Sunday, December 26, 2004

The truth about Kwanzaa

A generation ago when I was in elementary school, December was a time to celebrate Chanukah and Christmas. Chanukah celebrates the victory of the Jews against Seleucid oppressors in the 2nd century B.C. and Christmas the birth of Jesus. In recent years Kwanzaa has been added to the list. December 26 is the first day of Kwanzaa.

What are the antecedents of Kwanzaa? It should shock you.

LaShawn Barber, a conservative Christian who is black has an excellent short history. Excerpt:

Kwanzaa was invented in 1966 by Dr. Maulana “Ron” Karenga, a former black militant, Marxist and convicted felon. Claiming to have the unity of black people in mind, Karenga committed most of his crimes against blacks.

Just five years after his invention, he was convicted of torturing two black women by stripping them naked, beating them with electrical cords, placing a hot iron into the mouth of one and mangling the toe of the other in a vice. During the ordeal, he forced them to drink detergent.

Observed from December 26 to January 1, this “alternative” to Christmas is based on a mixture
of East African harvest rituals called first fruit — according to Karenga — and 1960s radicalism, although most ancestors of black Americans were from West Africa.

Participants acknowledge their African roots and promote seven, harmless-sounding principles — unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
According to Karenga, Christianity is a myth. He does not believe in the God of the Bible. He says this about Christianity, “Belief in spooks who threaten us if we don’t worship them and demand we turn over our destiny and daily lives must be categorized as spookism and condemned.” [emphasis mine]
Over the years, Karenga has altered his pagan intentions to attract more black Christians into the fold. He now claims that Kwanzaa is a time of giving “reverence to the Creator.” Just what creator he refers to is unclear. Red flags should jump out at any Bible-believing Christian when someone reveres a “Creator” but denies the deity of Christ.

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, founder and president of BOND, Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny, notes that while public school administrators and city officials attempt to ban nativity scenes, Christmas carols, candy canes and even Christmas trees from public places, Kwanzaa has been accepted as mainstream.
"If black Christians don't stand up for Christmas and reject Kwanzaa, they are allowing evil to have its way," Peterson said. "They will regret using a fake holiday to stamp out the true meaning of Christmas."

Peterson refers to a 1978 interview quoted in the Washington Post where Karenga said,
"People think it's African, but it's not. I came up with Kwanzaa because black people in this country wouldn't celebrate it if they knew it was American. Also, I put it around Christmas because I knew that's when a lot of bloods
(blacks) would be partying." [emphasis mine]

See here for a bit more background of Marenga and how he used Marxism to rehabilitate himself, become a professor and head the Black Studies department at Cal State-Long Beach.

I'll pass on Kwanzaa, thank you very much.

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