MADISON (WKOW) -- State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) is getting national attention after speaking out against the holiday of Kwanzaa. Appearing live on CNN he called the holiday a fake celebration that honors a racist man.
He says his comments were meant as a response to a constituent in his district who promoted celebrating Kwanzaa in the local paper.
Grothman argues the sheer thought of Kwanzaa is absurd, having been founded by a man that he calls a racist, Marxist, violent man.
Kwanzaa, a relatively young holiday celebrated the last week of each year, was first celebrated in 1966. It was created by college professor and activist Ron Karenga to celebrate African American heritage.
Senator Grothman however sees the celebration a little differently.
"If they knew the past I think Kwanzaa would die a quick death," Grothman explained on CNN Wednesday night. "It's a celebration for unity of blacks by somebody who didn't like whites. It's a celebration of Marxist principles which are kind of anti-American. I guess if you want to celebrate racism and Marxism, go for it."
Earlier this week he posted an article, "Why Must We Still Hear About Kwanzaa?", a writing that criticizes schools and government agencies that promote and teach about the holiday, primarily Madison and Green Bay schools.
"I mean the idea that they are adopting the platform of this violent, racist, Marxist should be a little appalling to everyone who pays taxes to the Madison School District," Grothman says.
Since his comments first hit the national stage, many have been critical of his message including Governor Scott Walker.
"I don't know why someone like that would go out of their way to alienate people for something that some people support," Governor Walker explains. "Our standpoint is he should be focused on other things regarding state business, not interests like that."
Kwanzaa was founded on seven core principles: unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
Many who celebrate the holiday are deeply offended by Grothman's comments.
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