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Author Topic: Bush sends Kwanzaa message  (Read 1285 times) Average Rating: 0
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sinjinsmythe
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« on: December 21, 2002, 03:15:28 PM »

Quote
Text of President Bush's Kwanzaa Message
By The Associated Press
ASSOCIATED PRESS


Text of President Bush's Kwanzaa message:

I send greetings to those celebrating Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa celebrates the traditional African values of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. From December 26th to January 1st, people of African descent gather to renew their commitment to these seven principles, known as Nguzo Saba, and give thanks for the blessings of family, community, and culture. Kwanzaa is also a time for Africans and African-Americans to honor their common heritage by participating in events based on early harvest gatherings called matunda ya kwanza, or first fruits.

As individuals and families join together during Kwanzaa, their joy enriches communities in the United States and across the globe. By uniting people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs, this holiday promotes mutual understanding and respect. These universal principles inspire us as we work together for a future of freedom, hope, and opportunity for all.

Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a memorable Kwanzaa, and for peace, happiness, and success in the coming year.


Doesn't Bush know that Kwanzaa is a made up holiday by some convicted criminal who use to teach at Berkley I believe.  I cannot understand why he endorse such a phoney holiday, and one that does nothing to knock down the barrier between the races.
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Aklie Semaet
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2002, 08:45:49 PM »

Doesn't Bush know that Kwanzaa is a made up holiday by some convicted criminal who use to teach at Berkley I believe.

Bush is not a criminal that got arrested when he had his daughters in the car while he was driving under the influence of alcohol?

In any case what do character assassinations have to do with the merits of a holiday?  btw, he (Malauna Karenga) is a UCLA professor and text book writer, not Berkley.

Point being, if someone starts off with the typical white conservative arrogant premise that African Americans should not endorse anything African or African heritage then it does not matter if a Holiday was ‘made up’ or long standing, all that matters is that it is African and supposedly ‘divisive.’

If African Americans started to celebrate the Ethiopian New Year Meskerem which is September 11th (Meskerem 1st), which is long standing and centuries old,  I very much doubt that the complaints will cease.  

such a phoney holiday, and one that does nothing to knock down the barrier between the races.

Who said it was the role, intention, or duty of this holiday to knock down the barrier between the races? What race has a holiday that is dedicated to that? Is it the intention of Columbus day or Thanksgiving to knock down racial barriers? Is it the role of the Chinese New Year, Hanukkah, or pass over to knock down racial barriers? No. Each of these holidays correctly celebrates the culture and faith of the people that observe these holidays (and some of them like Columbus and Thanksgiving seriously offend other communities that  do not observe them). So why should Kwanza be any different?  If you read Bush’s comment’s closely you will see that he points out that one of the principles is self-determination (Kujijaculia in Ki-Swahili), so that would imply that a people have a right to create and celebrate their own holidays, rites, rituals and culture as they see fit. It is not the prerogative of others to determine that for them.

If you don’t like the food, don’t go to the restaurant. If you don’t like the singer, don’t go to the concert. If someone does not like Kwanza, no one is forcing them to celebrate it (I myself do not celebrate it). But leave the folks alone who do chose to celebrate it.
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2002, 09:26:58 AM »

For the true story of Karenga and Kwanzaa, see the link on the News Archive page of my site.

A few points: Kwanzaa isn't African (Karenga is an American), it isn't traditional (he invented Kwanzaa in 1966), it isn't connected in any real way to the heritage of American blacks (who are descended from West Africans and never spoke Swahili, a relatively recent trade language of East Africa), and who ever heard of a harvest festival in winter?
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Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2002, 09:40:44 AM »

For the true story of Karenga and Kwanzaa, see the link on the News Archive page of my site.

A few points: Kwanzaa isn't African (Karenga is an American), it isn't traditional (he invented Kwanzaa in 1966), it isn't connected in any real way to the heritage of American blacks (who are descended from West Africans and never spoke Swahili, a relatively recent trade language of East Africa), and who ever heard of a harvest festival in winter?

Personally, I have no problem with Kwanzaa, no matter by whom or how it originated.  I *do*, however, have a problem with its timing, which conflicts with our Orthodox Church calendars (New and Old), although this may not be a problem at all for Protestant Christians whose celebration of Christmas is already over on Dec. 26, or for Muslims.  For Orthodox Christians on the Revised Julian Calendar, however, Dec. 26 is the Second Day of the Nativity: the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos.  Dec. 27 is the Feast of the Holy Archdeacon Stephen the Protomartyr, the Third Day of the Nativity, and so on.  I believe that Roman Catholics, liturgically at least, also observe the days following Christmas in a similar manner, while Orthodox Christians on the Old Calendar are in the final days of the Nativity Fast in solemn preparation for Christmas.

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Aklie Semaet
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2002, 05:51:52 PM »

it isn't connected in any real way to the heritage of American blacks (who are descended from West Africans and never spoke Swahili

The African Americans that trace their history to slavery (as opposed to more recent African immigrants) are descended mostly from West Africa but not exclusively; anywhere from Senegal going all the way down to Angola. There were also some taken from South Africa as well as some areas in East Africa like Kenya (while the bulk of East African slaves ended up in Asia, the Middle East and not the Western Hemisphere).

In any case the basis of identity in Africa (ancestral blood lines, tribe, language, and land) are not the basis of Black identity in America. Due to slavery destroying African culture African Americans identify with blackness and Africa in an abstract sense, not on any particular region country or language. You can encounter African Americans, as well as West Indians, in any part of the African continent. H.I.M Emperor Halie Sellasie granted Africans of the Diaspora 500 hectares in the town of Shashamene, Ethiopia back in 1963. The town is still there and growing.

a relatively recent trade language of East Africa

Ki-Swahili was spoken as early as 800 A.D. and is thus older than many modern languages. It is not simply a lingua franca; it is the language of a people, the Wa-Swahili. It is spoken in Kenya, Tanzania, the North Coast in Mozambique and inward all the way to East Congo (former Zaire). It has semi-official status and academic standing in Uganda. At one time it was proposed by the OAU to become the Pan-African language. The name that many people still want to re-name South Africa, Azania, is a Ki-Swahili name.

btw, most people who celebrate Kwanzaa have no clue who Karenga is and could care less. It is the holiday that matters.
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