Today is the third day of Kwanzaa and marks Part 4 in my ongoing Kwanzaa series. You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here. As I have already established, I believe Kwanzaa is antithetical to traditional American values. Moreover I believe Kwanzaa’s creator, Dr. Ron Karenga meant it to be that way as he sees American values as destructive to “Africans in America”. You can refer back to Part 1 to read about the roots of Kwanzaa and why it is based in Marxist theory, but today we are here to explore the third of the seven principles of Kwanzaa – Ujima.
The Ujima principle stands for collective work and responsibility. There’s that Marxist buzz word again – collective. The idea of Ujima is that all “Africans in America” would form a sort of social collective, creating and producing – a “from each according to his gifts to each according to his need” sort of thing. We’ve seen how well that has worked out for the world wherever its been applied. I’m not going to beat this particular principle to death. As with the rest of Kwanzaa it sounds rather innocuous when separated from the history of the holiday. However, one must keep in mind that every admonition and encouragement in the Kwanzaa celebration is designed to exclusively enjoyed by Black peoples. Whites need not apply. They are the oppressors. The whole celebration is meant to be one big reminder of how oppreseed we are in this country and around the world. Below is a link to a short video of Kwanzaa’s founder, Maulana Ron Karenga (nee Ronald McKinley Everett) talking about the principle of Ujima. When you watch it, please remind yourself that you are listening to a man who was convicted in 1971 of the false imprisonment and torture of two young women in his militiant Black Power group “US” (as in “us” against “them”). Remember this description of the event that was published in the LA Times in 1971 as Dr. Karenga speaks on the video:
“Deborah Jones, who once was given the Swahili title of an African queen, said she and Gail Davis were whipped with an electrical cord and beaten with a karate baton after being ordered to remove their clothes. She testified that a hot soldering iron was placed in Miss Davis’ mouth and placed against Miss Davis’ face and that one of her own big toes was tightened in a vise. Karenga, head of US, also put detergent and running hoses in their mouths, she said. They also were hit on the heads with toasters.”