‘Tis the season for giving and cheer as people across the world celebrate the holidays. The day after Christmas marks the first day of Kwanzaa, but it looks like staunch critics of the pan-African celebration are trying to rain on the parade.
In one of her rants this week, conservative commentator and author Ann Coulter penned a column pegging Kwanzaa as a “made-up racist holiday” crafted by the FBI to spark division among African-Americans. Coulter peddled her alternative facts about the holiday, which is celebrated Dec. 26 – Jan. 1, calling it an occasion “celebrated exclusively by white liberals.”
“Kwanzaa … is a fake holiday invented in 1966 by Black radical/FBI stooge Ron Karenga — aka Dr. Maulana Karenga, founder of United Slaves, the violent nationalist rival to the Black Panthers,” she wrote. “Liberals have become so mesmerized by multicultural gibberish that they have forgotten the real history of Kwanzaa and Karenga’s United Slaves.”
Coulter left many truths out of her sharply worded analysis, however.
Karenga, born Ronald McKinley Everett, formed the militant community group as a means of encouraging cultural revolution among African–Americans, according to Biography.com. The group was instrumental in building independent schools and setting up Black student unions, but drummed up a fierce rivalry with the Black Panther Party (BPP) in a quest for dominance in the Black community.
That aside, the now-college professor went on to create Kwanzaa, a holiday honoring the seven core principles (Nguzo Saba) of Unity (Umoja), Self-Determination (Kujichagulia), Collective Work and Responsibility (Ujima), Cooperative Economics (Ujamaa), Purpose (Nia), Creativity (Kuumba) and Faith (Nia).
Karenga became embroiled in controversy soon after the holiday’s founding and was later convicted in the violent assault and false imprisonment of a female member of United Slaves in 1971. Following his three-year imprisonment, he went on to earn his two doctorate degrees and currently teaches Africana studies at California State University, Long Beach.
Conservatives weren’t here for the REAL run-down of Kwanzaa and Karenga, however, and proceeded to bash them both on social media.
Kwanzaa is a fake holiday promoted by black supremacists.
— Neal Boortz (@Talkmaster) December 27, 2017
This is the epitomy of idiocy. The inventor of Kwanzaa hated white people and was racist himself. SMH
— WestCoastDesertGentleman (@accountingchris) December 27, 2017
My only Kwanzaa tradition is reading Ann's column every year about this fake holiday. Insightful AND hilarious.
— Pete (@soirredeemable) December 28, 2017
While many Black folks are content with the traditions of Kwanzaa, many felt Karenga’s history of violence and abuse are something that cannot be swept under the rug.
Maulana Karenga, the founder of Kwanzaa, tortured women and was responsible for the death of two Black Panthers. We can’t ignore this history.
— Free Jalil Muntaqim (@BlakeDontCrack) December 26, 2017
Considering its origins, Kwanzaa is "hotep" as hell and I've never met a Black Panther from this city that celebrates it.
However, I learned Kwanzaa can be a beautiful series of days and not as ridiculous as most holidays in this country; it's a lot less capitalistic too.
— Charles Preston (@_CharlesPreston) December 26, 2017
Then will Maulana Karenga take responsibility and address these accusations that he was a FBI informant and mutilated Black women? pic.twitter.com/PM6vMgF3uM
— The Alkebulan Trust (@Alkebulan_Trust) December 28, 2017
Every #Kwanzaa, I think about Deborah Jones and Gail Davis, who Ron Karenga, the creator of the "holiday", kidnapped and tortured – beating them with electrical cords and batons, burning them with an soldering iron, and forcing detergent and water hoses down their throats
— Taj Ashaheed (@MisterTaj) December 28, 2017