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December 2003   Jim Moore
Exit Red, White and Blue, Enter, Red, Black And Green By Jim Moore


By: Jim Moore

The flag Americans like to fly is red, white and blue. Most Americans do, of course. But now there is a flag of a different color-and different meaning---being waved in America these days. And as a true-blue American, I have trouble with what it represents.

Red, black and green are the colors of the Kwanzaa flag, to which many so-called Americans are pledging allegiance. The indication to me is that these citizens no longer consider Old Glory their flag. So what is Kwanzaa, who are its advocates, what do Kwansaa people want; what do they stand for; what's their problem with the red, white and blue?

As you may have guessed, if you don't already know, Kwansaa is a philosophical movement by Ron Karenga, who, in 1966, invented Kwansaa as a black alternative to Christmas. Karenga decided blacks should have a holiday that celebrated the end of the Christmas season's exploitation of African-Americans---ignoring the fact that whites also are "exploited" at Christmastime.

Tony Snow, a first-rate columnist for the Detroit News, researched Kwanzaa in depth, from which he gathered all the facts for his compelling article, "The Truth about Kwanzaa."

But before we get to Tony Snow, let's explore for a moment the "truth" about Kwansaa as their adherents see it---at any rate, as the newspapers report it.

Schools make an effort to be "inclusive" during the holidays because the student body is so diverse. In some schools the word "Christmas" is still used, but many schools now call the event "holiday celebrations." We have to be sensitive," says Jim Croteau, a director of planning and policy, "to people who don't celebrate the traditional holiday."

In school plays, being "sensitive" means "touching all bases" in the use of symbols, including red and green balls for Christmas, a paper menorah for Hanukkah, and paper candles used for Kwanzaa .

Unless history is an illusion, Christmas and Hanukkah are the only two religious events we have celebrated for centuries at this time of year.

This puts Kwanzaa in a category of its own. The truth of that category, based on proven facts, is what Tony Snow now gives us.

The Kwanzaa website, Snow says, makes clear that their celebration is to "foster conditions that would enhance the revolutionary social change for the masses of Black Americans using the principles (way of life) practiced by black Americans' ancestors."

Revolutionary social change? That's interesting.

Although the seven principles of Kwanzaa sound innocent enough, their flag promoting black nationalism does not. Neither does their pledge: "We pledge allegiance to the red, black, and green, our flag, the symbol of our eternal struggle, and to the land we must obtain: one nation of black people, with one G-d of us all, totally united in the struggle, for black love, black freedom, and black self-determination."

The land we must obtain? Another interesting turn of phase.

If political correctness declares that we must "unify" America, this is, at least to my way of thinking, a strange way of doing it.

The facts that Snow uncovered reveals, he maintains, that there is no part of Kwanzaa that is not fraudulent.

Let's take it point by point, starting with the name itself.

Point 1: Kwansaa is Swahili, and therefore has no relevance for American blacks. Why? Because most slaves were taken from West Africa, and Swahili is an East African tongue.

Point 2: Kwanzaa has no discernable African roots. No culture we know of celebrates a harvesting ritual in December

Point 3: Kwanzaa's professions of human dignity don't square with the reality of some of Africa's practices, like female circumcision and polygamy.

Point 4: Kwansaa's corn rituals don't fit the picture either. Corn was not indigenous to Africa. It was grown by Mexican Indians and carried abroad.

Point 5: Kwanzaa supposedly celebrates African culture, but, as Snow discovered, there is no African culture. Africa has been, and still is, a land of tribal animosities without a common thread.

How does Snow know this to be true? Living and teaching in Kenya as a young man, he says he has seen, first hand, endless tribal atrocities, chaos, and barbarism caused by warlords

Keith Richburg is a Detroit author and former African bureau chief for the Washington post. In his compelling book, "Out of Africa: A Black Man Confronts Africa", Richburg says: "I have been here and I have seen, and frankly I want no part of it. By accident of birth, I am a black man born in America, and everything I am today-my culture and my attitudes, my sensibilities, loves, and desires --- derives from that one simple and irrefutable fact."

Richburg, who obviously has little love for Kwanzaa or Karenga, also offers us something a bit more stringent: "Talk to me about Africa and my black roots and my kinship with my African brothers and I'll throw it back in your face, and then I'll rub your nose in the images of rotting flesh.

" You want race hate? That's it, brother.

Nobody, says Snow, ever ennobled a people with a lie, or restored stolen dignity through fraud.

I second that. Tony Snow is a black man

"Published originally at : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."