Dominion of New York

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January 3, 2013

Wisconsin Lawmaker Declares War on Kwanzaa, Calls it Fake Holiday

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Written by: Kelly Virella

Wisconsin State Sen. Glenn Grothman. Photo courtesy of


isten up everybody. A white lawmaker in Wisconsin has some news for you about Kwanzaa. State Senator Glenn Grothman wants you to know that Kwanzaa is a fake holiday and the only reason any of you celebrated it earlier this week was because “white left-wingers” have been trying “to shove this down black people’s throats in an effort to divide Americans.” 

“Why must we still hear about Kwanzaa?” the Republican lawmaker from West Bend asked, according to, in an overly dramatic press release. “Why are hard-core left wingers still trying to talk about Kwanzaa — the supposed African-American holiday celebration between Christmas and New Year’s?” 

Kwanzaa should be “slapped down,” his epic rant added.

I don’t know about you, but I am dying laughing over this nonsense and wishing it were on YouTube. It sounds a lot like Ted Steven’s epic nonsense rant against Netflix, below.

Like most of the rest of you, I hardly care that Grothman or any of his neo-KKK supporters said or believe this. On the contrary, I take perverse joy in the fact that my existence and blackness causes them to suffer. Wait until they discover my plans to learn Swahili! As one of my favorite 2012 Internet memes, said, “You Mad?”

The only white people who can be offended by Kwanzaa are those who think unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, creativity and faith — the principles of Kwanzaa — are bad for black people. They are white people who feel threatened by black efforts to express anything non-Eurocentric, who believe that the only way blacks and whites can co-exist is if blacks live under white thumbs. These are the same people who try to fire us when we wear our hair in cornrows, or dreadlocks, because it challenges their authority for us to choose our own aesthetics. Fortunately, they are a tiny minority, and 40 years after the black power movement, it’s time for them to get a grip. Black people often talk, dress, walk, coif, sing, dance, praise, celebrate, etc. differently than whites. If that makes you unhappy, too bad.

People who celebrate Kwanzaa celebrate it for one reason — because they want to. And 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, if black people can’t do that, what can we do, Mr. White Man? Please give us our separate but equal bill of rights.

Grothman is a two-bit politician trying to elevate himself to a national stage with a 1990s Newt Gingrich strategy — and we saw how well that worked for Newt. If guys like that want to get relevant in 2013, maybe they should try something new — like attending to the needs of their constituencies. 


About the Author

Kelly Virella
Kelly Virella lives in an East Harlem walk-up with her husband, her bicycle and her books. She's worked as a journalist for 11 years and started this website during the summer of 2011. She fell in love with New York City during her first visit here as a 16-year-old and finally made good on her promise to move here in April 2010.


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, left to right. Photo courtesy of Flickr/Azipaybarah