Kwanzaa is an Insult to Black Americans
Here we are, the day after Christmas. Most folks are taking down their Christian decorations, but in a few places, some new holiday decor is being hung in their place. December 26 marks the first day of a week-long festival called Kwanzaa, supposedly a celebration of African heritage. But Kwanzaa is nothing of the sort. This sham of a holiday was invented by a crackpot of a man who cares for black persons about as much as the women he abused.
Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga (born Ronald Everett), professor of African studies at California State University, Long Beach. Karenga, a secular humanist, originally meant for Kwanzaa "to give a Black alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society."
The name Kwanzaa comes from a Swahili phrase, matunda ya kwanzaa, meaning "first fruits of the harvest." To create his holiday, Karenga says he drew from African rituals and black national ideology. Each of the seven candles in the Kwanzaa kinara represent seven principles of African Heritage called the Nguzo Saba. They are as follows:
1. Umoja meaning "unity."
2. Kujichagulia meaning "self-Determination."
3. Ujima meaning "working together."
4. Ujamaa meaning "cooperative economics."
5. Nia meaning "purpose."
6. Kuumba meaning "creativity."
7. Imani meaning "faith" (in people, not God).
The colors of Kwanzaa are represented in the kinara candles: green represents the fertile land of Africa, black represents the color of the skin of its people, and red represents the blood that was shed in the struggle for freedom. Kwanzaa decorations include colorful art and foods that represent African idealism. Ceremonies consist of showing gratitude to ancestors, drink offerings and feasts, and reading the African pledge and principles of blackness.
Once the holiday grew in popularity, Karenga softened his position on establishing Kwanzaa as an alternative to Christmas, and he encouraged black Americans of all faiths to participate. Still, as much as Karenga wants to insist that Kwanzaa is a secular holiday, it's more religious than even Hanukkah is. Drink offerings, or libation, are ritual offerings to a god or spirit—in the case of Kwanzaa, they're offerings to the spirits of dead persons.
Kwanzaa is a celebration of humanism, a worldview in which human values and fulfillment are the focus. The humanist proclaims people to be inherently good and moral and insists that we seek strictly secular or irreligious means to solving human problems. The Christian should recognize that this mindset is of the flesh and incompatible with our faith in Christ.
Romans 8:6-8 says, "For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile toward God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God."
James put it this way: "You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, 'He yearns jealously over the spirit that He has made to dwell in us'? But He gives more grace. Therefore, it says, 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'" (James 4:4-6).
For the sake of argument, let's say Christmas once was a pagan holiday that became a Christian holiday. I don't believe Christmas originated from something pagan, but let's say that it did. Why can't people do that with Kwanzaa? Because even if Christmas came from, say, Saturnalia (the Roman feast held on December 17), it has since become something completely different. We don't call Christmas "Saturnalia" with Christian themes. Christmas is an entirely different holiday altogether. Therefore, if Christians were to do the same thing with Kwanzaa, it would become something so different, it wouldn't be Kwanzaa anymore.
Kwanzaa's seven principles teach that people can improve their lives by sheer will and determination. Even the holiday's founder hasn't lived up to that. Karenga experienced deep paranoia due to frequent drug use. He spent time in prison for torturing women, one of whom his own wife. He also started a black-power group called US, responsible for killing two members of the Black Panthers on the UCLA campus in 1969.
The Bible says, "None is righteous, no, not one," and, "We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment" (Romans 3:10-12, Isaiah 64:6). No matter how good we think we can be, we will never solve the problem of our sinfulness. Jeremiah 17:5 says, "Thus says the Lord: 'Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.'"
Ironically, humanism never unifies humans. It always divides. Titus 3:3-5 explains that apart from Christ, we are "foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy."
Kwanzaa is strictly the invention of Maulana Karenga, a self-appointed name that means "Master Teacher" and "Keeper of Traditions" in Swahili. He was motivated by racial bitterness and piece-mealed bits of east-African lore and lingo to lure an audience into his anti-Christian, anti-people rhetoric.
In the book Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America, author and radio host Jesse Lee Peterson wrote the following:
Kwanzaa isn't a celebration of the African harvest; it is a political statement for the establishment of a separate black nation and racial hatred against whites.Remembering and celebrating one's heritage is not a bad thing, but Swahili is not the heritage of most African-Americans. To declare Kwanzaa is a celebration of what it means to be an African-American is an insult to black Americans. No one's heritage should be so cheap that their emotions can be manipulated by any felon that comes along using skin color to push his own agenda.
When once asked why he designed Kwanzaa to take place around Christmas, Karenga explained, "People think it's African, but it's not. I came up with [the name] Kwanzaa because Black people 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 would be partying."
Karenga has explained that his creation of Kwanzaa was motivated in part by hostility toward both Christianity and Judaism. Writing in his 1980 book Kawaida Theory, he claimed that Western religion "denies and diminishes human worth, capacity, potential, and achievement." He clearly opposed belief in God and other "spooks who threaten us if we don't worship them and demand we turn over our destiny and daily lives."
The Apostle Paul wrote, "So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us" (2 Thessalonians 2:15). The greatest tradition is faith in Christ, who has made His followers "a chosen race, a holy nation, a people for His own possession… Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people" (1 Peter 2:9-10). No ethnicity is greater or less than another, "for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).
It's unfortunate that Christmas can sometimes be as secular as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. But the underlying message of Christmas is still the gospel of Christ. Hanukkah and Kwanzaa often elevate man above God. Christmas is about how God became man. Jesus condescended Himself so that we might ascend to where He is!
This is the promise for those who fear God. Jesus said in Matthew 5:5, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." James 4:10 says, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you."
This was taken from a chapter of the book "25 Christmas Myths and What the Bible Says," available on Amazon in print or for your Kindle. Click here!