December 21, 2004

Peterson: "Say 'no' to Kwanzaa"

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, head of the Los Angeles-based Brotherhood Organization for a New Destiny (BOND), was quoted in a release from BOND yesterday denouncing the Kwanzaa holiday, which is traditionally celebrated the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.

(Peterson) notes that while public school administrators and city officials attempt to ban nativity scenes, Christmas carols, candy canes and even Christmas trees from public places, Kwanzaa has been accepted as mainstream.

While commonly viewed as an "African" holiday, observed from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, Kwanzaa actually was created in the U.S. in 1966 by Dr. Maulana "Ron" Karenga, the head of a violent black-power group, United Slaves Organization, which was a rival to the Black Panthers.

In the 1970s, Karenga served four years in prison for conspiracy and assault in the torture of two female followers.

In a 1978 interview quoted in the Washington Post, Karenga said, "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."

Peterson insists that a continued acceptance of Kwanzaa as a holiday by the public, while the same public works to diminish the importance of Christmas is done at our peril.
"If black Christians don't stand up for Christmas and reject Kwanzaa, they are allowing evil to have its way," Peterson said. "They will regret using a fake holiday to stamp out the true meaning of Christmas."

Posted by mhking at December 21, 2004 01:09 PM

Has Mardi Gras taken away from Lent?

How about egg hunts? Have they taken away from Easter?

Peterson lacks the ability to correctly use logic. For example, he said because Jesse Jackson made the "Hymie town" comment, most Black preachers teach hatred of Israel.

You explain that "logic" to me. I couldn't follow it. And when I called his show to get him to explain it, he said I needed to be saved.

Posted by: DarkStar at December 21, 2004 01:22 PM

DarkStar, setting aside the strictly religious aspect of Christmas (which, incidentally, I do every year as I'm not a religious person), I think that the general objection to Kwanzaa is that it is devisive. Kwanzaa was devised--or constructed, if you will--for no other reason than to divert attention from the historically religious holiday that is commonly known as Christmas. Karenga has said that, in fact. Mardi Gras and Easter egg hunts came after Lent and Easter were part of the common culture (Western culture, at least), just as Kwanzaa has, but they are a product of the observance of the holidays...not a stand-in. Kwanzaa, whether the folks who observe it realize it or not, has every intention of supplanting Christmas.

Yeah, Peterson may be overly zealous in his Gospel beliefs, but your "logic" is also faulty from the standpoint of a preconceived notion that an entirely fictitious holiday, based on fictional historical identities, is equally as valuable as Christmas is to the majority of US citizens. Your attempt to analytically dismiss objections to Kwanzaa is fallacious in and of itself. I'm not a religious person, but I admire the cultural advantage that we, as a nation, have gained from the mutual respect and morals that Christianity has provided in modern times. Karenga has neither.

Posted by: skh at December 22, 2004 01:47 AM
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