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Wisconsin state Senator Glenn Grothman caused quite a stir on Monday when he began bashing Kwanzaa for absolutely no reason. During his rant, Grothman wondered, “Why must we still hear about Kwanzaa?” and , “Why are hard-core left wingers still trying to talk about Kwanzaa – — the supposed African-American holiday celebration between Christmas and New Year’s?” Then Grothman went on CNN and attempted to explain his comments to host Ashleigh Banfield and Roland Martin, both of whom tried to get to the heart of Grothman’s hatred of Kwanzaa.
Grothman said his main concern with the holiday was that it was started by Maulana Karenga, a person with a “violent, racist past”, then Grothman went on to say that “not enough TV types” understand this about Kwanzaa.
At the start of the program, Banfield revealed on air that Grothman had refused to appear on air with Roland Martin because the lawmaker did not want to debate someone who was pro-Kwanzaa. When Grothman challenged Banfield, saying she was misrepresenting the facts, Banfield introduced Martin, who was waiting in the wings so he could debate Grothman.
Martin asked Grothman why, with so many holidays, he had singled out Kwanzaa. Banfield pointed out that she had never seen anyone “raise a pitchfork or a fist to celebrate Kwanzaa”, and when she pointed out to Grothman that President George W. Bush praised Kwanzaa, Grothman said that was one of his many reasons why Bush “was an irritating president for some of us.”
Martin then asked Grothmam if he celebrated Columbus Day and whether Columbus was a violent man. Grothman answered that Columbus was not a violent man, to which Martin replied, “you don’t know history.”