By Cassandra Lans
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s Black Caucus on Wednesday called on Governor Scott Walker to denounce the outrageous comments about the Kwanzaa holiday celebration made by his key ally and top Republican Sen. Glenn Grothman.
Grothman, who made headlines when he attacked the legitimacy of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in the past, sent out a bizarre press release Dec. 28th making outrageous claims about Kwanzaa’s meaning, its history — as well as demeaning and patronizing statements about African Americans.
In the press release Grothman called Kwanzaa fake, fraudulent and a holiday that “almost no Black people today care about.”
He characterized it as a false holiday inspired by a racist college professor and perpetuated by hard-core liberals.
He also told a WTMJ reporter, “I think the average person thinks Kwanzaa’s African celebrations have been around for hundreds of of years. In fact, it was created by a radical Marxist…a Black separatist who felt there should be a separate holiday.”
On Wednesday, Grothman doubled down on his outrage, refusing to apologize when questioned about his outburst.
Stephanie Findley, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s Black Caucus, called on Scott Walker to denounce Grothman’s conduct immediately.
“As head of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, Scott Walker should say whether or not he associates himself with and approves of the disgusting comments made by a chief ally such as Sen. Glenn Grothman.
“Grothman, who has minimized the honor due Martin Luther King Jr., says he knows what’s best for Black people and he directly attacks basic principles of religious liberty in his ill-advised screed. He took a time to celebrate peace and goodwill toward all and warped it into a narrow political appeal to bigots.
“Does Glenn Grothman, in his attacks on African Americans and religious liberty, speak for Scott Walker’s Republican Party? If not, Walker must say so now.”
According to Milwaukee Courier editor Lynda Jones, these are not new beliefs for Grothman. She shared, “I met Sen. Grothman about six years ago, when I first returned to Milwaukee at a breakfast meeting held at Garfields 502. He was an invited speaker by a local group, and this event was held either shortly before the holiday season or soon after. He then, found it necessary to share his unsolicited opinion on Kwanzaa and stated to the African American audience, “I don’t understand how Black people celebrate a holiday that was started by a criminal?”
My response to him then was, “How dare he question what African Americans decide to celebrate? And that he should educate himself on the subject before offering his unsolicited opinion. I see six years later this man did not take my advice, and I again advise him to read and study some history before opening his big mouth again.”
“Not only should Gov. Walker speak out against this man, West Bend should think again before electing this ignorant man to serve another term in office. He is an embarrassment to himself and the political party that he represents.” Jones added.