December 12, 2005

The War on Kwanzaa...

There is much talk in the news and on various media outlets about the war on Christmas, John Gibson a Fox News analyst penned a book entitled “The War on Christmas”. Bill O’reilly has taken the lead over the last few years in bringing the war on Christmas to the forefront. While this very open and public so-called war on Christmas is happening there is a more silent and sinister war on Kwanzaa being waged and in some cases by the very defenders of Christmas in the so-called war on Christmas.

Kwanzaa was founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga who is the head of the US Organization. Kwanzaa is a seven day long celebration of Family, Community and Culture by African people in America. Kwanzaa is a Swahili word derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means first fruits. Kwanzaa has what is called the The Nguzo Saba (The Seven principles) each assigned a day over the seven day celebration. Those seven principles are; Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self Determination),Ujima (Collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), Imani (faith).

The war on Kwanzaa is currently being spearheaded by Jessie Lee Peterson, a defeated Black man who appears to have no other purpose in life other than being the mouth piece for white supremacy. Jessie is not alone in his attacks on Kwanzaa; Kwanzaa has been attacked over the years by the likes of Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, and Joseph P. Farah and even the good ole Pat Robertson.

The gist of all attacks on Kwanzaa from White Conservatives has to do with its founder Maulana Karenga. Anyone familiar with Maulana’s history knows he is no saint, his US Organization believed it necessary to have violent disagreements with the Black Panther Party and stand accused of killing two Black Panther Party members. Dr. Karenga is a convicted felon for his abuse and torture of two Black women whom he stripped naked and beat with an electrical chord and a baton based on his belief that they tried to poison him. Maulana served four years in prison for his crime; a crime in of it self considering the abuse he handed out but I like most Black folk in America am mindful that crimes committed against Black folk does not warrant prison time like crimes committed against a white person.

The War on Kwanzaa has taken on a life of it’s on with the anti-Kwanzaa website “Christocentric” run by Carlotta Marrow. This site is dedicated to the complete removal and destruction of Kwanzaa. Christocentric takes the position that Kwanzaa is an anti-religious holiday and no Christian should celebrate Kwanzaa. Christocentric along with the apologist Lashawn Barber believes Kwanzaa is of all things a Pagan Holiday, unlike any before it. This is laughable when Kwanzaa is juxtaposed with the pagan roots of most American Holidays.

When one looks over all the attacks on Kwanzaa, it appears as if these attacks are being heralded from that position that Kwanzaa is an affront to white folk. Kwanzaa is consistently spoken of as a racist, Marxist and socialist holiday that seeks to separate the races, as if there exist a unity between Black and white folk today that can be severed by Kwanzaa. Referring to Kwanzaa as Marxist and Socialist does not have anything to do with how Black folk view Kwanzaa and everything to do with how white folk view those particular political ideologies.

Kwanzaa is not a threat to anyone or anything and the seven principles of Kwanzaa can be useful in the day to day lives of Black folk and celebrating something that one from amongst us made up does not need the approval of white folk or their Black minions. Black Unity of any kind spoken or unspoken will always bee seen as a threat, and white folk understand the unifying effect that Kwanzaa can have. Kwanzaa is not anti-Christian, Anti-Islam or about celebrating Dr. Karenga; it however is about Unity, Self Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith. Who is opposed to those things spreading amongst Black folk in America and in the Diaspora.

6 Comments:

At 9:04 PM, Blogger NmagiNATE said...

Yet, all these "Christians" more or less co-exist with the commercialization and pagan Santa, tree, etc.

The so-called War On Christmas only became a "war" when different locales started suggesting Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas which really is enshrined in the Santa and tree, etc.

And, of course, we know this is all about European Cultural supremacy. This reminds me of Pat Buchanan's piece about the French Riots where contrasted the racial/ethnic divisions in France and the US deeming the situation in the US situation as something more manageable from the governments standpoint because Blacks in America had been ASSIMILATED.

So, we know what the root issue is. Again, Cultural Supremacy. And, truth be told, all cultures are created - i.e. made up.

So what's the issue?

You've pointed out the very thing that exposes the Kwanzaa attackers for the frauds they are. When they can go down the line and say (the Black ones... the White ones don't even begin to count)... when they can say what they find counterproductive in the Nguzo Saba then they can comment. Otherwise, they can keep their mouth shut unless they want a full scale war on Christianity complete with talking about the various paganism and manufactured elements contained in what they practice and believe.

 
At 1:43 PM, Blogger Dell Gines said...

For the life of me I don't understand why Michelle Malkin gives a damn about Kwanzaa.

Ridiculous

 
At 3:43 AM, Blogger Cynthia said...

It appears Kwanzaa is gaining momentum. I think this is what this is saying. The blacks I know will not allow whites to define who we are and what we should believe.

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger dragonfly said...

I think the issue is the inaccuracy and lack of full disclosure. And this makes the celebration of Kwanzaa just as harmful as the celebration of Christmas under false pretenses.

Put the Christ back in Christmas? Sorry, was never there in the first place. Now knowing full well the history of Kwanzaa, I have to say that Africa was never in that holiday, either.

I think the intent of most who celebrate it [including myself, when I did] is sincere and admirable. Rather than kid ourselves with the subterfuge of the so-called spirituality of the holiday occasions, let's deem them what they are -- traditional secular American holidays as a way to spend time [and money] with family and friends, co-opted by the capitalism of multi-national corporations. Nothing more, nothing less.

As for the celebration of my history, I'll say that it was most honored when I took pre-colonial History of Africa this semester with Professor Said Samatar. I learned enough from that one class to give me more pride and foundation to assert my humanity than lighting some candles and shouting 'Harambee' will ever do. Like knowing that Swahili isn't widely spoken in West Africa between Senegal and Angola, where most of us marooned Africans in America were taken. And how can corn [mahindi] symbolize our African ancestry when it is indigenous to North America?

I'm not hating on holidays. Humans need these traditions. I just think the full truth should be as prevalent as the packaging around them. Respect folks' intelligence and integrity. If it's all about learning our history, then knowing the full history of Kwanzaa should be prerequisite, in addition to the history of the multiple peoples and cultures of the continent. Africa and Blackness is not a singular monolithic identity that can be distilled into seven sweet days of bastardized ritual. My Black pride does not excuse me from being constructively critical of what it means to be Black. In fact, it requires it.

 
At 2:50 PM, Blogger Terrence said...

I just ran across your blog and know this is kind of after the season, but I agree with your commentary and had written about the anti-Kwanzaa folk on my blog as well - a two part series.

Terrence Says: Jesse Lee - The Christmas Monkey (Part I)

Terrence Says: Jesse Lee - The Ultimate (Christmas) Hustler - Part II

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger abw said...

Before, I get into the topic, I would like to say that in defense of Maulana Karenga, the Panthers were not above warfare. This is not to absolve Maulana Karenga of his mistakes,nor apologize just to say that the Panthers made their fair share of mistakes as well. To many people put the conflict between US and the BPP solely on US when both did their fair share of fighting to contribute to the conflict. The BBP, must as I respect them,sometimes routinelytortured and chastized members without cause. Still, I respect the accomplishments and contributions of US, the BPP, and other organizations that are unafraid to take a stand and do what is right. Anyway, dragonfly,I do think all holidays have become too materialistic and agree with your critique. I Know that Kwanzaa was not a direct holiday, but was patterned after harvest celebrations. As for your statement about corn, I do not think most blacks claim corn as a food of African origin as it was grown by Native Americans but African Americans eat it because we live in the U.S.(I know for a fact that Swahili is not a West African language but it is an African language. People should know more about past, present , and modern Africa still.) Still, Kwanzaa is an attacked holiday because it is designed for and by us. We constantly worship holidays not pertaining to our cuture, history, and tradition but you do not here other people, particularly non-Black people raise a stink about this but get mad because we have the audacity to want to celebrate and create our own holidays. We have as much right to celebrate our own holidays as we do everyone else. We have a right to define values, holidays, trditions, and customs that we deem important.

 

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