Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The War on Kwanzaa

Lost in all the annual noise surrounding the godless assault on the Christian celebration of Christmas is the silent war being waged against minority faiths across this self-proclaimed exceptional land.  Slowly but surely, the B-List holidays are being purged from December lesson plans in our government sponsored elementary schools.  This year, we might have gone too far.  This year, the magic of Kwanzaa season will go unrecognized in our local classrooms.

I learned this week that Fairfax County Virginia public schools have quietly dropped the recognition of Kwanzaa as a holiday this year.  Apparently a legacy of 2 U.S. Postal Service stamps in its honor was not enough to save it.  Kwanzaa instruction has been cancelled due to lack of interest.  

Now thousands of local Kwanzaan children will cry themselves to sleep wondering if they will receive any presents on January 1st at the end of the 7 day observance.  These Kwanzaa believers will come to school filled with shame that the decade’s long heritage of their feast will no longer be taught to their Christian and Muslim friends.  The holiday is being left to whither on the vine without government support.  Its preservation as a holiday has been outsourced to families already struggling to teach their kids proper hygiene and respectful manners.  How will the Kwanzaa tradition survive?

Kwanzaa is not the first holiday to be dropped by the centralized planners in county government.  Kwanzaa joins the celebrations of St. Lucia Day (December 13th) and the Feast of St. Nicholas (December 6th) on the dustbin of religious history, having been unceremoniously eliminated as recognized celebrations in Fairfax County schools.  Religious freedom truly is under assault!  If immigrants from St. Lucia can be treated this way, if their holiday can be stricken from the books by government fiat, how long will it be before green trees with twinkling winter solstice decorations are banned from the public square? 
When one faith is marginalized, we are all marginalized.  Who will fight for Kwanzaa?

There is good news for those of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu faiths.  Your holidays are still on the public school menu in 2012.  Yes, the kids can learn traditional Muslim Eid songs and Hindi Diwali dances and Jewish Hanukkah games instead of math and science for a few weeks in December.  Christians can enjoy a passing reference to a baby being born in a stable.  For proper Kwanzaa training, you’ll have to pick that up on the streets.  

So farewell Kwanzaa lesson plans.  Good bye indoctrination classes on the seven core principles (known as Nguzo Saba) of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith (sounds like a Democratic fundraiser seminar agenda).  How will the children come to know and appreciate the divine vision of Maulana Karenga, the inventor of Kwanzaa?  How will we spread a reverent appreciation of the decorative Kwanzaa mat?  We must hope for private enterprise to pick up the slack. 

Kwanzaa-ians (or Kwanzaa-ites) – I feel your pain.  My preferred holiday has never been included in the annual public school list of acceptable celebrations.  I’ll have to homeschool my kids about Festivus and the Feats of Strength without the structure and the tactic approval of my government-run educational system.  As long as I have breath, there’ll be a Festivus for the rest of us.  

Goodnight, Kwanzaa.  We hardly knew ya.

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