The Monster Who Made Up Kwanzaa

As the leaves fall and November fades into December our sentimental hearts turn naturally from Thanksgiving to America’s second and only purely American seasonal observance – Kwanzaa. Real Americans love Kwanzaa because Kwanzaa is the funniest “holiday” ever invented. The creator of Kwanzaa may have been certifiably insane when he patched Kwanzaa together; you can decide that for yourself. Here is the history.

Once upon a time there was a little black boy named Ron N. Everett who was born the fourteenth child of a Baptist minister on a poultry farm in Maryland. By the late 1950s young Ron Everett had groped his way to California and attended some classes at Los Angles Community College. By the mid-60s he was touting himself as a “cultural nationalist,” which was Ron’s way of distinguishing himself and his followers from the Black Panther Party gang who were then parroting Maoist Marxist rhetoric. Ron Everett, self-described “cultural nationalist,” awarded himself the lofty title “maulana,” which means “master teacher” in Swahili, and gathered around him a following of unsophisticated young blacks. He adopted the African last name of Karenga. By 1969 Karenga’s gang was calling itself United Slaves and was gearing up to challenge the Black Panther Party gang for domination of the spanking-new Afro-American Studies Center at UCLA. Karenga’s gang and the Panthers each backed opposing candidates for the chairmanship of the Center. Both gangs began sporting firearms on the California campus. The clueless liberal university administration turned a blind eye to the on-campus arms buildup.

The Black Student Union, by contrast, had a better sense of the urgency of the situation and sought to parley a peace between the two camps of ideological rivals – that is, the Black Panthers and the guy whom the New York Times was preposterously calling Ron Ndabezitha Everett-Karenga.

On January 17th, 1969, about 150 students had gathered in the lunchroom to discuss the increasing tension. Two Panthers took turns trashing Karenga. Karenga’s soldiers took umbrage. The Panthers were looking tough in their signature neo-fascist leather pieces; Karenga’s troops were sporting pseudo-African threads and Karenga-style shaved heads. Both of these armed posses were on the UCLA campus courtesy of a federal program that pulled high-school dropouts into the university.

By the meeting’s end, Ron Karenga, self-proclaimed “master teacher,” had been soundly dissed by the Panthers John Jerome Huggins, 23, and Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter, 26. As the Panthers exited the lunchroom they were challenged by two members of Karenga’s United Slaves – the brothers George P. Stiner and Larry Joseph Stiner. The Stiners pulled iron and began shooting. Both Panthers were shot dead; one of the Stiners took a bullet to the shoulder.

After the gun smoke cleared, UCLA’s half-wit white liberal chancellor Charles E. Young actually said: “The students here have handled themselves in an absolutely impeccable manner. They have been concerned.” The university inflated its Afro-American Studies Program and Karenga inflated his cult following. His cult’s bible was The Quotable Karenga which explicated the all-important “seven-fold path of blackness” which was to “think black, talk black, act black, create black, buy black, vote black, and live black.”

Soon after the Stiner brothers wasted the two Panthers, Ron Karenga descended into fearful paranoia, believing that his followers were plotting his assassination. On May 9th, 1970 the Master Teacher Maulana Ron Karenga turned his paranoid fury on two of his loyal followers. In the words of the Los Angles Times (5/14/71): “Deborah Jones, who once was given the Swahili title of an African queen, said she and Gail Davis were whipped with an electrical cord and beaten with a karate baton after being ordered to remove their clothes. She testified that a hot soldering iron was placed in Miss Davis’ mouth and placed against Miss Davis’ face and that one of her own big toes was tightened in a vise. Karenga, head of US, also put detergent and running hoses in their mouths, she said.”

Karenga had accused the women of trying to kill him by putting “crystals” in his food and about his house. The women were tormented for two days. According to court testimony, Karenga threatened to shoot both women with a gun he was holding. Karenga was convicted on two counts of felonious assault and one count of false imprisonment. He was sentenced on September 17th, 1971 to one to ten years imprisonment. Also convicted were the United Slaves goon squad thugs Louis Smith and Luz Maria Tamayo.

So, . . .on December 24, 1971, when the New York Times published one of the first articles about Karenga’s newly-minted black-nationalist week-long ceremonial, Karenga himself was locked up in the California prison system. It’s instructive that the leftward biased New York Times made no mention of Karenga’s imprisonment or of the two-day-long torture of two naked women that had landed him in the slammer. It was around this time that the up-and-coming sixteen-year-old Reverend Al Sharpton began praising Kwanzaa to the heavens because Kwanzaa accomplished a much-desired “de-whitizing” of the Christmas season. Call it a ritual ethnic cleansing.

Big Trash Day

In my little town there are two days a year when the residents may put their household trash at the curb for pick up. These are the days when neighbors clean out their attics and garages. These are the times when we who love to scavenge go scavenging. As an amateur historian and political wonk I have a particular fondness for old books and magazines. Where else but from a bundle of old Newsweeks from the 1970s could I learn the color of the velvet yarmulke that Jimmy Carter wore to a campaign-trail synagogue? (It was blue.) I was delighted to stumble upon a heap of bound bundles of Ebony magazine from my neighbor’s basement. In an instant I was in possession of enough back issues of Ebony to fill the back of my station wagon. Only later would I discover that they were a portal to a parallel universe.

Magazines thrive on advertising and Ebony advertisements lean heavily on “our biology.” Hair “relaxing” chemical kits are very big. So are ointments, unguents and potions to lighten the user’s complexion. After three decades of “black is beautiful” oratory, it was startling to see how openly lighter complexions were equated with beauty in a world where beauty confers an elevated social status. Articles about learning to live with full figures and “our big butts” offered a healthy dose of self-acceptance. As a guide to sensible good home cooking, nothing printed in America beats the Ebony articles on food – Martha Stewart and the New York Times aren’t even a distant third.

The historical record that Ebony presents to black folks, especially young African-Americans, is another matter altogether. When it comes to changing the complexion of historical events the Ebony personality profiles beat their cosmetics advertisements all hollow. For example . . .

The January 1998 issue of Ebony hit the newsstands well before the start of Kwanzaa on December 26th. This issue featured an article titled “The Man Who Invented Kwanzaa.” It’s a profile of Ron Karenga. By then Kwanzaa had been around for decades. In paragraph two Ebony tells its readers that Karenga “who is chairman of the Black Studies Department at California State University at Long Beach, was a civil rights activist in the ‘60s when he decided to create something to promote and reaffirm the ties between Black Americans and Africa.” Huh? Karenga is a Marxist who created Kwanzaa to promote Marxist values, the very values that have created so much hardship and poverty in Africa. The Kwanzaa feast of “ujima” (collective work and responsibility) is named for the principle cited by African tyrant Julius Nyrere as he drove thousands of Tanzanians from their homes and forced them to toil on collective farms. Karenga wants American blacks to embrace the same European invention that has caused so much mischief in Africa: Marxism. The word Kwanzaa doesn’t exist in any African language; it’s a neologism that Karenga derived from the Swahili term “matunda yakwanza” or “first fruit,” but “Kwanzaa” is just a made-up brand name like Coca Cola.

In paragraph three Karenga tells Ebony readers “I created Kwanzaa in the context of the Black Freedom Movement. An organization I formed named Us, which means Us Black people as opposed to our oppressors, began observing it in the mid-1960s.” Say what? Karenga seems to have forgotten that his gun-toting goons strutted around the UCLA campus as soldiers of a cult called United Slaves That was their brand name. Karenga told Ebony, “We wanted to speak our own cultural truth to the world.” Right. Just watch out for those hollow-point bullets and be mindful to step over the bodies of Karenga’s political opponents.

Ebony tells its readers that “He saw the celebration as a means of introducing Black Americans to the values, customs and traditions of Africa. ‘It reaffirms our rootedness in Africa,’ he says.” What cynical nonsense. There is nothing authentically African about Karenga’s totally fabricated ceremonial. Speaking of Kwanzaa to the Washington Post, Karenga came clean about its origins: “People think its African, but it’s not. I came up with Kwanzaa because black people in this country wouldn’t celebrate it if they knew it was American. Also, I put it around Christmas because I knew that’s when a lot of bloods would be partying.” The truth at last. The Official Kwanzaa Website comes closer to capturing the true purpose of Karenga’s crypto-Marxist seven-day celebration: it is to nurture “conditions that would enhance the revolutionary social change for the masses of Black Americans.”

According to Ebony, “He saw the celebration as a means of introducing Black Americans to the values, customs and traditions of Africa.” It’s all rubbish.

The Kwanzaa ceremonies, with their suggestion of some Ur-African culture, are simply fraudulent. Africa has remained stubbornly tribal right into the Twenty-first Century, complete with warlords, chattel slavery and sweeping genocides. Bill Clinton, who turned a blind eye to the genocide of the Tutsi people of Rwanda, signed at least four Kwanzaa proclamations and jabbered cynically about “The symbols and ceremony of Kwanzaa, evoking the rich history and heritage of African-Americans . . .” as a way of patronizing black activists. The folks at Hallmark gave the whole silly kit of bogus rituals a cosmetic legitimacy, complete with sappy sentiments. Those white people who tend to fret overmuch about political correctness do their best to keep a straight face whenever Kwanzaa is mentioned.

Nothing about Kwanzaa is rooted in Africa. The seven-holed candle holder, the kinara of the Kwanzaa table, is a shameless rip off of the Jewish menorah. The Kwanzaa promoters are quick to point out that the kinara is not really a menorah, even as they profit from its resonance with the menorah. It’s a confusion that Ron Karenga intended.

The color of the Kwanzaa candles were copped from Marcus Garvey, a man whom Ebony calls “a major Black nationalist leader.” That’s their opinion. W.E.B. DuBois said “Marcus Garvey is the most dangerous enemy of the Negro race in America and in the world.” A. Philip Randolph branded Garvey a “messenger boy of the Klan” after Garvey negotiated for funding from the Ku Klux Klan’s “Invisible Empire.”

The ears of corn that are so prominently featured in Kwanzaa are not native to Africa. Maize was cultivated by the Mexican Indians; it’s more evocative of a Mayan house party than anything African. Corn was brought to Africa by white folks.

And why is this mock “first fruits” harvest festival situated so far away from harvest time? Crops are harvested in the autumn, not after the winter solstice. It’s beyond stupid as a harvest festival, but it works perfectly as an anti-Christmas shindig. And besides – that’s when the bloods are partying. That’s why Kwanzaa goes from December 26th to January first, instead of around the time of the other observance it most closely resembles: Halloween.

Ebony tells us that “Karenga is quick to point out that Kwanzaa is a celebration, not a holiday. It was not created to serve as an alternative to any religious holiday.” So why then does Karenga keep calling it a holiday? In the same article Karenga is quoted “It’s an African holiday created for African people,” and later “Nobody can penetrate the Black community or take the holiday over if Black people don’t allow them. It’s up to us.” This is more Karenga paranoia. Kwanzaa is a bunch of race-conscious rituals that exclude everyone who is not black. Just who does Karenga imagine has a hankering to take over Kwanzaa and make it their own? The Eskimos? The Trobriand Islanders?

Ebony rounds out its article by informing us that the name Karenga is Swahili for “keeper of traditions,” which is ironic given that Kwanzaa only pretends to preserve tradition. Kwanzaa is nostalgia for a past that never was.

The last sentence of the Ebony gush piece reads: “In spite of much media focus on negativity regarding Blacks, Karenga is fighting to make sure Blacks embrace the concept of pride and use it as a gift to one another.” Ebony, it would seem, is also eager to give the gift of pride by keeping its focus far away from “negativity regarding Blacks.” That’s why their presentation of Karenga to the black community makes no mention of the fact that he spent three years of his life as a guest of the California penal system. That’s why Ebony gives Karenga a patina of charisma by calling him a “civil rights activist” and a “militant,” but steers clear of such descriptive terms as “torturer” and “gun-brandishing nut.” The article is all about family values; there isn’t a peep about naked women being whipped with electrical cords and a karate baton, or having their bodies flushed with detergent and a spurting hose, or toe crushing, or being probed with a red-hot soldering iron or threatened with a pistol. No, no, no. That would not be a positive image of the “master teacher,” so the truth is sent scurrying down the great liberal memory hole never to be mentioned again.

The Johnson Publishing Company website preens that “Ebony, the No.1 African-American magazine in the world, is not just another magazine, it’s a way of life” and “Our over 12 million readers don’t just read Ebony, they live it. Between each and every page, the magazine is full of information to enrich, encourage and enlighten the entire family.” If this is close to the truth, then twelve million black folks are living a lie. When Johnson Publishing says that “Ebony offers fresh, exciting images and perspectives on the new Black America” it really means that Ebony is a shill for killers and torture-team goon squad commanders. If Ebony were so keen to present “exciting images,” then why not include a paragraph or two about Karenga the Marxist who admitted to a newspaper reporter that Kwanzaa is a complete fabrication with no connection to anything authentically African. Isn’t the image of black women being stripped, whipped, beaten, burned and hosed exciting enough to “enlighten the entire family” about the true content of Ron Karenga’s character?

The self-serving purveyors of faux history tell us that “Johnson Publishing Company has always aimed at increasing African-Americans pride in themselves by presenting their past and present achievements to America and to the world. This has been done by portraying the Black American experience in all its dynamics through the medium of words, images, cosmetics and fashion.” Well, not all the dynamics. Johnson Publishing applies industrial-strength cosmetics to its extreme makeovers of American history, assiduously airbrushing away such blemishes as two-day-long torturefests and the bullet- riddled bodies of Panthers sprawled on the floor of the Black Student Union. Until his death in 2005 at age 87, John H. Johnson, the founder and publisher of Ebony and Jet, was a tireless publicist for thugs like Karenga. By fabricating so much false history, Johnson was a major contributor to black alienation.

Schools for Fools

Curiosity begs the question: How horrible must an applicant’s criminal history be to preclude his employment at a public school? Karenga was released from prison in 1975, took a few courses, and within a scant four years he was awarded with a teaching position in Long Beach. How did he accomplish that? Did he mail in his resume and linger by the phone, or did he leverage the university with threats of possible “unrest.” After all, wasn’t he the same extremist who had deployed his armed troopers to decide who would be the chairman of the UCLA Black Studies Department? Hadn’t he used a loaded gun to threaten two naked women? When conservative columnist Paul Mulshine made inquiries of UCLA spokeswoman Toni Barone, Ms. Barone responded that her university was pleased with Karenga’s performance and there was no record whatever of the negotiations that prompted Karenga’s employment, which is the bureaucratic equivalent of slamming the door in our faces. The truth is that Karenga had no more business being on a college campus than the tide of affirmative-action academic dead-enders and high-school dropouts who flooded California’s college classrooms from the 60s onward, displacing highly-qualified Asian students for the sole purpose of creating the liberal fantasy of an on-campus rainbow coalition. It was this infusion of young semi-literates and anti-intellectuals that provided such a rich source of recruits for on-campus paramilitary political hit squads, such as Karenga’s United Slaves gang.

At the other end of the public school hierarchy are the elementary and secondary schools. Because teachers are the paid agents of the government they must avoid the appearance of endorsing one religion over any other religion. This rule stands as a brick wall before the believers in Jesus and Jehovah, but it leaves the field wide open for advocates of even the most extreme pseudo-religion. At the very heart of Kwanzaa is the Cult of Color which fashions a fetish from the accident of race. Worse yet, Kwanzaa is an invitation to embrace a failed system of economics that has impoverished everyone who has been fool enough to attempt it. Kwanzaa is about group identity, ethnocentrism and tribalism. It is a purely American invention. The language that Ron Karenga chose to articulate his Marxist principles was never spoken by any slave brought to America. Swahili is spoken by peoples a thousand miles to the east of the ancestral homelands of American blacks. Swahili is a Bantu tongue liberally seasoned with Arabic, Persian and Indian words. Only 7% of Africans speak Swahili, despite the Official Kwanzaa Website’s false claim that Swahili is a “Pan-African” language. The most widely spoken language in Africa is Arabic, the language of the Arab slavers who continued to export millions of black captives to Arabia long after slavery was outlawed in all parts of the world controlled by English-speaking people. More to the point: Swahili was not the language of former slaves; it is the language of East African slave-trade collaborators. Its adoption for any commemoration of former slaves is an insult to their memory.

The Liberal Memory Hole

Using the same technique that Joseph Stalin employed to refashion history, the keepers of America’s newspaper archives have rehabilitated the depraved inventor of Kwanzaa. Unpleasant references to his past crimes have been quietly deleted from hundreds of newspaper data bases. All references to torture sessions, blazing campus gun battles, Marxist ideology and the brutal beatings of Karenga’s campus political competitors have been erased by sympathetic leftists. The truth would have been lost forever were it not for the diligent research of Paul Mulshine of the Newark Star Ledger. It took Mulshine two days to ferret out the truth from the dusty microfilm archive of the Los Angles Times. The computer data bases had been scrubbed of all references to Karenga’s violent past. The women he tortured have dropped out of sight. The court records of Karenga’s trial are unobtainable. Only a handful of newspaper accounts of what really happened are still available to us. What is clear is that America’s “journalists” cannot be trusted to tell us the truth for it is they who have toiled to sanitize the history of Kwanzaa’s depraved inventor.

At this Christmas season the pseudo-religious and historically rootless rituals of Kwanzaa are freely celebrated in countless government-controlled classrooms. Karenga’s racially-exclusive blacks-only anti-Christmas, complete with its “please-don’t-call-it-a-menorah” menorah, is now an established taxpayer-funded seasonal school event. The legacy of the racially divisive violent degenerate Ron Karenga is kept alive with tax money taken from you by coercive government power. Any mention of the Prince of Peace in the same classroom is controversial.

Thomas Clough
Copyright 2006
November 21, 2006