Why Is NJ’s Stockton University, Or Any Taxpayer, Still Funding Kwanzaa?

Kwanzaa is a six day non-religious “holiday” that begins on the day after Christmas and ends on New Year’s Day.  A Black Power militant in Los Angeles named Ron Everett (who later changed his name to Maulana Karenga) invented it after the 1965 Watts riots there.

According to left-leaning Wikipedia:

“American Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 during the aftermath of the Watts riots[2] as a specifically African-American holiday.[3] Karenga said his goal was to “give blacks an alternative to the existing holiday of Christmas and give blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society.”[4] For Karenga, a major figure in the Black Power movement of the 1960s and 1970s, the creation of such holidays also underscored the essential premise that “you must have a cultural revolution before the violent revolution. The cultural revolution gives identity, purpose, and direction. . .

“During the early years of Kwanzaa, Karenga said it was meant to be an alternative to Christmas. He believed Jesus was psychotic and Christianity was a “White” religion that Black people should shun.[9] As Kwanzaa gained mainstream adherents, Karenga altered his position so practicing Christians would not be alienated. . . ”

Ron Everett or Karenga grew up on a farm in Maryland.  He moved to California to attend Los Angeles Community College in 1959 at age 19.  Everett later transferred to UCLA where he obtained a masters degree in political science and African Studies.

During this time, he became active in the radical “black power” politics and culture popular at the time.

During the summer of 1965, deadly riots and looting broke out in Watts, a black neighborhood in Los Angeles.  It began when white police officers arrested a black man stopped for driving while intoxicated.  Force, including use of police batons, was used when the man resisted and family members interfered.  Radical left activists and street gangs provoked riots and looting throughout the whole neighborhood by spreading rumors falsely accusing white police officers of beating a pregnant woman.  They also roamed the streets and systematically attacked police, firefighters, store owners, and any whites they could find.  They also broke windows, set fires, and looted shops and warehouses.  It took six days and 14,000 National Guardsmen to restore order.  There were 34 deaths, 1,032 injured, 3,438 arrests, more than a thousand buildings destroyed and roughly $40 million in property damage.

It was then that 24 year old Karenga emerged as a major leader in the black community of Los Angeles.  In 1966, he and Hakim Jamal (formerly Allen Donaldson), a cousin of Malcom-X,  co-founded the “US Organization” (as in “US against Them”),  published a newspaper called “Harambee” (Kenyan slang for “All Pull Together”), and put together armed militias of young men named “Simba Wachanga” (Young Lions) after the armed Mau Mau guerrillas who fought British soldiers in Kenya during the 1950’s.  Karenga also spoke to militant black groups throughout America and became a national figure.

However, Karenga in Los Angeles was bitterly opposed to the Black Panther Party, another Black Power organization that was active in the San Francisco area.

In 1969, two students, members of the Black Panther Party, criticized Karenga at a meeting of the Black Students Union on the University of California (UCLA) campus.  Minutes after the meeting, both were gunned down by members of Karenga’s “US Organization” (As in US against Them).  However, Karenga was never charged with involvement in those murders.


However, Karenga was charged with another violent crime one year later. According to Wikipedia, 

In 1971, Karenga was sentenced to one to ten years in prison on counts of felony assault and false imprisonment.[22] One of the victims gave testimony of how Karenga and other men tortured her and another woman. The woman described having been stripped naked and beaten with an electrical cord. Karenga’s estranged wife, Brenda Lorraine Karenga, testified that she sat on the other woman’s stomach while another man forced water into her mouth through a hose.

A May 14, 1971, article in the Los Angeles Times described the testimony of one of the women:

Deborah Jones, who once was given the Swahili title of an African queen, said she and Gail Davis were whipped with an electrical cord and beaten with a karate baton after being ordered to remove their clothes. She testified that a hot soldering iron was placed in Miss Davis’ mouth and placed against Miss Davis’ face and that one of her own big toes was tightened in a vise. Karenga, head of US, also put detergent and running hoses in their mouths, she said. They also were hit on the heads with toasters.[23]



Stockton presents Kwanzaa as a normal “pan-African” holiday that is a “Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture”.  It introduces Karenga  as a respected “activist-scholar” who created the holiday in 1966.  Karenga is described only as the “chair of Organization US and the National Association of Kawaida Organizations, executive director of the African American Cultural Center and the Kawaida Institute of Pan-African Studies and co-chair of the Black Community, Clergy and Labor Alliance”.  Click here for Stockton’s complete official announcement.  

Stockton’s program fails to say anything about the crimes, violence and hatred that sent Karenga to prison in 1971. It did not mention any of the inconsistencies or fake history used by Karenga in inventing Kwanzaa.  This month’s program was  yet more proof that Stockton is now little more than a very expensive school of indoctrination.  If it wanted its students to do critical thinking and independent research, its presentation would have included some of the  facts discussed in this post.

Karenga’s message was that American blacks needed a completely separate culture and society from the rest of America.  To achieve that goal, Karenga and his followers wore African clothing.  Most men in the organization also shaved their heads like Karenga.  At that time, Karenga also invented the Kwanzaa so that blacks in America  would no longer celebrate Christmas together with other Americans.

Karenga told the Washington Post in 1978 that he used an African word as the name for his holiday because “black people wouldn’t celebrate it if they knew it was American”.  Karenga was never challenged for using Swahili words for his holiday because hardly any American blacks know that almost all black African slaves were captured and sold by Arabs or other blacks, and that most of the other blacks who captured and sold black slaves were from Swahili speaking East African tribes.

Although Kwanzaa means “harvest” and is often said to be a “pan-African holiday”, there are no harvests or harvest festivals anywhere in Africa during December or January.  Karenga told the Washington Post in 1978 that he decided to have Kwanza run from the day after Christmas to New Years Day because “that’s when a lot of bloods (1960s Los Angeles slang for blacks) would be partying”.

Although Karenga and his US (United Slaves) organization preached black and African unity, most of their anger and violence were directed against other blacks in Los Angeles, particularly those associated with the Black Panthers.

The Black Panther Party was also formed in 1966.  Its founders, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale also urged blacks to build up and protect their own communities.  In particular, they urged blacks use the  Second Amendment to lawfully own and carry firearms.  However, Black Panther members later adopted Marxist slogans and programs, and shared resources with radical left whites, many with ties to Communist Russia and Cuba.  This caused the FBI to declare the Black Panthers as a subversive organization and national security threat.  Shortly after 1967, FBI Director J Edgar Hoover set up a special team to destroy the Black Panthers.

For the next three years, Karenga and his US organization battled the Black Panthers for control of the black community in Los Angeles.  In particular, Karenga was determined not to let the Black Panthers participate or influence the new Afro-American Studies Center being set up at University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA).   This caused many heated arguments between members of both groups at the college.  Members of both groups often carried firearms while on campus.

Karenga and his US followers accused the Black Panthers of selling out blacks and being too close to white leftists. The Black Panthers mocked Karenga and his US Organization as “United Slaves” who weakened their Marxist movement by distracting working class blacks from the need to work with working class whites in their common “class struggle” against the bourgeoisie capitalists running America.  The Black Panthers also accused Karenga and his group of being tools of the white establishment and collaborating with white law enforcement.

During January of 1969, roughly 150 students attended a special meeting called by the Black Student Union to work out a compromise between the two groups.  During that meeting, two Black Panther members harshly criticized Karenga.  After the meeting, two members of Karenga’s approached the two Black Panther’s and shot them dead in the hallway.

After these murders, Karenga’s US Organization continued to grow as a classic 1960s California cult.  It was part political and cultural organization and part street gang.  Assaults on rival groups, and robberies were part of its regular activities.  However, at some point during 1969, Karenga apparently fell into a deep paranoia.  He claimed that two of his female followers living in his house were plotting to kill him with “poison crystals”.  On May 9, 1970, Karenga and two other “US Organization” members sadistically tortured Deborah Jones and Gail Davis, two female members who were living in Karenga’s house.

Paul Mulshine is the only conservative staff member of NJ.com, once known as the Newark Star Ledger.  Back in 1999, Paul Mulshine, then a writer for the now defunct Heterodoxy Magazine, did extensive research on Maulana Karenga and his Kwanzaa holiday.  After days of searching, Mulshine was advised that transcripts of witness testimony from Karenga’s 1971 testimony could not be found.   Mulshine was forced to rely on this summary from the court’s sentencing report and the Los Angeles Times news story:

“The victims said they were living at Karenga’s home when Karenga accused them of trying to kill him by placing ‘crystals’ in his food and water and in various areas of his house.  When they denied it, allegedly they were beaten with an electrical cord and a hot soldering iron was put in Miss Davis’ mouth and against her face.  Police were told that one of Miss Jones’ toes was placed in a small vise which then allegedly was tightened by one of the defendants.  The following day, Karenga allegedly told the women that “Vietnamese torture is nothing compared to what I know”.  Miss Tamayo (the second defendant), reportedly put detergent in their mouths, Mr. Smith (the third defendant) turned a water hose full force on their faces, and Karenga, holding a gun, threatened to shoot both of them”.

Karenga was convicted of two counts of felonious assault and one count of false imprisonment.  He was sentenced to “one to ten years in prison” in September, 1971.  The sentencing judge read a psychiatrist’s report into the record.  It stated that since incarcerated, Karenga “has been exhibiting bizarre behavior, such as staring at the wall, talking to imaginary persons, claiming that he was attacked by dive-bombers, and that his attorney was in the next cell.  . . Karenga now presents a picture which can be considered both paranoid and schizophrenic with hallucinations and illusions, inappropriate affect, disorganization, and impaired contact with the environment.”

In 1975, Karenga granted parole and released from prison after four years.   By 1979, he was hired to run the Black Studies Department at California State University in Long Beach.  Since then both Karenga and Kwanzaa have received nothing but favorable coverage from both national and local media.  His past crimes, violence and time in prison are hardly ever mentioned.   On the rare occasions when the subject is raised, Karenga merely says he was a “political prisoner” during the 1970s.

Every year, taxpayers fund Kwanza events at the Atlantic City public library.  Last December 4, New Jersey’s Stockton University paid Karenga to be an honored featured speaker at a special Zoom event for students, faculty, and the community.  At no time have any of the glaring contradictions and problems with Kwanzaa or of Karenga’s hatred, violence, or psychopathic cruelty ever been mentioned.

Part of this can be explained by the “progessive” Democrat (once called Communist) culture of “political correctness”.  Only facts that promote the “correct” agenda can be discussed.  Any facts that contradict or oppose it in any way are suppressed.  However, it also seems that the “Deep State” may have helped with the whitewash of Maulana Karenga’s sordid past,  and his fake holiday of Kwanzaa.

Although most criticism of Karenga and Kwanza comes from conservatives like Paul Mulshine, Ann Coulter, and myself, the most angry criticism comes from the radical or Communist left—especially from supporters of the old Black Panthers.  One of the most detailed criticisms was posted in 2012 by Victor Vaughn.  Vaughn is a radical leftist, even by Communist standards, who calls himself “The Espresso Stalinist”.

According to Vaughn, Ron Everett a/k/a Maulana Karenga and his Kwanzaa holiday are honored and respected today because Karenga and his US followers were protected agents or dupes of the Deep State, including the FBI.  Click here for link to his full post:  Kwanzaa: A CIA Creation to Promote Racial Separation – The Espresso Stalinist

Vaughn claims Karenga and his US followers achieved spectacular success in the 1960’s because they got thousands of dollars each month from the white establishment including the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller family, and the Los Angeles city government.  Many of Vaughn’s sources are statements supposedly made by informants and undercover agents.  I have no way of knowing if these sources are reliable  However, it is well documented that Karenga had several private meetings with the Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty and Police Chief Thomas Reddin.   It is also undisputed that then Republican Governor of California, Ronald Reagan, invited Karenga to Sacramento for a private chat.

Vaughn claims that the FBI helped two of Karenga’s followers murder the two Black Panthers at UCLA in 1969, and later arrange for their escape.  Click here for his post:  Kwanzaa:  A CIA Creation to Promote Racial Separation.

Why would the Deep State do that?  Vaughn claims that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was obsessed with  destroying the Black Panthers any way he could.

Ann Coulter recently posted a blog which reaches the same conclusion.  Here is the link. Happy Kwanzaa! … The Holiday Brought To You By The Fbi – Ann Coulterv

I must give special credit to Newark Star Ledger opinion columnist Paul Mulshine.  On December 24, 1999, Mulshine did exhaustive original research and posted the most definitive history of Ron Everett a/k/a Maulana Karenga and Kwanzaa available online.  It was originally posted by FrontPageMagazine.com, but that post recently disappeared.  However, it was copied and preserved at https://freerepublic.com/focus/news/803137/posts.   Other articles on Karenga and Kwanzaa posted by Mulshine can be found at Kwanzaa: Fake news about a fake holiday that I debunked long, long ago | Mulshine – nj.com  and Unhappy Kwanzaa – the media are still falling for that fake holiday created by a felon – nj.com

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  • Seth Grossman

    Seth Grossman is executive director of Liberty And Prosperity, which he co-founded in 2003. It promotes American liberty and limited constitutional government through weekly radio and in-person discussions, its website, email newsletters and various events. Seth Grossman is also a general practice lawyer.

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