Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman is full of outrageous statements. During the Wisconsin Capitol Occupation, in February and March of 2011, Grothman called the protesters “slobs.” In 2012, Grothman created a bill which ended certain equal pay remedies for women and minorities. He claimed it was because a women’s place was at home cooking, cleaning, and making babies. Later he said that women make less than men because money is more important to men. He also said that unwanted pregnancies were a woman’s choice. I could go on and on about the wild and outlandish statements made by Senator Grothman but I think the point is made.
This week, however, Grothman decided to launch a different attack. Not an attack on women, but an attack on Kwanzaa. In a press release, written entirely about Kwanzaa, Grothman goes on to say:
Of course, almost no black people today care about Kwanzaa – just white left-wingers who try to shove this down black people’s throats in an effort to divide Americans. Irresponsible public school districts such as Green Bay and Madison (and who knows how many others, see links below) try to tell a new generation that blacks have a separate holiday than Christians. Waring Fincke, left-wing West Bend lawyer and vice chair of the Washington County Democratic Party, encouraged people to learn more about Kwanzaa in a column in July. Fortunately, almost all black people ignore Waring Fincke and his ilk and their efforts to divide Americans.
But why do they do it? They don’t like America and seek to destroy it by pretending that its values as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, don’t apply to everyone. Mainstream Americans must be more outspoken on this issue. It’s time it’s slapped down once and for all. With tens of millions of honorable black Americans in our country’s past, we should not let a violent nut like Karenga [Ron Karenga, 1960s radical leader and founder of the "US Organization"] speak for them. (By the way, after getting out of prison he was hired as a professor at California State Long Beach. When are we going to stop funding left wing nuts at our public universities?) The churches ought to be particularly appalled since Karenga thought Christmas was a white religion and was trying to draw black people from it. Be on the lookout if a K-12 or college teacher tries to tell your children or grandchildren it’s a real holiday.
As you can see this is full of outlandish statements. First, Grothman states that “no black people today care about Kwanzaa.” This is, of course, not true. While it may not be celebrated in a majority of African American households, it still is in some; it was a holiday created to bring African American communities together. He then states that any attempt to teach about Kwanzaa and learn more about it is just divisive to Americans. This is not true. Any time you learn about customs of another culture, no matter how prevalent they are, it helps to foster acceptance of others. This is very important. In learning about Kwanzaa, people can learn about the African American culture. Cultural awareness is not divisive, in fact it is quite the opposite.
But then Grothman goes on in the last paragraph. He states that people who advocate for learning more about Kwanzaa do so because:
“They don’t like America and seek to destroy it by pretending that its values as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, don’t apply to everyone.”
To disagree with someone is one thing. To basically call them un-American or say they don’t like America, that is another. It is a tactic those on the far right use a lot. They tried to paint Democrats as anti-American many times and in many ways. Grothman clearly has a lot of contempt for Kwanzaa. He lives in a world where, if you don’t like something, you write a press release attacking it. This time, and once again, Grothman has gone too far.
In early January, the new Wisconsin legislature will be sworn in and Grothman will still be in the Senate. Fortunately, we will have people fighting him and his extremism. One day longer! One day stronger!
Segway Jeremy Ryan has become a full-time member of the protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Formerly a businessman, he gave up his business to join the fight for the middle class in the State of Wisconsin. He rides a Segway due to a heart condition. Through videos and writings he has informed hundreds of thousands of people about what was going on at the Wisconsin State Capitol once the mainstream media had mostly abandoned the protests. He has been arrested 38 times mainly for silently filming or holding up a sign in the Capitol.