14 December 2009

You could file this one under...

..the road less taken...

"Basically, it was a column about Kwanzaa that put me on the path of political punditry. I submitted it as my usual Toronto Star religion column, and it got spiked."

"The editor said, 'Look, Kwanzaa might be a fake holiday invented by a convicted felon, but why put a damper on people's fun?'"
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17 comments:

Anonymous said...

one stupid editor.

Anonymous said...

If "fake holiday" means "new holiday"... can't the same thing be said about Christmas?
-Anon1152

Neo Conservative said...

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"anon1152 asks... If 'fake holiday' means 'new holiday'"

sorry, nonny... i'm an atheist... but i'm sure you'll get somebody's goat here.

but, hey... for arguments sake... are you actually proposing an equivalence between felonious sociopath ron karenga... and jesus?

seriously?

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Anonymous said...

I'm worried about the responses that may come...

I know little about Kwanzaa or Karenga. But the first thing that came to mind was that Jesus was executed by "the authorities". Though the non-violence of Jesus does seem to make an equivalence inappropriate. Maybe Moses would be better?

I think I was irked by the term "fake holiday". A holiday is a holiday if people celebrate it as a holiday. And every holiday begins somewhere. I doubt that Santa's been coming down chimneys in the middle east for 2000 years, clad in a snowsuit.

-Anon1152

Anonymous said...

Remember folks, Neo can't be called a racist. His best friend's sister dated one once.

Neo Conservative said...

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ah, yes... the inevitable cries of racism... by an anonymous troll.

so, nonny... i'm ready to hear your impassioned defense of the sainted mr karenga... the guy who spent time in prison for torturing a woman with a hammer.

hmmm... but you're not disputing any facts here, are you? you're just hurling accusations.

and anon1152 says... "I know little about Kwanzaa or Karenga."

hmmm... unfortunately nonny, now you do.

does that change anything for you... or are you gonna side with mr dumbstick who is, yet again, apparently choosing to channel al sharpton?

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Anonymous said...

Neo said: "unfortunately nonny, now you do"

Even more unfortunately, I don't know nearly enough. (Not enough to satisfy me, anyway. Not enough to take a side). I do find Black Nationalism interesting, and would like to know more. I've even started reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X (slowly, as my "fun reading"). At the moment learning anything detailed about Kwanzaa is low on my list of priorities. I am (or at least should be) lost in the 17th Century.

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I just wanted to say something quickly about the "fake holiday" and "convicted felon" points. Partly because I hate holidays (including this time of year); partly because... I'm obnoxious.

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I hope my comment didn't suggest accusations of racism. I'd rather not use the term (or insinuation) carelessly.

As for the other anonymous commenter(s)... I'd prefer to be associated with and take responsibility for my comments alone.

-Anon1152
(currently channelling Thomas Hobbes).

Neo Conservative said...

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"anon1152 says... At the moment learning anything detailed about Kwanzaa is low on my list of priorities."

surely though, unlike nonny-sharpton... you've taken the five minutes required to read the stuff i linked to in this particular post?

i mean, you seem like a logical, methodical kinda guy... you wouldn't just jump in here without knowing what i was referring to, right?

so, again... at the risk of getting right to the point at hand... what's your take on rompin' ronnie karenga... and his totally manufactured race-based holiday?

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Anonymous said...

I did look at the link(s) you provided. I even started looking for more information elsewhere. Wikipedia is always a good place to start. But after starting, I stopped myself. I could spend days looking for more information...

The information here is, I suspect, narrowly focused. Shaidle's articles and poem didn't seem... sympathetic. Part of being logical and methodical (for me) involves looking at what more sympathetic sources have to say.

No offense intended, of course. Why else would I--neither a blogger nor a Tory--come here so much?

-Anon1152

p.s.
- Won't deny that Karenga was dangerous in the 60s-70s... doesn't appear that threatening now...
- Hurting people is bad.
- Shady/violent/no-good pasts have been overcome by people who we both respect (no idea who they are right now, and they are probably different people, but I'm sure they're out there).
- I think all holidays are manufactured (or refashioned). The vast majority of "Christmas" is hardly ancient/solemn. (I just did a google image search for the word "Christmas"). Chanukah wasn't nearly as important to the Jewish religion until it was used as something to compete with Christmas. Christian holidays have pagan influences, or dates chosen to compete with non-christian religions.
- As for the race based thing... I don't expect the accusation of a white man (i.e., me) that something is "race based" would, on its own, be considered legitimate by a black American man who grew up in the 40s-60s)... And I can't say I'd respond differently under the circumstances.

Neo Conservative said...

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"anon1152 says... Shaidle's articles and poem didn't seem... sympathetic.

sympathetic, huh... i read this stuff and, believe it or not, sympathy wasn't my first reaction.

let's recap...

“The victims said they were living at Karenga’s home when Karenga accused them of trying to [poison] him. . . . When they denied it, allegedly they were beaten with an electrical cord and a hot soldering iron was put in one victim’s mouth and against her face. Police were told that one of [the other victim’s] toes was placed in a small vise which was allegedly tightened by one of the defendants. The following day . . . Karenga, holding a gun, threatened to shoot both of them.”

Convicted of felonious assault and false imprisonment, Mr. Karenga was sentenced in 1971 to up to 10 years in prison.


but mr karenga appears to have triumphed over his (cough, cough) past indiscretions.

you're sure you wanna go with "root causes" here?

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Kathy Shaidle said...

"Wikipedia is always a good place to start."

Says it all.

Anonymous said...

Sympathy wasn't my first reaction either... which was sort of my point.

No desire to justify/excuse him... Just like to see what other sides has to say.

I though the issue was more about the holiday than the person(s) involved in its creation.

People don't generally say that the nobel prize is illegitimate because Alfred Nobel wanted to be known for something other than explosive weapons... A selective (and perhaps a thorough) reading of the Book of Exodus makes Moses look rather violent...

I'll stop here... since this all stemmed from what I thought was a joke (though no doubt in poor taste).

-Anon1152.

Anonymous said...

Kathy Shaidle:

I hope it's obvious from anything I've written here that when I said "start", I did not also mean "finish".

-Anon1152

Neo Conservative said...

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"anon1152 says... People don't generally say that the nobel prize is illegitimate because Alfred Nobel wanted to be known for something other than explosive weapons."

illegitimate, no... it is, imho anyway... more like (excuse my ex-catholicism) an act of contrition... which isn't something kwanzaa klaus apparently ever performed.

and forgive me for being so dogged here... are you now drawing an equivalence between nobel & ron karenga? if mr nobel, or moses for that matter, ever visciously tortured any women, i've certainly never heard about it.

from your discourse thus far, you're apparently an intelligent guy... what's your problem with calling out an obvious sociopathic fraud?

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Anon said...

One fake holiday deserves another.

Happy Festivus everyone.

Anonymous said...

I think I see why we're disagreeing...

I have no problem with calling out an obvious sociopathic fraud.

Also, (and I should have realized this after your first comment), I am not really drawing "equivalences". Or at least, that's not my intention. The cases I brought up, more or less off the top of my head, were meant to be analogous... not... homologous.

As for Nobel... I don't know about his relationships with women either. But much of his fortune came from the sale of his newly invented explosives. Apparently a premature obituary read: "Le marchand de la mort est mort."*

Moses, for his part, wasn't nonviolent. Certainly some of his actions seem excessive. Take his response to the golden calf incident:
Exodus 32: 27-28. Numbers 25 also seems a tad violent. I hadn't heard of any vicious torture of women by Moses either, but I'm just noticing this: Numbers 31... especially verses 9-18.**

All I was trying to say was that a holiday isn't "fake" just because it's new, or because it's founder was a horrible person. And that I like more information from more varied sources before coming to any conclusions. (Imagine if all you knew about Moses came from the verses I mentioned above).

I suppose I should be glad that my original comment wasn't interpreted as part of the "war on Christmas."

Best,
-Anon1152.


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http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/416842/Alfred-Bernhard-Nobel
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,998209,00.html

**
My source is the original King James Version.
I was raised a catholic myself. We never used that version. And were never known for actually reading the bible... I like the KJV in part because so many people who do read the bible seem to like it...

Neo Conservative said...

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"anon1152 says... I should be glad that my original comment wasn't interpreted as part of the 'war on Christmas'."

well, as i said before... i'm an atheist... the only way the war on xmas bothers me is when it's supplanted by some other politically correct nonsense.

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