� Upper Class | Main | Encryption Export Restrictions �

December 20, 2004

Kwanzaa Defended

It's about that time of year when people with too much time on their hands and too much bile in their guts begin to spit on the celebration of Kwanzaa. I cannot abide this. I think it beneath any honorable spirit which finds reason to ridicule another's convention.

I started my blog because this issue riled me. It's difficult for me to understand what perverse pleasure people must get from their sanctimonious bleating. You'd think they'd pick something actually wrong or hurtful. It comes as no surprise that most of the barbs come in the form of questioning its legitimacy. I needn't remind you of the sort which question the purity of another's origins.

Today, I guess I'm just too old to care why people are foul. I simply call them as I see them. And like so much of the world's wrongheadedness, I'll steer clear of it until such time as I have the power to stamp it out.

In the meantime, a few references from the Archives:

Posted by mbowen at December 20, 2004 07:50 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


I have had a problem with Kwanzaa for the lst two year ever since I found out that it was based on communist principles.

Before that I had a plaque on my wall for it.

I think as conservative black Americans we should abandon it. And find something real to remember. MLK birthday is a no brainer of course. Juneteeth maybe, maybe signing of 14 admendment. I think it something we need to think about.

Black pride is great, communism disguised as black pride isn't.

Posted by: Scott at December 21, 2004 07:31 AM

Kwanzaa is not based on communism. There were socialistic aspects to it, but believe me, there was nobody in US at the time who didn't believe in private property.

As for the 'real', what was real was that Kwanzaa was a necessary component of the 'spiritualization' of black nationalism. The historical context was that these were college educated folks putting together an intellectual vanguard, much as we do in the blogosphere. What they accomplished through this simple ritual is the very thing we have yet to achieve - which is to have a grass roots method of getting the principles of our message out to ordinary folks.

Imagine that you are trying to get ordinary blackfolks to understand the true principles of conservative thought. As a blog writer, you would come across as a pointy headed intellectual. What if simultaneously, the masses of blackfolks also attended churches where the ministers were preaching liberalism in direct contradiction to whatever you are saying. How do you become spiritual instead of strictly intellectual?

This is the context for understanding the creation of Kwanzaa. Communism had nothing to do with the reasons for which it was created. In fact, communism is 'scientific' with an express disdain for all spirituality. Kwanzaa recognizes at the outset, the need for spirituality. Considering Dr. Ligon's influence, there is no way it could be otherwise.

Posted by: Cobb at December 21, 2004 10:13 AM

Karenga is a thug, who made up a phony holiday based on a reference to a culture few black Americans even descend from. Why honor that?

Don't worry, I'll be consistent. If some white guy ever makes up a phony holiday, I promise to bash that, too. Twice as hard, I might add, if he says anything that could be construed as speaking for me.

Posted by: Xrlq at December 21, 2004 09:00 PM

..and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, and Henry Ford supported Hitler, and your dad fucked your mother.

I'm not going to be gracious in this moment. I reserve the right to erase this message when it suits me.

I don't expect everybody in the world to revere Karenga, in fact, I don't expect anyone to revere him or even respect him. It's irrelevant to the spirit of the holiday. I understand that there are people in the world who believe all Christians are idiots and that the whole of Christendom was a farce because of the Crusades or the Inquisition. They have a logical point which makes no sense. I grant all critics of Kwanzaa the same insignificant margin of credibility.

I say this. Considering the fact that I was present at the first Kwanzaa, I would be content to take every drop of heat for it. I am Kwanzaa's poster-child. I am the proof. I am the one it was created for and because of this I will always take it personally, I'm afraid.

Nevertheless, it continues to amaze me how such shallow ad-hominem attacks pass as worthy criticisms of the Nguzo Saba. What can I say? Black power freaks normally logical people out. Get over it. Your children will outlive you and celebrate Kwanzaa. It is a permanent artifact of American culture, like Jazz, like the Ford Mustang, like Monticello.

Bite me, haters.

Posted by: Cobb at December 21, 2004 09:38 PM

Xrlq says: "If some white guy makes up a phony holiday, I promise to bash that, too. Twice as hard, I might add, if he says anything that could be construed as speaking for me."

Well, Xrlq, you are in luck! Some white guy has made up a phony holiday; it's called "Columbus Day." In it's modern incarnation, Columbus Day is portrayed as a celebration for Italian Americans, but that's certainly not how it started. The Tammany Society was the first to get the ball rolling, back in 1792. Then Father Michael J. McGivney formed the Knights of Columbus (1882) to give Catholic men a fraternal/social organization similar to the Masonic Lodge. The Knights are who really pushed Columbus Day as an issue.

Why Columbus? Because he was credited as being Catholic (some histories will give his religion as Catholicism, some as Judaism, but frankly the man didn't seem to practice either), and his arrival in the Americas was prior to the Protestants. That's all. "Columbus Day" was all about getting Catholic legitimacy in the public sphere, and asserting the "real Americanism" of (white) ethnic Catholics during a time when their Americanism (and whiteness) was vigorously challenged.

And the Italian American community? Well, the Italian American community was basically backing Garibaldi for "their" holiday (ethnic-pecking-order "holidays" handed out as a patronage thang). When community groups were basically told by (let's face it) Irish political overlords that Garibaldi wasn't happening, but tellya what, we'll compromise with Columbus....there ya go: Columbus Day! Some Italian American communities went with the flow, and others didn't. That tended to go along the traditional North-South (Italian) lines, too.

Anyway, I'm anxiously awaiting your takedown of Columbus Day as a phony white man's holiday! Ciao!

Posted by: La Lubu at December 23, 2004 08:52 AM

I think Karenga has a lot more to do with Kwanzaa that any random Crusader or Inquisitor does with Christianity, whose history predates both by a millennium. Kwanzaa is faux African silliness, all the way down to its name. How many black Americans do you know who speak Swahili, or descend from anyone who did? One might as well sing "God Save the Queen" in Farsi.

It's too bad I'll be dead by the time you're betting my kids will celebrate Kwanzaa. I guess that means I won't be around to collect on that bet.

LaLubu: it never ceases to amaze me, the lengths to which some liberals will go to create a false moral equivalency where none existed. Few celebrate Columbus Day, and of those who do, none celebrate it as a "white pride" holiday to the exclusion of any other race, as a Catholic holiday to the exclusion of Protestants, or to promote any other form of separatism.

Posted by: Xrlq at December 24, 2004 09:12 PM

Xrlq: Columbus Day was not created as a holiday of separatism, its creation was all about the inclusion of ethnics previously not considered white---a bid for whiteness, you might say. Anyway, it (along with other tactics) worked.

As for the "few celebrate Columbus Day", define 'celebrate'. You won't find any parades or nonsense around where I live, but banks, city and state offices, and schools are closed. And so is my daughter's day care. It's not a day off for me, and there are no paid "days off" in my line of work, so I get to lose a day's pay because of this phony white holiday. I take it this is not the case in California? Your banks, schools, and public offices are all open?

Posted by: La Lubu at December 26, 2004 04:45 PM