Paige Lavender reports on recent comments released by Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman regarding his views of the Kwanzaa celebration.
According to a Milwaukee CBS news station report, Grothman issued a press release entitled “Why Must We Still Hear About Kwanzaa?” The Huffington Post references a portion of this release: “Why are hard-core left wingers still trying to talk about Kwanzaa — the supposed African-American holiday celebration between Christmas and New Year’s?”
It goes without saying that Grothman’s comments are not only unhelpful but are hurtful to those for whom Kwanzaa is a meaningful celebration. They seem to be voiced out of a deep-seated animosity toward those who promote the celebration of Kwanzaa more than from an animosity toward elements of the celebration itself. Moreover, they are likely voiced without much (if any) direct contact with those who participate in the celebration because when you spend time with those whose rituals are different than yours you do not speak in such negative, pejorative ways about these rituals (even if they are not meaningful or significant to you).
Ignorance breeds fear. Fear breeds anger. Anger breeds hurtful expressions.
American is a nation that advocates (and seeks to practice) freedom of religion–of all religion, not just that of the majority or most vocal. Therefore, whether Kwanzaa has a large or small following, whether it is primarily an African-American celebration or, as Grothman asserts, primarily a “white left-wingers” celebration, does not matter.
Whoever it is that chooses to celebrate Kwanzaa finds it meaningful, and such hurtful, demeaning comments are inappropriate from anyone. That a state senator, elected to represent all of the people in his state (some of whom may celebrate Kwanzaa), is troublesome.
More information about the celebration of Kwanzaa can be found here.
A full-text of Lavender’s report can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/01/glenn-grothman_n_2392816.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003