or nation you currently live in, some people in your community can’t help acting like Howdy Doody and Clarabell.

They don’t do what the family wants them to do, they don’t do what the community wants them to do and they don’t do what voters want public servants to do!

After being ordered around for hundreds of years, today there’s no need to pull puppet strings anymore, the African Americans that are loved by the modern-day puppet masters are also lovers and admirers of the puppet masters. They only do what pleases their employers, their pastors and Imams, and their idols.

And, even though unaffordable, housing, discrimination in health care, unequal education, voter suppression and police misconduct is no joke, most of the people tasked with representing you in government, in business, in church and in school walk around day after day with a clown-like smile on their faces as if everything is all right, everything is groovy, so to speak.

They don’t get mad when unarmed women and children get shot down in broad daylight, they don’t frown when Black community housing gets to be unaffordable for Black community residents, they don’t get mad when billionaires jack up prices on groceries, gasoline and prescriptions to make more money.

We need a new generation of Black community leaders and activists. We need leaders that will fight for our rights and speak out strongly on the issues, bills, ordinances and legislation that is important to our people.

We don’t want Black leaders that enjoy a show. We want Black leaders that will show up and show out!