If Kwanzaa was meant to politicize Christmas, it has been working.
Tis the season to fight about racism.
Kwanzaa greetings — once widely tolerated as politically correct claptrap — were this week treated by conservatives as acts of aggression in the culture wars.
Right on left: As liberal elites welcomed the advent of Kwanzaa, Dec. 26, fed-up conservative commentators countered what they saw as the latest woke bombardment from the Biden White House and Capitol Hill to Hollywood, New York and Chicago.
Vice President Kamala Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, came under sustained fire for reposting a 2020 Kwanzaa video in which she evinced a lifelong connection to the Black Power-inspired holiday.
- On Fox News and Twitter, critics noted that if Harris’ family gathered “across multiple generations” to celebrate Kwanzaa in her childhood, as she claimed, they were highly unusual.
- “Somehow I find it hard to believe that she has a deep childhood attachment to a holiday that didn’t exist when she was born,” tweeted the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh.
- Kwanzaa was created in 1966, when Harris was 2 years old, by black nationalist Maulana Karenga, who was later imprisoned for torturing women.
- Although the holiday achieved mainstream acceptance in the 1980s and 1990s, it never caught on even among black Americans.
Right on right: A few Republican groups that tweeted “Happy Kwanzaa” messages — including the College Republican National Committee — were effectively denounced collaborators by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. and others on the populist right.
Left on right: Dulce Sloan, a correspondent for Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” acknowledged that Kwanzaa was “problematic” and unpopular, quipping on air: “It’s the holiday your white friends think your black friends celebrate.”
- But more militant antiracists, like TV personality Marc Lamont Hill, condemned all Kwanzaa deniers as bigots.
- Other progressive pundits pointed out that Donald Trump’s White House had annually recognized Kwanzaa, a tradition started by former President Bill Clinton.
- Those, however, were simpler times.