What is “the principle gift”? What is the gift of principles? What are the principles of gift-giving and gift receiving? These are just a few of the questions Heit & Cheri tackle in this episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory, as they challenge you to take a closer look at your core principles and the notion of gift-giving and receiving.

Topics discussed include after-Christmas shopping, the practice of re-gifting, tweets by children unhappy with gifts received from their parents, analysis of the seven principles of Kwanzaa, lack of support for Black-owned projects, Black self-determination and more!

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Segment 1

  • Kwanzaa starts the day after Christmas and lasts for seven days.
  • Discussion about people hitting the stores to shop and exchange gifts on the day after Christmas.
  • Discussion about the concept of retail value and the shopper’s psychology that “I got this $200 jacket for $20!” Who determines the value of these material goods.
  • Discussion about the idea of re-gifting–giving gifts that were given to you to other people. Is it a good idea? Why not give away things that you’re not going to use?
  • Discussion about the notion of obligatory gift-giving. It’s nice to give meaningful gifts that are useful to the recipient. However, buying just any old gift for a person because you feel you have to is a real waste.
  • When you think about it, the source of the need to re-gift is the foolish notion of obligatory gift-giving.
  • What’s the best way to show gratitude for a gift? Say thanks!
  • ungrateful tweets

  • Discussion about Christmas tweets sent out by children who were unhappy with their Christmas gifts. We posted a question on Facebook, asking how people would respond if their children tweeted like this after receiving their gifts.
  • Discussion about someone interjecting the racial component into this question.
  • One person said that the gifts should be returned and the parents should buy something for themselves:

    “If they are old enough to get a car. You as a parent failed many years ago. Take the car back and spend the money on yourself!!!”

  • Another person said the children should be beaten into a state of appreciation:

    “Beat down…plain and simple. Then their ungrateful asses would never get another thing from me outside what the DCFS said I had to give them!”

  • Parenting has everything to do with creating a child who would respond to a gift in this way.
  • Discussion about whether the children were exhibiting a sense of entitlement versus an expression of their desire.
  • Discussion about the lesson of not getting everything you want.
  • Discussion about the reader who wrongly tried to interject a race into the discussion:

    “Hey you can talk about those little white kids all you want 9 * outta 10 your black mamas Are raising your black children to be slaves to those white kids to have to Begg Those white children for job In the future…..Those same white children will be handing out the future WIC checks and future welfare checks and future Section 8 housing to your black children That you raised to love everybody..So have some respect for the future slave masters of your children…..Keep this in mind North American black people….White mama raise her children to rule the black mama raise her children to be fooled.”

  • Obviously this person does not understand the economics of class. The whole premise of the argument is faulty. All Blacks are not on welfare nor other forms of government assistance.
  • There are also plenty of Black children who would and do complain in ways similar to these tweeters.
  • Discussion about the Seven principles of Kwanzaa:
    principles of kwanzaa
  • Discussion of the first principle of Kwanzaa, which is Umoja, and stands for Unity.
  • Discussion of the second principle of Kwanzaa, which is Kujichagulia, and stands for Self-Determination. The idea of self-determination is a good principle because it underscores the importance of not seeking approval from others and making our own way in every aspect of life. We do have a huge issue with translating that into practice.
  • There have only been a handful of Hollywood movies involving slavery, according to Salamishah Tillet, yet none of them had Black directors. Why are we not telling our own stories?
  • Discussion about the fact that Black directors/producers are busy making other types of films–like Madea and the “Diary of…” movies–instead of telling our own stories about our collective experiences. The mission of the stories we do tell seems to focus on showing that we are just as good as the those who are members of the predominant culture.
  • Axiom Amnesia is the perfect example of self-determination. We do what we think should be done.
  • Discussion about people wanting information we share validated by the white-owned mainstream media. If we are participating in self-determination, why is the mainstream media your primary source?
  • Discussion about a Black lawyer who would offer her services to Blacks, and she happened to have a white assistant. When she would offer her services, many Blacks would say that they wanted the white person to represent them–despite him not even being an attorney. Actions speak louder than words when it comes to supporting “your people.”
  • Discussion of the third principle of Kwanzaa, which is Ujima, and stands for Collective Work and Responsibility.
  • Discussion of the fourth principle of Kwanzaa, which is Ujamaa, and stands for Cooperative Economics.
  • Discussion of the fifth principle of Kwanzaa, which is Nia stands for Purpose.
  • Many of the principles of Kwanzaa are based on collectivism.
  • Discussion about whether it is right for someone to suggest what the purpose of individuals should be. Also, is it possible to have a “purpose” as a people? Even if you go back to ancient times, there have always been different groups that were not all working together as a collective.
  • Discussion of the sixth principle of Kwanzaa, which is Kuumba, and means Creativity. The idea of creativity is great, but is the outcome necessarily contribute to a successful community? This concept ties into the notion that there is/should be a collective purpose for the community.
  • Discussion of the seventh principle of Kwanzaa, which is Imani, and stands for Faith.
  • Discussion about the explanation that we should “have faith” that African Americans have worth. Faith is believing without proof. Why should we have FAITH that Black people have worth? We should KNOW this! It shouldn’t involve faith at all.
  • Heit & Cheri plan to investigate the intent and underlying rationale the founder of Kwanzaa, Dr. Maulana Karenga, had in mind when he came up with the observance.
  • Perhaps consider making your own principles that you will observe, based on your own ideas–rather than simply taking the “paint-by-numbers” approach of simply following someone else’s principles.