Reported by Ellen - December 8, 2005
No longer content to force everyone to say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays," FOX News launched a new offensive in its crusade to remake the country (maybe the world) into a Christian nation - by attacking Kwanzaa.
The Tuesday night (12/6/05) Hannity & Colmes show included a discussion with Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, of an organization called BOND. Sean Hannity just happens to be on its advisory board. The headline on its home page reads, "Merry Christmas! Not Happy Kwanzaa!" Underneath that is a paragraph saying,
The “Merry Christmas!” Not “Happy Kwanzaa!” Campaign is designed to educate the American public about the phony “African-American” holiday known as Kwanzaa and to encourage the celebration of Christmas. We want the public to know that Kwanzaa was designed to further separate Blacks from identifying with America.
Rather than focus on the encouragement of Christmas, Hannity and Peterson focused on the discouragement of Kwanzaa. Throughout almost the entire segment, a silent videotape showed black people playing, presumably, African music and doing African dances. Without the context or the music, the people looked demonically possessed.
Alan Colmes read off the seven principles of Kwanzaa (unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith) and asked Peterson what the problem was with them.
Peterson ducked the question (maybe because there's NOTHING wrong with the principles). Instead, he launched into what Colmes described as "character assassination" of Kwanzaa's founder. Just when Colmes began to turn to the other guest, Cedric McClester, an author of a book about Kwanzaa, Peterson coughed up what was undoubtedly his most important point. "The whole reason he founded Kwanzaa (sic) because of his resentment and dislike for Christianity and Jews."
McClester called the charges ridiculous and said the fact that Kwanzaa has been celebrated for 40 years speaks for itself.
What spoke to Sean Hannity is the possibility that it might be too "black." The very nature of his questions revealed his mindset: "Is it true, there's a Kwanzaa pledge of allegiance? (McClester said no. I went to the Official Kwanzaa website and could find none.) Peterson jumped in to say that the official website has the pledge and that "it is all about black, being black, loving black, a black nation."
Hannity asked McClester, "Is this racially exclusive?"
McClester said it isn't, that Kwanzaa celebrates the common African roots and ancestry shared by blacks.
Hannity: Is it true its founder was a Marxist ex-con who spent four years in prison for torturing women?"
McClester said he can't speak for what the Honorable Dr. Maulana Karenga was but for what he is, the holder of two doctorates and a professor and the head of the black studies program...
Hannity interrupted to ask again if it's true Karenga spent four years in prison for torturing women. "Does that concern you?"
Comment: The rest of Dr. Karenga's credentials that Hannity never allowed McClester to say, according to the Kwanzaa website are as follows: Professor and Chair, Department of Black Studies, California State University at Long Beach Chairman of the organization Us; Director, African American Cultural Center.
McClesky asked, "Redemption IS the cornerstone of Christianity, is it not?"
Peterson said that the holiday was started because Karenga didn't like Christianity.
Comment: Hannity and O'Reilly have been viciously attacking anyone they perceive as interfering with their "right" to practice their religion. But here is Hannity questioning another religion for no other reason than it's not Christian enough and may have been started by someone he doesn't approve of. This is nothing less than religious intolerance and it should be intolerable to all good Americans.