The Founder of Kwanzaa Ron Everett AKA Maulana Karenga or Ron Karenga went to prison in 1971 for kidnapping two black women, stripping them naked, whipping them and, according to their testimony, beating them and sticking a soldering iron in their mouths along with detergent and a water hose.
By Ralph Bailey
There are three aspects of Kwanzaa that most folks don’t know. First, most blacks DON’T celebrate the invented holiday. Secondly, very few non-Americans even know of its existence and finally, its inventor is a kook and a violent convict.
Born Ron Everett, Maulana Karenga gave up what he calls his “European name” right about the time he began to adopt his Marxist, black nationalistic views in the 1960s, right around the time he invented Kwanzaa (Dec. 26, 1966), a week-long celebration focusing on African heritage and culture.
You see, Karenga believes in black separatism and black isolationism. He’s a radical extremist; a member of the Black Power movement and founder of a group called Organization Us.
Yeah, neither had I!
But I did discover that following a dispute between Organization Us and the Black Panthers over who would head the then-new Afro American Studies Center at UCLA in the late 60s, Organization Us members shot and killed two Black Panthers.
Then-UCLA Chancellor Charles E. Young insisted the murders were unrelated to the groups’ “sit down” and the matter was soon forgotten.
Yet Patrick Mulligan wrote in “Intellectual Conservatism,” in a glowing ode titled “We Owe a Debt of Gratitude to the Founder of Kwanzaa Ron Everett AKA Ron Karenga,” dated Dec. 15, 2009, that “…if two lives must be lost for the advancement of enlightenment, that is thankfully a sacrifice that Maulana Karenga was willing to make.”
As my grandmother used to say … “Say, what?!”
Karenga went to prison in 1971 for kidnapping a pair of black Organization Us women, stripping them naked, whipping them and, according to their testimony, beating them and sticking a soldering iron in their mouths along with detergent and a water hose.
But this isn’t why black America historically all but ignores Kwanzaa. Black folks, as our support for Proposition 8 clearly demonstrated, maintain a religious heritage that dates back to our inauspicious arrival to this country.
Culturally, we are incapable of turning our back on Jesus and celebrating a secular holiday cooked up by a convict! It would be a spit in the eye to all those who, with the support of Jesus, paved the way for black achievement today.
It would be tantamount to poo pooing the beliefs of Martin, Thurgood, Jackie, Harriet, Frederick and martyr Crispus Attucks.
How could we ignore the spirit that saw us through slavery, systematic oppression and a government-opposed revolution that played out on national television in the 1960s?
The church has historically been the focal point of black life. It’s where we socialized, where we were educated, where we worshiped and was the birthplace for the civil rights movement.
The one thing all those great black thinkers agreed on was: God is good and AMERICA is our country!
Karenga’s Marcus Garvey ideals of going “Back to Africa” thankfully fall on deaf ears in 2009. Most blacks agree with me, the only way I want to see the Dark Continent is clad in my best Banana Republic gear with one of those goofy pit helmets or safari hats on. I’d be holding in one hand a cocktail with an umbrella in it and a pair of binoculars in the other.
Despite Karenga’s deadly past, political correctness has so run amok that President George W. Bush spoke glowingly of the holiday during his tenure in office. And while the ideals and principles of Kwanzaa are commendable, when placed in context to whom the inventor is the holiday is simply un-American!
However, Karenga’s secular, Marxist holiday is not rebuffed because blacks are aware of his violent, radical past — because most aren’t — or because he sees an America most blacks don’t, but because simply someone else dominates December.
Most Americans, most African-Americans, wish to honor Jesus’ birthday beyond all others. I can still see my grandmother wagging her finger in my face insisting, “Ya need Jesus!”
I can never embrace an event put together by a man who deems Christmas “a white man’s holiday.” Grandma Sadye knew best. We all need Jesus!
Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad and have a wonderful New Year.