Kwanzaa Founder Responds to Criticism of Holiday

Cal State Long Beach professor Maulana Karenga created the black holiday Kwanzaa in 1966. Now, he is upset that Wisconsin GOP state Senator Glenn Grothman is dismissing the holiday as just one more tool "white left-wingers" use to "separate the country."

Grothman says the holiday is largely overlooked by black Americans -- the very segment of society for which it was created -- and he claims it would be forgotten altogether were it not for the white liberals who continue to push it.

Karenga has responded to Grothman's assertions by saying the senator "has some issues" and is "suffering from falsehood."  Added Karenga: "[Grothman discredits] not only me and Kwanzaa, but black people and their right to choose their own special culture."

Nevertheless, Grothman says those who are still pushing Kwanzaa do so without taking the violent past of the holiday's creator into account. He said few people even know Karenga went to prison in 1971 for beating two women with an extension cord, and that those actions and other acts of violence cannot be separated from the day Karenga created. 

Karenga says he is innocent and was only imprisoned because of "a program [J Edgar] Hoover put together to destroy, discredit, and otherwise neutralize all potential and real black leadership." 

 


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