I’m a little late in asking, forgive me.
But, did you have a happy Kwanzaa?
I know the celebration officially ended 10 days ago, but the news has kept me busy until now.
President Bush was quicker to the trigger than I was.
Back on Dec. 20 – a full six days before onset of this very spiritual weeklong rite – he sent “warm greetings to all who are celebrating Kwanzaa.” It gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling all over – even though I don’t personally celebrate this sacred event.
Why did Bush issue a proclamation on Kwanzaa? Well, he explained that this important holiday was established in 1966 as an African-American celebration of “family, community and culture. The seven-day observance, beginning Dec. 26 and ending Jan. 1, serves as a special time to recognize and reaffirm the Nguzo Saba, or Seven Principles, of African culture. These are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.”
Bush continued: “Kwanzaa provides an opportunity for people of African heritage regardless of their religious background or faith, to come together and to show reverence for their Creator and creation, to commemorate the past, to recommit to high ideals, and to celebrate the good life. These life-affirming traditions take on particular resonance this year, as the United States and the world face new challenges to peace. As individuals, families and communities take part in this celebration of unity and enduring values, I extend best wishes to people throughout the globe for a wonderful and memorable Kwanzaa.”
Touching, moving, multi-cultural.
Bush was correct in pointing out that this new high holy day is a very recent invention. There are few holidays we can actually attribute to one man’s vision. Kwanzaa is such a holiday – coined by Ron Karenga in 1966.
Who was Ron Karenga?
Glad you asked.
He is a convicted felon – sentenced five years after inventing Kwanzaa for torturing two black women by whipping them with electrical cords and beating them with a karate baton after stripping them naked. He placed in the mouth of one of the victims a hot soldering iron, also scarring her face with the device. He put one of her big toes in a vise, and detergent and running water in both of their mouths.
But that wasn’t the beginning of the bizarre and violent behavior of Karenga, the patron saint of Kwanzaa – not by a long shot.
Just about the time he was dreaming up this new holiday, he was also inventing a new political movement on the campus of UCLA. That movement was called “black cultural nationalism.” His group was called United Slaves. And it was defined mainly by violent confrontations with the Black Panthers at UCLA. Two of his followers shot dead two members of the Panthers in 1969.
But no sooner did Karenga get out of prison on the torture charges in 1975 than all was forgotten about his criminal and violent past. He was proclaimed Saint Karenga. Four years later, he was running the Black Studies Department at California State University in Long Beach.
How did he get that job in academia with his record?
Glad you asked again.
Paul Mulshine, who has done an admirable job of chronicling Karenga’s history for FrontPagemag.com, has a theory.
Karenga had a jailhouse conversion.
No, he did not become a born-again Christian. He did not renounce violence. He did not even repudiate his past. But he did become a Marxist.
And, while becoming a Christian might have disqualified him for a role in the world of the modern U.S. university, a conversion to Marxism was perceived as a sign of rehabilitation.
The one-time psychopath had seen the light.
In conclusion, I hope this little cultural and history lesson helps you see the light – about Kwanzaa. It’s being taught to your kids in your government schools. It’s become a commercial bonanza in black communities through the United States. And, now, even the president of the United States is praising it as a legitimate holiday.
Good grief. What’s wrong with America?