(Photo by Craig Herndon/The Washington Post)
The lovely Jonathan Capehart reposted this item from last year and mentioned that he was enraged for hours once when a well-meaning white friend sent him a Kwanzaa card. Really? Someone this morning wished me a happy Boxing Day, a British occasion that's irrelevant to me, and I reacted with amusement and moved on. There are lots of things like that in life. I stopped being Christian in 1970, but I enjoy Christmas music, and I sang "Christmas is coming, goose is getting fat" which I learned fifty years ago from Harry Belafonte's Christmas album. Jonathan disdains Kwanzaa as a "made-up black holiday," but every holiday was made up by somebody. Thanksgiving was made up, but is celebrated by millions. I should note that Capehart only brought up the subject to criticize a Republican bomb-thrower who portrayed Kwanzaa as a big leftist conspiracy.
Granted, Kwanzaa is full of Marxist claptrap (imho), but most black people don't celebrate it according to surveys (maybe they are just spent from Christmas), and it's probably promoted more by white people trying to be inclusive. So if you don't have a kinara, don't remember the Nguzo Saba, and don't have cool African clothes to wear, then have some eggnog and Christmas cookies and relax.
Nonetheless, I learned from Maulana Karenga years ago that tonight's principal is Ujima, or collective work and responsibility. Swahili is a lovely language, about a third of its words from Arabic. Our own word "seven" is from the Arabic "Saba," which derives from Akkadian, a reminder that all cultures are influenced by others. In many cases, blood was shed, treasure and people were stolen, and missionaries covered it by converting people to the conqueror's religion. None of us has clean hands. But regardless of Christmas boycotts and different cultural observances, we are all bound up in the same economy. Whatever we call it and however we got here, most of us can agree that helping our neighbors is a good thing. Most of us, I suspect, also agree that Ann Coulter, who is far nastier than sweet Jonathan could ever be, can shove it up her ouya. Pardon my vulgarity, and happy whatever it is you are celebrating.