Monday, December 13, 2004
Today's Action Alert
Reverend Pat Robertson called Kwanzaa "an absolute fraud" during the news segment of Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club December 6. After lamenting that "left wing educators, left-wing judges are stripping every vestige of our Christian heritage," Robertson, host and Christian Coalition of America founder, said: "Kwanzaa is an absolute fraud. You know, there was no festival in Africa called 'Kwanzaa.' I mean, it's made up by a bunch of hippie-types on the West Coast. I mean, it's not something that goes back to Africa. No way."
Kwanzaa is an African American holiday celebrated in African communities around the world. It was founded in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, professor and chair of the black studies department at California State University, Long Beach. The official Kwanzaa website notes that Karenga founded Kwanzaa as "an African American and Pan-African holiday" based on ancient African history and culture. Celebrated from December 26 through January 1, Kwanzaa is rooted in "the first harvest celebrations of Africa from which it takes its name." According to Karenga, "The name 'Kwanzaa' is derived from the phrase 'matunda ya kwanza' which means 'first fruits' in Swahili, a Pan-African language which is the most widely spoken African language." Karenga also notes that Kwanzaa "draws from the cultures of various African peoples, and is celebrated by millions of Africans throughout the world African community."
Today's action is to write a letter to your local newspaper calling Robertson a bigot and asking why he feels the need to criticize other people's holidays.