To BOO or Not to BOO? The Romney Effect

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Presumptive GOP Nominee Mitt Romney boldly visits the NAACP ( National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) 103rd convention in Houston Texas today….to address thousands of men and women who work, organize and lead passionately in the pursuit of civil rights–fighting for social justices for all Americans–all the time.

His political platform has remained somewhat consistent and he continues to make his case so there were no surprises in his speech, which is why I am shocked that he was Booed
 
“Booing” someone should be an off the cuff, embarrassing knee jerk reaction.  This usually happens if you are suddenly blindsided, shocked and/or betrayed…but even then it’s not acceptable–we knew what he was going to say!!
 
There is so much that can be debated about this issue… actually too many layers to peel back in one blog posting, but here’s my take…
 
Mitt Romney didn’t come to the NAACP expecting a standing ovation and he knew his message was not going to be well received.  He failed to use this opportunity to “really speak” to the African-American community.  He could have delivered a powerful message and widened his appeal on “the issues”…the economy, health care, unemployment, the war..whatever without “bashing” President Obama and a plan that would offer 7 million African-Americans access to health care, really? 
 
Up to this point, we don’t see the Romney campaign demonstrating a “real” interest in the African-American or Latino base, so the way I see it Mitt Romney used this opportunity to grand stand, and his message today was intended to further widen his base and assure his “conservative” constituents that he doesn’t lean left under any circumstances.   
 
If we were going to boo it should have been at his offer to speak at the convention.  In my opinion, to invite a guest to speak, publicly ridicule him and then defend it is wrong!  The issue now becomes your actions rather than his words.
 
Do you believe the members of the convention were right in booing Romney? 
 
I am just saying….join the blabb chat.   Follow me on twitter @Blabback

The Relevance of Kwanzaa ?

The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa

What is Kwanzaa? Why do we celebrate?   And is this holiday too deeply rooted in African culture that only African Americans can or should celebrate?

Have any of these questions crossed your mind?  If so, let’s blabb about it….

Just as a point of historical reference, during the 1960’s African Americans began reaching back to tie the lost cultural roots of traditional African communities embracing self awareness and empowerment…thus founding Kwanzaa, which is the only nationally celebrated, native, non religious or political African American holiday.

The Kwanzaa holiday is observed from December 26th through January 1st and its’ focus is to pay tribute to the rich cultural roots of the People of the African Diaspora. It is strongly rooted in cultural awareness and it reinforces personal growth and achievements.  Kwanzaa is now a 45 year old celebration and tradition yet the principles are still relevant to African Americans today; particularly young African American children.

The principles are:

1. Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
2. Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
3. Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together.
4. Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
5. Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
6. Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
7. Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

With this celebration commencing at the last week of the year, it allows us the opportunity to reflect and re-affirm our goals, add some clarity or tweak our perspectives and/or re-define, but performing the traditional ceremony is where I struggle…Many African Americans are still “ignorant” to African tribal and cultural traditions.  It is piece of culture that is 10 times removed and not easy to plug back in… I realize that one of the very purposes of this celebration is to continuously introduce, reinforce and cultivate an appreciation for African culture through these principles, but when many African Americans speak of celebrating Kwanzaa (in the true spirit upon which is was found) it feels like lip service to a culture and traditions we really don’t fully understand and/or appreciate.

But in every effort to be the all around culturally in-tune African American family, you go out and buy all the necessary items, invite your friends and family over, recite the principles, light the candles, spread the kente clothe and exchange the gifts……

Is practicing this celebration really preserving African communitarian values?  Or are we just going through the motions at home or in public for the sake of saying we celebrated Kwanzaa and on January 2nd we forget we lit those (7) candles?

So I ask this question, giving all do respect to Dr. Maulana Karenga, is Kwanzaa too deeply rooted in African culture?  Is the way in which we celebrate and honor the principles relatable (we agree that they are relevant) 45 years later?   Should the Kwanzaa celebration be redefined to keep the principles of Kwanzaa relevant and consistent  in our daily lives after January 1st?

What do you think?  Blabb Back…