Kwanzaa… December 26 through January 22 …. Warm, fuzzy Afrocentric holiday.
Many educated people actually believe that Kwanzaa is some sort of ancient African harvest festival. The reality is that Kwanzaa never saw Africa.
Let me introduce you to Maulana Ron Karenga … black radical activist, academic, convicted felon….and the founder of KWANZAA.
Karenga's real name is Ron N. Everett. In the '60s, he awarded himself the title "maulana," Swahili for "master teacher." He was born on a chicken farm in Maryland. He was the fourteenth child of a Baptist minister. There was no doubt that he was bright.
He came to California in the late 1950s to attend Los Angeles Community College. He moved on to UCLA, where he got a Master's degree in political science and African Studies.
By the mid-1960s, he had established himself as a leading "cultural nationalist." This term distinguished Karenga's followers from the Black Panthers, who were conventional Marxists.
Cultural nationalists strictly followed the rules laid down in The Quotable Karenga, a book that laid out "The Path of Blackness." "The sevenfold path of blackness is think black, talk black, act black, create black, buy black, vote black, and live black,"
The year was 1969. There was a battle going on for control of the UCLA black studies program by two black radical groups on campus. The first was the Black Panthers and the second was United Slaves, led by Mr. Karenga. Both groups felt very free to strut around campus carrying loaded guns. Surprise!... Violence ensued.
On Jan. 17, 1969, about 150 students gathered in a lunchroom to “discuss” the situation. Two of the Panthers spent a good part of the meeting in verbal attacks against Karenga. This did not sit well with Karenga's followers.
Karenga was "dissed" by John Jerome Huggins, 23, and Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter, 26. After the meeting, the two Panthers were met in the hallway by two brothers who were members of US, George P. and Larry Joseph Stiner. The Stiners pulled pistols and shot the two Panthers dead. One of the Stiners took a bullet in the shoulder, apparently from a Panther's gun.
Black Panther John Higgins was “murdered—along with Al ‘Bunchy’ Carter—on the UCLA campus by members of Ron Karenga’s organization.” After this killing, the FBI infiltrated both groups, and Karenga’s group, United Slaves, turned to fighting “enemies within.”
Karenga, meanwhile, continued to build and strengthen US, a unique group that seems to have combined the elements of a street gang with those of a California type cult. The members performed assaults and robberies …evidently a requirement of “cultural nationalism”.
Karenga apparently fell into deep paranoia shortly after the killings at UCLA. He began fearing that his followers were trying to have him killed. On May 9, 1970 he initiated the torture session that led to his imprisonment
In May of 1970, two of those “inside enemies” were female members tortured by their “comrades” Both testified that Karenga ordered and participated in their assaults.
A May 14, 1971, article in the Los Angeles Times described the testimony of one of them
The following day . . . Karenga, holding a gun, threatened to shoot both of them.”
What a guy!!
Mr. Karenga was convicted of felonious assault and false imprisonment. He was sentenced in 1971 to up to 10 years in prison.
An extremely brief account of the sentencing ran in several newspapers the following day. And that was the last newspaper article to discuss Ron’s unfortunate incarceration and enjoyment of performing horrific acts on his own people.
From that point forward he became WONDERFUL! He established Kwanzaa. Numerous favorable articles written about him began to flow.
Karenga had just ten years earlier proven himself capable of employing guns and bullets in his efforts to control hiring in the Black Studies Department at UCLA. So how did this ex-con, fresh out jail, get the job at Long Beach?
We don’t know because UCLA has no response aside from being HAPPY that he is there.
And now to Kwanzaa.
The seven days of this festival supposedly celebrate “traditional African” principles, such as “collective work” and “cooperative economics,” each referred to by a Swahili name.
The Swahili is interesting. American blacks came primarily from Ghana and West Africa. Swahili is spoken by people in Kenya and Tanzania which just happen to be THOUSANDS of miles away from West Africa. They don’t speak Swahili there.
This can be compared to celebrating Columbus Day by speaking Chinese.
DR. Ron also made his harvest festival near the winter solstice. Not much harvesting going on at that time.
Karenga sat down in prison and made stew. Into it he put different traditions and languages.
He seasoned it with Marxist ideas to reflect a unified African culture that has never existed anywhere!
Swahili word Ujamaa, means “cooperative economics” and is one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa. This happens to be the term Julius Nyerere, the socialist leader of Tanzania, used for his disastrous policy of putting tens of thousands of Tanzanians on collective farms.
Karenga admitted in a 1978 Washington Post interview that, “People think it’s African, but it’s not, I put it around Christmas because I knew that’s when a lot of ‘bloods’ [Blacks] would be partying.”
Actually, I guess the evidence shows that Karenga has reformed.
|Karenga at podium|
But now that Karenga is a Marxist, the capitalists have taken over his holiday. The seven principles of Kwanzaa include "collective work" and "cooperative economics," but Kwanzaa has become as commercial as Christmas, generating millions.
But, as those Kwanzaa candles are lit, the Kwanzaa cake is eaten, and schools everywhere include it on the HOLIDAY wall along with a dreidel and a WINTER TREE…maybe it is just kinder to allow those who celebrate this holiday to do so in happy ignorance of the sordid acts, the violence, the paranoia, and the damage that helped generate its birth 40 years ago.