By Marcia Segelstein
It's that time of year again. Time to speak the truth about a holiday based on race, now mainstreamed into American life. Yes, I'm talking about Kwanzaa. For yet another year, schoolchildren have undoubtedly sung Kwanzaa songs at holiday concerts (as was the case at my children's former elementary school again this year), and been read Kwanzaa books at storytime. Once again the U.S. Postal Service has issued an official Kwanzaa stamp, providing further evidence of the victory of revisionist history.
Last year, columnist Ann Coulter, who's written about Kwanzaa in the past, declared that "triumph over this synthetic holiday is nearly complete." The only references she'd come across in 2008, she wrote, were humorous ones. Not so this year.Just in time to keep the fraudulent holiday alive and kicking, and presumably make some money along the way, a new film all about Kwanzaa has been released. And it's narrated by none other than Maya Angelou. Filmmaker M.K. Asante was a guest on the CBS News Early Show to promote The Black Candle. Anchor Debbye Turner-Bell introduced the segment by saying that on December 26, "millions of Americans will begin celebrating Kwanzaa." That number is difficult to pin down. But no doubt Asante would like to think so. His assertion that Kwanzaa's principles are "universal" is also wishful thinking, unless by "universal" he means also used by the Symbionese Liberation Army. Yes, the SLA and Kwanzaa share the same seven principles. The SLA chose the seven-headed cobra to represent them (remember that famous photo with Patricia Hearst?). For Kwanzaa, it's the "kinara," which holds seven candles.
Kwanzaa was invented in 1966 by Ron Karenga, later known as Maulana Ron Karenga, as an alternative to Christmas. You won't read that on any current Kwanzaa websites. But surprisingly enough, it's actually referenced on the Wikipedia page about Kwanzaa, adding that that aspect of the holiday was "altered" to avoid "alienating" Christians. Reading from Chapter 6 of an online version of The Quotable Karenga (written by Maulana Karenga) is an eye-opener. He writes: "Christianity is a white religion. It has a white God, and any 'Negro' who believes in it is a sick 'Negro.' How can you pray to a white man?" Then there's this: "The time we spent learning about Jesus, we should have spent learning about Blacks." And this: "The Christian is our worse [sic] enemy."
Karenga helped to found a violent black nationalist organization called United Slaves, a group that believed the Black Panthers were insufficiently extreme. He served time in prison for, among other things, torturing two women with a soldering iron and a vise.
Way back in 1999, the late Tony Snow wrote a column called "The TRUTH about Kwanzaa." Here's how it starts: "Blacks in America have suffered an endless series of insults and degradations, the latest of which goes by the name of Kwanzaa." He continues: "Our treatment of Kwanzaa provides a revealing sign of how far we have yet to travel on the road to reconciliation. The white establishment has thrown in with it, not just to cash in on the business, but to patronize black activists and shut them up."
His point is well taken. Elementary school children who sing Kwanzaa songs while wearing what's supposed to pass as African-style clothing aren't healing any racial divides. They're making white liberals feel better about themselves, and patronizing blacks in the process. One black mother at my children's former elementary school, when asked for her advice about how the school should best honor Kwanzaa, responded by saying that she had absolutely no idea since she and her family were Christians.
Kwanzaa originated in the mind of a violent, racist ex-convict opposed to worshipping a "white" God. According to one website, Karenga was "inspired" by African harvest festivals. The fact is that there are no harvesting rituals celebrated in December. Anywhere. Do we really want to perpetuate this fraud?
Where is the successor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who has the guts to expose Kwanzaa for what it truly is and to promote the celebration not of ethnicity, race, or skin color, but of good character? He'd have to be a leader unafraid to decry the emptiness of faith in race and willing instead to preach faith in God and, through Him, the brotherhood of all mankind.
COPYRIGHT AMERICAN FAMILY NEWS NETWORK 2009