This year those of us who cherish the phrase “Merry Christmas” have started to say “Merry Christ-mas” to reinsert the name Christ into the greeting. Here’s a reminder of how we started to lose “Merry Christmas” 40 years ago.
On the day before Christmas in 1971 the New York Times ran an article about a new “holiday” called Kwanzaa that was invented by an America-hating Black separatist named Ron Everett. Everett now uses the made up “African” name Maulana Ron Karenga to show the world he wants nothing to do with White America.
That Mr. Karenga was in a California prison doing a one-to-ten year stretch for illegally imprisoning and maiming two Black women he thought were plotting to kill him meant nothing to the Times. They didn’t want to talk about how their new hero had been certified as a paranoid schizophrenic by a court, so they didn’t.
Karenga called his new “holiday” Kwanzaa, a Swahili phrase meaning “first fruits” because he says it is a harvest festival. This is a lie. Kwanzaa is Karenga’s answer to Christmas. He would like nothing better than to see Kwanzaa actually become the “Black Christmas” he has always fantasized about.
In his 1977 book on Kwanzaa, Karenga said it “…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 [White] society.”
Upon hearing of the new “holiday,” a young unknown Al Sharpton commented that Kwanzaa “would perform the valuable service of “de-whitizing” Christmas.”
The idea that Kwanzaa is a harvest festival is bogus.
Harvests don’t happen in December, not even in Karenga’s make believe version of Africa. The closest thing to a Kwanzaa-like festival in Africa is the Yam Festival held yearly in Ghana and Nigeria at the beginning of August, yet Kwanzaa is celebrated each year between December 26 and January 1.
A 1978, Washington Post article included this Karenga admission about his “holiday.” “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.” Imagine if a White person had written that!
When the “traditional Kwanzaa holiday” was added to the mix, along with “Merry Christmas and “Happy Hanukkah,” feckless merchants who would willingly celebrate Hitler’s birthday if they thought it would boost sales, folded and “Happy Holidays” grew by the year. Exactly when this happened is difficult to pinpoint, but after the Bush White House recognized Kwanzaa in 2002 the battle was lost.
Based on the lack of endless “Happy Kwanzaa” TV ads from “Your friends at…” Kwanzaa may be losing some momentum. Let’s pray it is gone by this time next.
Photo credit: soulchristian (Creative Commons)