The war on Kwanzaa

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An annual ritual begins anew:

In some ways, Kwanzaa seems more and more entrenched in Americana each year. Recently, Sandra Lee on the Food Network put her culinary touch on the celebration with her Kwanzaa cake. And U.S. presidents are obliged to acknowledge the celebration. Barack Obama has been invited to celebrate Kwanzaa in Flint, Mich. on Dec. 29.

But all the commercialization and lack of real observance makes me wonder where the celebration will be in a generation or two...

Right, unlike Christmas which has survived on the basis of its spiritual purity and strict avoidance of commercialism....

Meh, I don't celebrate Kwanzaa. My Dad was a Black Panther, so I wasn't exactly brought up to think of Karenga (call that Negro "Ron") as heroic. I didn't celebrate Christmas either, and the general consensus in my home was that Kwanzaa was throw-away for people who couldn't deal with not getting gifts.

But so what? Seriously, this idea that Kwanzaa is fundamentally different from other holidays is silly and unreflective. Debating the holidays, is like debating sex acts. Dude, there's no clean or dirty, only what you're into or what you're not. Do we really want to do the knowledge on Christmas here? Seriously??

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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