On 12/26/13, the RNC released this statement:
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus and RNC Co-Chairman Sharon Day released the following statement commemorating Kwanzaa:
“I want to extend my best wishes to all who are celebrating Kwanzaa,” said Chairman Priebus. “For families coming together to mark the occasion, I hope it is a joyous time of celebration with loved ones–and a time of meaningful reflection ahead of the New Year.”
“From December 26 through January 1, many families will take time to celebrate African culture and history. Kwanzaa is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to honor the importance of family and community, and it reminds us of the great diversity in America. Happy Kwanzaa!” said Co-Chairman Day.
The RNC also made this tweet:
Happy Kwanzaa! Wishing those celebrating a joyous time with loved ones and a time of meaningful reflection ahead of the New Year.
— RNC (@GOP) December 26, 2013
As FITSnews points out:
Recent estimates put Kwanzaa participation among blacks at a measly 1.25 percent. For those of you keeping score at home, that means 39.9 million black families do not celebrate Kwanzaa. Only 500,000 do.
HardHatters.com is critical of the move by the RNC:
Priebus’ announcement may be recognized as the GOP’s newest strategy at embarking “on a year-round effort to engage with African American voters”, but is commemorating Kwanzaa really the best approach? As of the 2010 population, there are roughly 39 million Black Americans living in the United States, yet its estimated that only half a million to two million or just 1%-5% of Black Americans even celebrate Kwanzaa. Surely, there are better ways to reach a larger portion of the Black American population. As one author noted, while Kwanzaa is meant to celebrate African culture, “most African Americans can’t pinpoint [their] African origins and that African culture is vastly diverse.” Urban Daily points that “black people just don’t care about Kwanzaa”, and they note that it is at the wrong time of year and difficult to remember.
The piece above goes on to discuss the origins of Kwanzaa and the background of its founder while further criticizing the RNC. There are much more effective ways to do African-American outreach and I hope the RNC is actually doing those things and not relying too much on a press release sent the day after Christmas that very few people will see or hear about regarding a holiday that very few are actually celebrating.
Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.
Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.