Wednesday, December 26, 2007


At first blush, Kwanzaa is a worthwhile cultural holiday of ethnic identification and strength. The principles of Kwanzaa are:

Umoja - Unity
Kujichagulia - Self-Determination
Ujima - Collective Work and Responsibility
Ujamaa - Cooperative Economics
Nia - Purpose
Kuumba - Creativity
Imani - Faith

Sounds pretty good. In fact, it sounds like something every race or ethnic group could, and should, embrace.

Of course, when you scratch the surface a bit, you will discover that these are all black isolationist ideals created by Maulana Karenga (Ron Everett), who served time for imprisoning and torturing two women that were members of his radical Us Organization, the same group that murdered various delegates of the Black Panther Party in the late 60s and early 70s.

Black on black crime? That doesn't really sound like a cultural tradition worth embracing.

Update! Karenga was also "paranoid and schizophrenic with hallucinations and elusions," according to The Dartmouth Review. The money shot:
The psychiatrist observed that Karenga talked to his blanket and imaginary persons and believed that he had been attacked by dive-bombers.

Eight years later California State University at Long Beach made Karenga the head of its Black Studies Department.

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