I’ve been listening and reading about the anger directed at Senator Glenn Grothman for his press release asking “Why must we still hear about Kwanzaa?” (pdf) He was right on point when he said that Kwanzaa was created by “a racist who didn’t like the idea that Christ died for all of our sins, so he felt blacks should have their own holiday – hence Kwanzaa.” Now I do disagree with him when he said almost “no black people today care about Kwanzaa.” There are many, many black people who do care about Kwanzaa. I’m not one of them – at all. In fact I despise Kwanzaa and that I’ll explain why later.
I don’t know what started Senator Grothman’s questioning of Kwanzaa, but the two links in his press release do provide a clue. The first one is a video about two schools that are incorporating Kwanzaa principles in their African-centered education. They often talk about the need for the black child to feel like they are a part of the school to enhance their education. They speak of teaching culture and virtues through the learning and practicing of the seven principles of Kwanzaa. It made me wonder if any biblical principles and virtues are allowed to be taught at all – especially during Christmas and/or Easter! How many schools aren’t even allowed to do a Charlie Brown Christmas play because bible verses are dared recited by the Peanuts character Linus! And how insulting to think that black children raised in Christian homes don’t find that Christ is sufficient for feeling good about whom they are in this world!
The second link which was an article (only accessible for 30 days free) that made some glaring mistakes about Kwanzaa. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Professor Dr. James Coates says of Kwanzaa, “the holiday is often misunderstood as a replacement for Christmas.” This is not a misunderstanding, this was clearly the creator of Kwanzaa’s intent as the following excerpts from his own books will reveal:
“It [Kwanzaa] was chosen to give a Black alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society.” Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture. Los
Angeles, CA: University of Sankore Press, 1997. p 21
“. . . it gives them a spiritual alternative to the commercialization of Christmas and the resultant move away from its original spiritual values and message.” p 118
“Kwanzaa is not an imitation, but an alternative, in fact, and oppositional alternative to the spookism, mysticism and non-earth based practices which plague us as a people.” Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa: origin, concepts, practice. Inglewood, California: Kawaida Publications, 1977, p 14
Professor Coates also says, “Kwanzaa is intended as a cultural, not religious, holiday.” This is one of the biggest lies/misunderstandings about Kwanzaa. A school will allow the reciting of Kwanzaa principles and to teach it as “virtues” and yet not consider it religious? The creator of Kwanzaa tried to create it as a religion but that didn’t take off exactly as he planned. He even listed the seven principles of Kwanzaa (the Nguzo Saba) as a religion in his list of religions in one of his first books on Kwanzaa! (Kawaida Theory page 25). For a celebration not intended to be a religion, it is full of religious imagery as in the lighting of candles similar to the Jewish Hanukkah, the reciting of libations found in African religions, the practicing of principles similar to the practice of the 10 Commandments in Judeo-Christian belief system just to name a few examples. Yet schools can’t dare mention Jesus’ name during the very holiday that was named after Him!
That is why I despise Kwanzaa. It is being taught by mostly white establishments that black people somehow need something other than a strong Christian foundation to make them successful in life. Sadly, many black Christians are buying this not realizing that they are just showing their idol worship of a practice that is subtly telling them, that believing in Christ isn’t enough.
As for CNN’s heated discussion with Senator Grothman and Christian Roland Martin, hosted by CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield, it was a shame seeing Roland’s defense of Kwanzaa place the holiday of Easter as a “pagan” holiday. Martin’s public vitriol attack of Senator Grothman who is a Christian also, showed that his love for the color of his skin is more important than the love for another Christian. A true test of one being in Christ is his love for the brethren. (1 John 3:14)
Now I do want to correct Senator Grothman on Karenga as he is no longer a violent nut, but an ex-con who turned to education rather than violence (as far as anyone knows). He has two PhDs and earned them honestly. We have to give him that much credit even though we don’t agree with him. And although many will try to separate Karenga from Kwanzaa, the holiday alone is enough for any Christian to take a stand and demand that it be taken out of the schools because of its religious nature or bring Jesus Christ into them! Folks can celebrate Kwanzaa all they want but when they begin to indoctrinate our children in this subtle brainwash of culture worship, then we must take a stand!
Read more about how Karenga played a part in my family’s life, thus resulting in me meeting with him, learning about him and exposing Kwanzaa as an anti-Christian, cultic and racially divisive holiday. Download my ebook at $3.95 here: Kwanzaa, Cultural or Cultic?