To many people in America – especially those who are unrepentant bigots – President Donald Trump can do nothing right nor is anything that he says to be accepted at face value without him being savaged for it.
This is the case again today after the president sent his best wishes to those celebrating the African-American holiday of Kwanzaa, a celebration that has little in common with tradition and was invented by a man with a disreputable background back in 1966.
For those unfamiliar with what it means, the following comes courtesy of Wikipedia:
Kwanzaa (/ˈkwɑːn.zə/) is a week-long celebration held in the United States and in other nations of the African diaspora in the Americas. The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. Kwanzaa has seven core principles (Nguzo Saba).
Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder called the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba—the seven principles of African Heritage), which Karenga said “is a communitarian African philosophy,” consisting of what Karenga called “the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world.” These seven principles comprise Kawaida, a Swahili word meaning “common”. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows:
- Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
- Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define and name ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves.
- Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and to solve them together.
- Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
- Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
- Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
- Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Kwanzaa celebratory symbols include a mat (Mkeka) on which other symbols are placed: a Kinara (candle holder), Mishumaa Saba (seven candles), mazao (crops), Muhindi (corn), a Kikombe cha Umoja (unity cup) for commemorating and giving shukrani (thanks) to African Ancestors, and Zawadi (gifts). Supplemental representations include a Nguzo Saba poster, the black, red, and green bendera (flag), and African books and artworks – all to represent values and concepts reflective of African culture and contribution to community building and reinforcement. Corn is the primary symbol for both decoration and celebratory dining.
The White House released the following statement:
Statement from President Donald J. Trump on Kwanzaa
Issued on: December 26, 2017
Today marks the first day of Kwanzaa, a weeklong celebration of African American heritage and culture. Together, let us celebrate during this joyous time the richness of the past and look with hope toward a brighter future.
As families and friends join to light the Kinara, Melania and I extend our warmest wishes for a joyful holiday season and a prosperous year to come.
Trump has issued a brief statement for Kwanzaa. In 2011, he told a racist lie about Obama’s Kwanzaa statement, falsely saying Obama had done one for Kwanzaa but not Christmas. pic.twitter.com/WmkmSt7Tru
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) December 26, 2017
— The Root (@TheRoot) December 26, 2017
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) December 27, 2017
— Splinter (@splinter_news) December 27, 2017
The POTUS just can’t win.
Kwanzaa Was Invented By An Insane Leftist Gangster Who Tortured Women https://t.co/w1llHPEF6t
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) December 26, 2017
An interesting tidbit on the history of Kwanzaa’s founder via the Daily Wire “Kwanzaa Was Invented By An Insane Leftist Gangster Who Tortured Women”:
Kwanzaa began in 1966 when Los Angeles City College professor of Africana Studies, Ronald Everett, later re-styled Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga, launched an atheistic holiday specifically for black Americans. He derived the name from the Swahili phrase “matunda y kwanza,” which means “first fruits of the harvest.” Ironically, it is unlikely that any of the West African slaves transported to the Americas would have understood the East African phrase.
As any postmodern schoolboy knows, the seven principles of Kwanzaa are unity, self-determination, collective work, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith — not in God, but in “our people.” If those principles sound familiar, that’s because they were adopted in 1973 by the Symbionese Liberation Army, a left-wing terrorist group famous for the murders of a school superintendent and a 42-year-old mother of four in addition to kidnapping and raping 19-year-old heiress Patty Hearst.
Everett himself is no stranger to crime. In 1969 his black nationalist gang, “US,” murdered two Black Panthers during a turf war at UCLA. Two years later, Everett was sentenced to prison for felonious assault and false imprisonment after he tortured two women, Gail Davis and Deborah Jones. According to court testimony, Everett stripped the women naked, whipped them with electrical cords and karate batons, placed a hot soldering iron in Davis’ mouth and on her face, tightened Davis’ toes in a vise, put laundry detergent and running hoses in their mouths, and hit them on the head with toasters.
Despite the viciousness and extent of his crimes, Everett spent only four years in prison before a letter-writing campaign by his supporters led to a grant of parole in 1975. Helping the case for clemency was the conclusion of a psychiatrist who examined him in 1971 that Everett was insane, “both paranoid and schizophrenic.”
The Dartmouth Review adds additional detail on Karenga in the paper “The Story of Kwanzaa”:
The founder of Kwanzaa, Ron Everett, a.k.a. Maulana Ron Karenga, stood at the forefront of the black power movement in the 1960s. Karenga distinguished himself as a “cultural nationalist” as opposed to a traditional Marxist. In 1965 Karenga founded the United Slaves Organization (US), a group that would rival the Black Panthers on the UCLA campus. The US was more radical than the Panthers, setting off quarrels between the two.
The biggest dispute between the US and the Panthers centered around the leadership of the new Afro-American Studies department at UCLA; both groups backed a different candidate. On January 17, 1969, 150 students gathered to discuss the situation. Panthers John Jerome Huggins and Alprentice Carter used the meeting to verbally attack Karenga, much to the dismay of his followers. Two US members, George and Larry Stiner, confronted Huggins and Carter in a hallway after the meeting and shot and killed them.
A May 11, 1969 letter in The Black Panther officially denounced Karenga. Wilbur Grattan, the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs of the “Republic of New Africa,” wrote to Bobby Seale: “Speaking in the position of Minister of State and Foreign Affairs for RNA, I have always felt that Ron Karenga represented a great deal less than the best interests of the Black Liberation struggle against domestic colonialism, white racism, and world-wide imperialism.”
This, however, did not faze Karenga, who continued to build and strengthen the US. Members of the US followed the “Path of Blackness” detailed in The Quotable Karenga, authored by Karenga himself. “The sevenfold path of blackness is think black, talk black, act black, create black, buy black, vote black, and live black,” the book states.
The US would not last too much longer. On September 17, 1971, Karenga was sentenced to one to ten years in prison on counts of felonious assault and false imprisonment. The charges stemmed from a May 9, 1970 incident in which Karenga and two others tortured two women who Karenga believed had tried to kill him by placing “crystals” in his food and water.
A year later the Los Angeles Times described the events: “Deborah Jones, who once was given the title of an African queen, said she and Gail Davis were whipped with an electrical cord and beaten with a karate baton after being ordered to remove their clothes. She testified that a hot soldering iron was placed in Miss Davis’ mouth and placed against Miss Davis’ face and that one of her own big toes was tightened in a vice. Karenga, head of US, also put detergent and running hoses in their mouths, she said.”
It’s a pretty safe bet that you will find nothing at all from those who are ripping Trump for his holiday wishes that acknowledges the history of Kwanzaa’s founder. It is intellectual dishonesty as well as vintage hypocrisy from people who should not throw stones if they themselves reside in glass houses.
While Kwanzaa’s founder was a vicious thug, that can’t be used to broad brush all who celebrate it and it is highly likely that the majority know nothing about Karenga and his violent history.
Jesus never tortured any women but Christmas is a real holiday.