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I’m Dreaming of a White Kwanzaa
12/22/2000 | Chris Griffith

Posted on 12/14/2004 8:30:18 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom

Kwanzaa is May Day with a menorah. This fraudulent “holiday” is an affront to God, America, and the free market. Kwanzaa’s intense glorification of socialist economics should have placed it squarely on the ash heap of history. Instead, with each holiday season, its pernicious tentacles penetrate ever deeper into the national iconography. The mainstream media, forever in search of new ways to display its tolerance, has assimilated Kwanzaa into its pantheon of “approved” holidays. Kwanzaa cards pop up in stores; Kwanzaa books appear on the shelf; even that redoubtable conservative bastion the New York Post publishes an annual Kwanzaa-for-kids page polluting young minds who should not have to keep straight which Kwanzaa candle celebrates socialist economics. At this rate, George W. Bush’s new inclusive administration might treat America to Kwanzaa candles on the White House lawn in 2001.

Kwanzaa has no basis in historical reality, nor any real religious significance. The whole concept of Kwanzaa is based on the same intellectual tradition now championed by Louis Farrakhan and David Duke- racial separatism. Only instead of wanting to send blacks back to Africa- or that elusive mothership of Farrakhan’s fantasies-Kwanzaa contributes to the resegregation of blacks by cordoning them off in a seperate world, seperate from the American mainstream, complete with its own fabricated traditions and godless idols.

By appearing on the calendar between Christmas and New Year’s Day, Kwanzaa strikes at the religious and cultural traditions that bind together Americans of all colors. The vast majority of American, whether black or white, while differing in other respects, long have been united by a common belief in some form of Christianity. It was Christianity that first cut across the color line uniting whites and blacks in a common struggle against slavery and, later, segregation. Kwanzaa threatens to tear asunder this vital bond between the races.

It is a slippery slope from the seemingly benign celebration of Kwanzaa to outright black seperatism. Kwanzaa may be fiction, but, like Marx and Mao, it is dangerous fiction.

The Origins of Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa’s roots, like those of so many of the social pathologies that infect America, lie in that decade of the damned, the 1960s. Building on the revolutionary ideology of the anti-American black separatist movement, Kwanzaa first was celebrated by racial revolutionaries in California in 1966. Its founder-a West Coast-based academic, Dr. Ron Karenga-currently is the chairman of the Black Studies Department at Cal State Long Beach. An intellectual captive of sixties socialism, Karenga, by dint of his dubious invention, has achieved the status of that most disdainful of modern specimens-a “black leader.”

Cultural larceny plays a central role in the symbols and timing of Karenga’s holiday. The symbol most identified with Kwanzaa consists of seven colored candles placed in a menorah-like candelabrum. To say the least, it is highly doubtful that this similarity is accidental. More likely, Karenga plundered the symbol of an authentic religious feast, Hanukkah, in an attempt to legitimize his pagan feast day.

The seven candles of Kwanzaa borrow their color scheme from Marcus Garvey’s old black nationalist ensign. The candles-three red, three green, and one black-sum up the subversive nature of the holiday.

The black candle obviously represents the so-called “black race.” Unlike those noble proponents of Martin Luther King Day who sought the support of people of all races, there is no room for any white candles in Karenga’s inn. In his skewed worldview, blacks are so different from other Americans that they need their own unique holiday to bask in the glory of their race.

The red candles evoke images of socialist realism with bloody red banners waved on high to rally the oppressed for the overthrow of the established order.

Finally, the green candles are meant to recall the splendor of, as Hemingway put it, the wondrous “green hills of Africa.” This belief in the purity of the blessed homeland that views the Africa of yesterday as a pristine paradise where Leonard Jefferies’ “people of the sun” lived in peace and enjoyed the abundant fruits of the land is pure fiction. Africa before the white man came to assume his burden was no different from the rest of the world. War, poverty, and slavery ran rampant there as they did elsewhere else. Africa, however, lacked the technologies and medicines which enabled Europeans to ameliorate many of the harsher aspects of life. Not surprisingly, the black nationalist version of the Africa of antiquity omits these realities.

Kwanzaa begins the day after Christmas and ends on New Year’s Day. To paraphrase Saturday Night Live’s Church Lady, “How convenient!” The timing of Karenga’s celebration automatically places it in the same category as Christmas and Hanukkah. By scheduling it between Christmas and New Year’s Day, Karenga gets the most bang for his Kwanzaa buck out of the holiday-obsessed American public. Karenga, however, stole this clever placement strategy from the early Christian Church. In the first centuries after the martyrdom of Christ, the date which the Church chose to celebrate the birth of the Savior was fixed on what we now know as December 25th because of that date’s proximity to the winter solstice. This maneuver forced the peasantry of Europe to choose between a pagan feast and a Christian one. Left unchecked, Kwanzaa may have the same effect on American blacks.

Before too long, cultural pressures from within the black community may be brought to bear on those black Americans who still choose to celebrate Christmas. Traditional black Christians who continue to venerate Christmas might be mocked as “Uncle Tom’s” by the Kwanzaa-celebrating comrades. The treatment of black conservatives by the self-appointed leaders of the black community provides a clear precedent for this atrocious sort of behavior. If the recent fascination with Kwanzaa continues to grow, “black leaders” soon might accuse their Christian brothers who eschew the candelabrum of adopting the plantation masters’ religion.

The Rites of Kwanzaa

Some of the sillier aspects of Kwanzaa have to do with the “authentic” African names Karenga bestowed upon the feast day’s principles and symbols. Karenga appropriated the word “kwanzaa” from Swahili. It means “first fruits of the harvest.” At first, such a name seems innocent enough. But even Karenga’s choice of language is steeped in deception. Kwanzaa is supposed to be a holiday for American blacks-a time for a historically oppressed people to celebrate the glories of the fatherland.

But if Kwanzaa is supposed to celebrate the roots of Americans brought to America in chains from Africa, then why did Karenga choose Swahili, an East African language? After all, no slave ship ever ventured around the Cape of Good Hope to pick up slaves from present-day Kenya and Tanzania. The historical reality of the situation is that the slaves brought to North America came from West Africa and anyone who can read a map can understand see why it would have been much more convenient for European traders to sail south to West Africa for slaves rather than halfway around the lands inhabited by Swahili speakers who, in fact, were the chief slave traders of East Africa. Apparently, they do not cover the whole story of slavery in Dr. Karenga’s Black Studies Department.

Karenga chose Swahili because it was the trendy language in the black power movement during the 1960s. Many blacks who studied it were interested in finding a linguistic link to their ancestoral home. Today, instead of learning Swahili, these frauds drape themselves in kente cloth and blame imperialism for everyy single one of Africa’s problems. The truth is, these imposters would be laughed out of Africa because real Africans know that black Americans have more in common-culturally, religiously, and linguistically-with the reddest neck in upcountry South Carolina than with the average Zulu warrior or Nigerian oil worker.

The Swahili swill continues with Karenga’s equivalent of “Merry Christmas”-”Habari Gani?” According to one of the foremost Kwanzaa scholars (say that three times without laughing), Dorothy Winbush Riley, this translates as “What’s Happening?” Seriously.

There are Swahili names for the fruits, place mats, candles, candelabrum, cups, gifts, corn, and, most especially, the seven principles represented by the candles. The sheer quantity of Swahili terms submerges the holiday in terminology alien to most whites-and blacks-and seems a little too much like a desperate plea for legitimacy by someone who knows he is perpetrating a fraud. It is as if Karenga realized his feast lacked intrinsic value and consciously chose to emphasize quantity over quality. Karenga tried to dress up his holiday in colorful African garb in the hopes that it would be accepted as legitimate. He failed. For anyone who bothers to look, the fraud shines through.

The Seven Days of Kwanzaa

The first principle of Kwanzaa is “Umoja” or unity. On this day, celebrants are supposed to praise the monolithic greatness of the black race. Once again, however, Karenga’s delusional vision departs sharply from reality. Blacks are no more united than Europeans or Asians. In America, blacks are divided by geography, religion, and politics. If Africa, they are divided by the archaic, artificial borders of inattentive, defunct empires. About the only thing that unites nations as diverse as Ghana and Somalia was their collective inability to resist falling prey to the false panacea of Soviet-exported socialism.

“Kujichagulia,” or self-determination, is the second principle of Kwanzaa. No one can oppose the principle of self-determination, but this lofty ideal is cheapened when placed in the context of Kwanzaa. The self-determination championed by Karenga is racially exclusive and prone to being harnessed by bigoted demagogues for their own ends.

The third day of Kwanzaa commemorates “Ujima” which translates as collective work. One does not have to read too deeply into this principle in order to be haunted by the ghosts of those who would not help with the work of the collective under Mao and Stalin. Clearly, Karenga rejects capitalism and embraces the atheistic ideology of Marx and Lenin. His inordinate emphasis on “harvest” rituals, however, suggests that Kwanzaa is more of an agrarian Maoist holiday. At a time when even the butchers of Beijing have discarded most of Mao’s teachings, Karenga embraces a system examples of whose failure dot the planet like craters on the moon. The point Karenga fails, or is unwilling, to grasp is that if American blacks lived by the principles of Kwanzaa, they would doom themselves to totalitarian poverty. Just when blacks are acquiring unprecedented amounts of economic and political clout in this country, Karenga would sentence them to a life term in his racial “Gulag Archipelago.”

As if celebrating the glorious inefficiencies of collective farms was not enough, the fourth day of Kwanzaa focuses on the principle of “Ujamma” or cooperative economics. Object lessons in the failure of this sort of central planning abound. For example, Ethiopia once exported grain, but when communists overthrew the Emperor, the “rich” peasants came under siege and a dreadful famine ensued. When one considers the misery and death visited upon the world by cooperative economics, it becomes evident that Karenga understands the lessons of markets even less than he comprehends the lessons of history.

In his quest to scrape together seven principles for his week-long feast, Karenga consecrated the fifth day of Kwanzaa to “Nia,” or purpose. All sorts of ideological claptrap can be poured into this vaguely defined vessel. Winbush Riley believes that the purpose of this day is to celebrate the restoration of the black people to their traditional greatness. Unfortunately for Riley, there was no common nation which all black Americans truthfully can refer to as their ancestral home.

When asked “What’s happening?” on day six, a faithful apostle of Karenga will reply, “Kuumba!” “Kuumba” means creativity. Now, do we really need a holiday to celebrate creativity? A lovely concept, creativity, but the traditional purpose of a holiday is to commemorate a person or event of particular significance to the people celebrating it. Whether religious or secular, holidays used to mean something. In a nation that cynically allows Pearl Harbor Day to slip into the mists of history, creativity simply does deserve a day of its own.

The godless aspect of Kwanzaa reveals itself on the final day which, ironically, celebrates “Imani” or faith. The faith or Kwanzaa, however, is not the faith which daily sustains Christians, Jews, and Muslims throughout the world. Kwanzaa worships no god. Instead of traditional monotheism, Kwanzaa deifies the self and one’s ancestors in the manner of a pagan rite or a Wiccan ceremony where the wind and the trees are worshiped in lieu of God. Kwanzaa replaces faith in God with faith in one’s self and the collective. Thus faith is divorced from God, and man divorced from divinity.

What can be done to arrest the spread of Kwanzaa? First, preachers of all collars and colors should explain and denounce the theological and historical flaws in this man-made holiday. But most of all, black Americans who still believe in Dr. King’s dream should make it known that their god remains He of the Sermon on the Mount and not some Swahili-spewing charlatan out to make a buck from the greeting card industry.

December 22, 2000

Chris Griffiths, a recent graduate of Cornell Law School, is a lawyer on Wall Street.

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: chrisgriffith; kwanzaa
This was discussed in a FReep thread four years ago (here), but it's worth dusting it off again in light of today's discussion about the Egg Harbor, NJ school board allowing Silent Night to be sung -- as long as "Kwanzaa's Here" is also sung!
1 posted on 12/14/2004 8:30:18 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Thanks for posting. I will bookmark to read later.

2 posted on 12/14/2004 8:35:20 AM PST by cvq3842
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

>it would have been much more convenient for European traders to sail south to West Africa for slaves rather than halfway around the lands inhabited by Swahili speakers who, in fact, were the chief slave traders of East Africa. Apparently, they do not cover the whole story of slavery in Dr. Karenga’s Black Studies Department.<

Don't you just love the irony?

3 posted on 12/14/2004 8:46:49 AM PST by Darnright
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

It's up to blacks themselves to consign this 'holiday' to the trash can. But, then again, if a mjaority of blacks are not incensed that Clinton is called the 'first black president' and that they are continually patronized by the Democratic Party, I don't think there is much chance of that happening.

4 posted on 12/14/2004 8:48:57 AM PST by Rummyfan
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To: ProtectOurFreedom; Modernman

Heck of a read. :)

5 posted on 12/14/2004 8:54:24 AM PST by BroncosFan ("If I'm dead, why do I still have to go to the bathroom?" - Thomas Dewey, 1948)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Thanks for reposting. Good exposure of the Kwanzaa fraud. The only thing the author omitted was Karenga's woman-torturing past.

6 posted on 12/14/2004 8:54:47 AM PST by JOAT
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To: cvq3842

A very useful read. Betcha that black studies class
at Cal fills up real quick. There is sure to be a
waiting list there.

7 posted on 12/14/2004 9:00:00 AM PST by ONTHEFIFTY
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
The idea is that Kwanzaa is supposed to mean "first fruits." There were pagan religions that had festivals celebrating the first fruits, but they were tied to the harvest. Is there any commonly-eaten food plant that produces its harvest in late December? Perhaps there are some places in the tropics where it is always hot and some fruit might be ripe in late December, but for most agriculturalists it's a weird time to pick.

On antebellum plantations in the Old South, slaves often were given the days between Christmas and New Year's off (apart from a few necessary tasks like milking the cows). I don't think they want to make a connection between that tradition and Kwanzaa.

The pagan Romans celebrated the birthday of the sun on December 25, which was then the date of the winter solstice (when the sun was about to start moving northward in the sky). The early Christians did not know the actual date of Jesus' birth so they picked December 25 to put a Christian meaning on the day of the pagan feast.

8 posted on 12/14/2004 9:01:04 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus

Africa is in the southern hemisphere so it is summer at the end of December. Crops probably are being harvested at that time of the year.

9 posted on 12/14/2004 9:07:59 AM PST by expat-in-the-uk (Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

It just grows and grows. Reminiscent of how 'slam got up and running.

10 posted on 12/14/2004 9:13:53 AM PST by Eastbound ("Neither a Scrooge nor a Patsy be")
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

I'm not the biggest Anne Coulter fan but she did make me laugh when she wrote "is it me or is Kwanza way over-commercialised these days?".

11 posted on 12/14/2004 9:17:16 AM PST by Killing Time
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

I don't know anyone black or white that celebrates Kwanzaa
- it is entirely pushed on us by the media...

12 posted on 12/14/2004 9:33:28 AM PST by 2banana (They want to die for Islam and we want to kill them)
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To: jwfiv

Great read.

13 posted on 12/14/2004 9:42:00 AM PST by Serb5150 (Christlich leben selig sterben ist das beste das wir erben.)
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To: expat-in-the-uk
Actually more than half of the African continent is north of the equator, and the ancestors of most African Americans lived in the part of Africa north of the equator. True, the Swahili-speaking areas of East Africa are south of the equator.

There are some grain crops harvested in June in the northern hemisphere, so the same crops may be harvested in December in the southern hemisphere. Whether any of those crops were actually cultivated by agriculturalists in Africa south of the equator I don't know.

14 posted on 12/14/2004 9:42:04 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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