Today is the 2nd day of Christmas, it is also Boxing day celebrated in England and all over the former British Empire.
It is also the 2nd day of Maulana Ron Karenga’s (Ron Everett) holiday of Kwanzaa. Celebrated “offically” by many municipalities this newest of December Holidays (even younger than Festivus) is not only the source of much debate.
It seems to me not to be making a lot of noise these days. Reason mag has noticed that too:
In the days leading up the Christmas, one couldn’t help but notice that references to Kwanzaa, the decades-old African-American holiday that captured so many dull minds during the Great Culture Wars of the 1990s, were almost nonexistent. Kwanzaa, an Afrocentic celebration of black self-reliance (or something) that so spooked the “war on Christmas” types, has largely disappeared. Back in the day, its champions and critics alike thought it could potentially replace Christmas in the very Christian African-American community.
But now, silence.
Josh Newman at the Huffington post is disappointed but gets it:
I still can’t help but notice not noticing Kwanzaa at the greeting cards store. Certainly people are still celebrating the holiday, but clearly corporate America no longer seeks to capitalize on Kwanzaa the way it once did. At a time when a black man can be elected President, the powers-that-be seem to be saying African-Americans are much more ready embrace the de facto American civic religion, Christianity.
Multiculturalism was supposed to highlight our differences in radical ways, not transform them into different flavors of ice cream. But I worry about how Kwanzaa’s disappearance will get understood. In a few years (if not already), Americans will probably remember it the way they remember parachute pants or the Rubik’s cube–the irony, that removing Kwanzaa from the aisles of greeting card stores might end up forever enshrining it as a pop cultural relic. Meanwhile, the meanings of Christmas and Hanukkah continue to be contested and questioned as they reside in the marketplace, Whether it’s gone because nobody knew how to sell it, or because nobody wanted to buy it, Kwanzaa is now nowhere to be found.
I don’t have a big problem with Kwanzza mainly because those who celebrate it these days do so not in the spirit of separation as the founder would like. Kwanzza has become more about a celebration of Blackness than the Marxist drivel of its founder or his attempt to Co-opt Christmas.
So if you celebrate it have a Happy Kwanzza. If you celebrate Boxing Day have a happy one and if you don’t celebrate anything at all then just have a nice day as always.