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EDITOR'S UPDATE: On Jan. 1, Twitter announced it has permanently suspended the personal account of U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., for "repeated violations of is COVID-19 misinformation policy," according to National Public Radio.
By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
I never, ever thought I would be mentioning Kwanzaa – the annual end-of-year celebration of African American heritage – and ultra conservative Marjorie Taylor Greene in the same breath, but here we are.
My honest goal was to never write about the Georgia Congresswoman and I thought I was on pretty safe ground, until she issued a tweet about Kwanzaa on Dec. 26. Well, the tweet mentions Kwanzaa but it has nothing to do with it at all.
I will explain in a little bit, but first context. The College Republicans National Committee posted a Twitter message that day wishing a "Happy Kwanzaa." Kwanzaa is an annual celebration of African American culture from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, created by activist Maulana Karenga after the Watts Riots to uplift and celebrate culture.
Kwanzaa is now mainstream, celebrated across the country by a wide array of non-profit, social groups and others privately.
Sounds like a pretty harmless tweet, right? Not for Greene. She unloaded on the College Republicans – and pretty much anyone celebrating Kwanzaa.
"Stop. It's a fake religion created by a psychopath. You aren't bringing in new voters, you are turning them away. People are tired of pandering and BS," Greene wrote on her tweet. Yes, it's still up.
What is truly sad, it's been liked nearly 6,000 times as of Dec. 29 and retweeted more than 1,200 times.
What I've been hearing from many of my journalist colleagues has been pretty universal: "How can an elected official be this dumb?"
I don't think that is the case at all but let's pretend for just a moment that she is. First, Kwanzaa is not a religion. Never was. Never intended to be. Granted, Karenga originally had some radical views initially in starting Kwanzaa but had long moderated those and his creation has proven to be a wonderful "back to roots" celebration of African-American culture marked by first survival, self-determination and celebration.
Anyone who has attended just one of the week-long celebrations cannot help but come back with a sense of fulfillment and purpose. FRNJ would urge Greene to do her homework and learn about the subject she obviously has no clue about -- and then try to tweet about it. Attending a Kwanzaa event may be good for her soul as well.
While I think Greene does know little or nothing about Kwanzaa, she does know one thing crystal clear – it's connected to African Americans. It's connected with Blacks in celebration, doing positive things in their communities and uplifting people around them.
Greene, for whatever reason, has a problem with that. I will not devolve into name-calling here, but I would like to ask in no uncertain terms – Ms. Greene, what do you have against Black people and Kwanzaa?
This tweet was nothing more than political branding – branding to solidify people she believes are supporting her and her causes – and that is obviously not most African Americans. If that's the case, just say it. Stop beating around the bush with bogus tweets complaining about Kwanzaa.
What I am more worried about is the nearly 6,000 people who have "liked" the tweet on Twitter and are celebrating Greene's words. I never thought so many people would believe the lies and misrepresentation around Critical Race Theory, yet the governorship of Virginia was won on it and conservatives are hoping the capitalize on it next fall in the midterm elections.
Now, Kwanzaa is being demonized, too. Oh, this is going to be an interesting MLK Day and Black History Month next year. I can see the "I Have a Dream Speech" being cut to one sentence and teachers being dragged out of classrooms for BHM displays.
I agree with Ms. Greene on one word in her tweet, "Stop!" Stop making up stuff out of blue air and trying to make them fact. Kwanzaa is not a religion. It's been around since 1966. When has education and celebration been pandering?
While the voters in her district will have to answer for Ms. Greene, please go out and celebrate Kwanzaa, learn about its meaning, embrace its lessons and make great things happen. We know the true meaning of Kwanzaa. Don't let dumb people define it for us.
QUESTION: Have you been to a Kwanzaa celebration this year? Why or why not. Answer in the discussion section below.
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