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Opening Arguments


This seems a little harsh:

The Republican National Committee released a statement Friday, commemorating Kwanzaa. There's just one problem, the entire holiday is a fake and was invented out of thin air by a radical ex-con named Ron Karenga. 

Karenga invented Kwanzaa in 1966 and fashioned the phony holiday as a black alternative to Christmas. Karenga wanted a holiday that was less Eurocentric than Christmas which he considered the commercial exploitation of African Americans. 

There's absolutely nothing authentic about the seven-day feast. Even the name "Kwanzaa," which is Swahili for "matunda yakwanza," has next to no historical connection to African Americans. As noted linguist and scholar at The Manhattan Institute John McWhorter writes, "There may not have been a single Swahili-speaking African brought to these shores amid the slave trade. If there were any, it was very few. The nations where it's spoken are in East Africa. Black Americans' ancestors came mostly from West Africa."

“I created Kwanzaa in the context of the Black Freedom Movement,” Karenga Explained in a 1998 issue of Ebony Magazine.

What makes one holiday fake and another authentic? All of them were invented by somebody to commemorate something or other. This one happens to come from Ron Karenga as a "less Eurocentrinc alternative to Christmas." Is that any less legitimate than, say, Arbor Day or Groundhog Day? And if it's been broadened to be more than its founder intendent, well, that's not the first holiday that has happened to.