Celebrating White people

Brittney M. Walker | 12/1/2010, 5 p.m.

It is that time of year when families cook delicious soul food feasts, when mothers and fathers storm the stores early in the morning and late after work for children's gifts, and when everyone decorates their homes with seasonal items like fall colors and Christmas trees.

Holidays in America are times of celebration, family, and White people.

What do White people have to do with holidays?

Over the years, some Black families have moved toward disassociating themselves from holidays that have a history stemming from an oppressive culture. This could very well be every nationally recognized and celebrated holiday in America.

People have made these transitions for several reasons including their pagan origins, oppressive roots, and their seemingly hypnotizing effects. Often during holidays, individuals become possessed by the spirit of the celebration and do not act normally.

Ishakamusa Barashango, Ph.D., a Black liberationist and lecturer taught that holidays are merely mechanisms established by people of European descent to continue to oppress and suppress Black people and deify themselves.

"We are so compelled by the conditions in the environment (in which) we are living to look at things in a fantasy manner rather from the viewpoint of reality. We are still being subject to a European worldview," the teacher said at a 1990s lecture about European holidays and Black mental genocide.

He further explained that due to the whitewashing of African culture in America, the African perspective of life and happiness and celebrations has been distorted, perverted, and converted to a European worldview.

"Holidays are the institutionalized celebration of the thoughts and ideas of a particular philosophical worldview ... The celebration of holidays helps to establish and maintain strong emotional and cultural bonds between you and that which you are celebrating. When we celebrate European holidays, what are we binding ourselves to?" Barashango asked.

We just celebrated Thanksgiving, or in the eyes of some liberationists like Barashango, Native American genocide. Several other American holidays like Halloween, Columbus Day, and Christmas come from European philosophies, pagan religious practices and celebrations of White's victory over their enemies.

Our African ancestors did celebrate many things like the harvest and victory, but Barashango emphasized in his lecture that we have never celebrated the victory of our enemies over us as we do today in America.

"Thanksgiving Day literally is a holiday celebrating the beginnings of the almost total extermination of an entire race of people, commonly called 'Indians', and the enslavement, continued oppression and genocide of the African, by European settlers ... For over 100 years now.

Black folks in the United States have joined with the descendants of the same European murder[er]s who enslaved them and systematically all but destroyed the Amer-Indian, in feasting and giving thanks to God for the (opportunity) to live in one of the most racist, imperialist, and oppressive countries on earth .... Black People celebrating Thanksgiving Day is like the Americans celebrating the bombing of Pearl Harbor, or the so-called Jews celebrating the rise of the Third Reich, or the Palestinians celebrating the intrusion of the settler colony of Zionist Israel, or moreover the millions of Zulu descendants who are being murdered by the thousands each day, celebrating the establishment of the Union of South Africa ..."