Yes, Some Black People Do Care About Kwanzaa
On the third day of Kwanzaa, Wisconsin State Senator, Glenn Grothman released a statement titled:“Why Must We Still Hear About Kwanzaa?”
In it he lambasts the holiday, claiming that “almost no black people today care about Kwanzaa” and that “it’s time it’s slapped down once and for all.”
The third day of Kwanzaa, Ujima which is Swahili for Collective Work and Responsibility, is an ironic day upon which the republican state senator decided to release his racist diatribe, mostly because work and responsibility are so often the calling cards for those on the right who racialize their own “makers and takers” discourses with visions of impoverished “lazy” people of color always already in mind.
But it is racist in a couple of other ways as well.
Senator Grothman’s central gripe about the cultural holiday – Kwanzaa is not a substitute for any religious practice – rests with his criticism of the holiday’s founder – Maulana Karenga – whom he describes as a “racist” who “didn’t like the idea that Christ died for all of our sins . . .”
According to Grothman there is no way to separate the message of Kwanzaa from its founder.
For him, the radical past of Karenga disqualifies the value of the Nguzo Saba, the seven principles of the cultural holiday that by most accounts have universal communal and familial significance.
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