President Obama and First Lady Michelle released a statement on Wednesday, extending “warm thoughts and best wishes” to Kwanzaa celebrants.
Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to all those celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today marks the beginning of the week-long celebration honoring African American heritage and culture through the seven principles of Kwanzaa — unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
We celebrate Kwanzaa at a time when many African Americans and all Americans reflect on our many blessings and memories over the past year and our aspirations for the year to come. And even as there is much to be thankful for, we know that there are still too many Americans going through enormous challenges and trying to make ends meet. But we also know that in the spirit of unity, or Umoja, we can overcome those challenges together.
As families across America and around the world light the red, black, and green candles of the Kinara this week, our family sends our well wishes and blessings for a happy and healthy new year.
Kwanzaa is a recent addition to the American holiday calendar. It was created in 1966 by the black radical Ron Karenga, also known as Dr. Maulana Karenga. Karenga was founder of a radical, violent group called “United Slaves” who were rivals of the well-known Black Panthers. According to Ann Coulter:
Now we know that the FBI fueled the bloody rivalry between the Panthers and United Slaves. In one barbarous outburst, Karenga’s United Slaves shot to death two Black Panthers on the UCLA campus: Al “Bunchy” Carter and John Huggins. Karenga himself served time, a useful stepping-stone for his current position as a black studies professor at California State University at Long Beach.
The African-American holiday praises collectivism and is based on seven principles: Unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. Coincidentally, these are also the same principles of the Symbionese Liberation Army, another 60’s revolutionary group best known for kidnapping heiress Patty Hearst.
Kwanzaa’s controversial and violent origins seem all but forgotten, as it taught in schools around America and most likely, celebrated mostly by white liberals.