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Cartoon Black History: Hobbes

October 20, 2011

Everything used to be a lot different. Water fountains were segregated. Bus seats were once assigned for people without disabilities. In a time when race relations were at their lowest, this unsung hero proved black and white could come together and be great.

Hobbes was a very nice person, which is made quite clear by that picture. Nevertheless, black and scary were synonymous. Hobbes’ height and strength were unnerving to passers-by despite his unassuming nature… like Michael Clarke Duncan. Hence he was hired as a bodyguard for a promising young athlete (and bona fide jerk).

That’s Calvin. He was a daredevil… and a hellion. He either amazed people with his stunts or pissed them off with his antics (no pun intended). So Hobbes’ hiring was two-pronged: keep the fanatics at bay and scare the diminutive Calvin into calming down. Their pairing changed people’s minds forever.

Calvin and Hobbes were inseparable because they were able to learn from one another. Hobbes’ calm attitude did wonders for Calvin’s undiagnosed ADHD. Calvin’s free spirit is what Hobbes needed to unhinge the mental shackles of the racist world he lived in. Hobbes even joined in on the act sometimes… tight rope walking was his thing.

In return for the their adventures, Hobbes taught Calvin some of his bodyguardiest moves. Calvin was so confident in his abilities that he went into a joint venture with Hobbes to make them official. They called it The White Tiger Caucus for Personal Protection. It was before its time. People weren’t ready for the kind of black/white solidarity showed in their brochure.

Calvin’s father didn’t appreciate the effect Hobbes had on him. He felt his son was lost to Hobbes and that they had to die. But he obviously couldn’t fight them. So Calvin’s father, a big Shakespeare fan, poisoned their food. They didn’t make it too far before full rigor mortis set in.

Hobbes didn’t get a chance to be heralded like Martin Luther King for his part in integration. What’s more, Calvin’s father got a slap on the wrist. The good thing is their group and the posthumous injustice they received inspired The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Calvin and Hobbes did a lot for the races without doing it consciously. When change is made without need for credit, the best of humanity is on display.

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