Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Joyous Kwanzaa? - No thanks!!!

If you have never heard of Kwanzaa before, you may not be alone. The first time I heard of it was about 5 or 6 years ago, and I had no clue anyone actually celebrated it. But lately, I have run into several people who do observe Kwanzaa, and it peaked my curiosity enough to look into this "holiday". The following information is based on various Wikipedia entries (direct quotes in red).

An African-American scholar and social activist, Ron Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 as the first African-American holiday. Karenga said his goal was to "...give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society." The name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza", meaning "first fruits". The choice of Swahili, an East African language, reflects its status as a symbol of Pan-Africanism, especially in the 1960s.

Apparently, people who celebrate Kwanzaa do so as an alternative to "imitat[ing] the practice of the dominant society", which is celebrating Christmas and New Year. The implication, of course, is that white people are the dominant society. I would like to ask - in which way are we dominant? Even if such was the case back in the 1960s and no longer is, why is the holiday still being observed? It has always boggled my mind that in the United States, it is apparently o.k. to be a racist if you are what is considered a "minority", but if you are not, you have to forever feel bad about the fact that you are white and therefore by definition evil.

But let's take a look at the brilliant mind that is behind this "holiday", Ron Karenga:

- A high school dropout.

- In 1965, Karenga founded the Organization Us, a Cultural Black Nationalist group.

- Created Kwanzaa in 1966.

- In 1971, Karenga was convicted (along with 2 others) of felony assault and false imprisonment for assaulting and torturing over a two day period two women from the US organization, Deborah Jones and Gail Davis. The details of his conviction are far too disgusting and graphic to post here, but you can read about them on Wikipedia. He served 4 years in state prison, where he adopted his views on Marxism. After reading the charges that he was convicted of, I cannot understand how or why he only served 4 years in prison.

- Admitted to UCLA in 1975 as part of a federal program. He went on to be awarded several doctorates.

- Chairman of the black studies department at California State University, Long Beach, from 1989 to 2002.

This guy sounds like a real winner. Given his background, it is no wonder he went on to teach at a state university. But back to the holiday he founded:

Kwanzaa is a celebration that has its roots in the black nationalist movement of the 1960s, and was established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage by uniting in meditation and study of "African traditions" and "common humanist principles."

"Common humanist principles"? Personally, I would like for my principles to be as different as possible from the principles of this evil man, but let's take a look at them here:
  • Umoja (unity)—To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  • Kujichagulia (self-determination)—To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
  • Ujima (collective work and responsibility)—To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.
  • Ujamaa (cooperative economics)—To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Nia (purpose)—To make our collective vocation the building and development of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  • Kuumba (creativity)—To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  • Imani (faith)—To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Need I say more? Clearly, this man was a Marxist through and through. I will not even go through the above principles point by point to prove why they are stupid and wrong, or I might get too worked up to be able to go to sleep tonight.

What is the point of this post, you wonder? I would like to clarify, once and for all, that Black activists are the real racists. They are the ones who label African-Americans as an abused minority, which they are not. In turn, too many Black kids grow up with a chip on their shoulder, thinking Uncle Sam owes them a living, and viewing white people as the root of all their problems. It is no wonder so many of them grow up to live off government support, which in essence makes them enslaved to the government. Instead, somebody should have taught them that white or black, red or yellow, you have to work hard to make a living, and that griping about what wrong was done to your great-great-grandpa by people who are long dead will not make your life any easier. That instead of fighting the idealistic battle of a Marxist criminal, they would be better off investing time in their families and freeing themselves from dependence on the US government.

Merry Christmas everyone!

7 comments:

  1. People will fall for anything, as the Bible tells us, "any wind of doctrine." It's crazy! I think you might enjoy my blog on Christmas. Check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think the principals sound lovely, and frankly I'm surprised that even you can skew them into something hateful and ugly.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Even though I disagree with some of your thoughts, Kwanzaa does seem a little silly. I know that there is also a similar candle lighting ceremony like in Hanukkah. Perhaps we can all make up our own Holidays and see which one can make us the most money once it is commercialized? Also, going back to your blog on Christmas, I surprisingly agree with you on the way you celebrate. Many Christian families take all the fun out of a really magical time of year.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Interesting post! I always thought Kwanzaa was a "nation of Islam" holiday. You are absolutely correct about the black activists being the racists. We live in Mississippi. Mississippi has a bad reputation for race relations. Honestly, though, most of the white people are not nearly as racists and hate-filled as the black people. There are exceptions on both sides of course.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Zsuzsanna,
    Outstanding post and right on target! I don't quite get how hbowman could say it was hateful. It isn't like you went on a tirade and spouted information that was untrue. You presented factual historical information about how the holiday came to be.
    Happy New Year!
    Becki

    ReplyDelete
  6. Clearly the creator of this webpage has been misinformed. The Watts Riots of 1966 (early on in that year) were the driving force behind Dr. Karenga creating Kwanzaa. There was much rioting after an African American young man was assaulted and falsely accused of crimes he did not commit. Dr. Karenga and a group of people who wanted the riots to cease came together and created this holiday only partly as an alternative to other holidays. The other side to that was to strive as a race to remain positive in the face of adversity and conquer hate by committing ourselves to a set of principles that are wholesome in their nature.

    Yes, Dr. Karenga made some mistakes as he was using drugs when he assaulted a woman. He did his time as he should have. He came out of prison however more educated. He earned his high school diploma in prison. From there, he went on in the federal program to do a program that earned him his bachelor and also master's degree. He then went on to earn two doctorates.

    Do I agree with his actions assaulting someone? Absolutely not. Do I believe that he had positive intentions for creating the holiday? Absolutely. The principles of the Nguzo Saba are definitely not stupid, they encourage people whose culture was essentially erased by slavery to take an interest in understanding their culture, which is rich. African Americans are in the lineages of various African kings and queens. Timbuktu was where the idea of higher education came from. Our children need to know that, they must not totally forfeit knowing about their rich heritage.

    Also, in the future I would not quote Wikipedia as my source. Anyone can log onto Wikipedia and post things and there is no way of checking their accuracy. Hopefully this sheds some light on our often misunderstood holiday.

    God bless you my brothers and sisters

    ReplyDelete
  7. How can Blacks be racists when they have no power to change this country? No minority group does. Not Blacks, API, or Hispanics. What will you white people do when you become the minority?

    ReplyDelete

Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.