by G. Brown
“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…” so the Christmas carol goes. But in Minnesota they must have those lyrics literally because all the racist grinches are trying to steal Christmas cheer because of one Santa who happens to be Black.
The Mall of America decided to try something new this Christmas and brought in its first Black Santa Claus so that children of color would find a Kris Kringle who looks more like them. The honor of being the first Black Santa went to a man this nation owes a debt of gratitude as one of our veterans. Larry Jefferson fits the bill as a jolly looking guy complete with his own natural, gray beard. The Mall of America had its heart in the right place to spread some politically correct cheer. After all, it’s all about spreading peace, love and joy. Until the Grinch shows up in the form of white racists. Santa is for the kids, so why are racist adults throwing a fit?
Racists were having such a major meltdown that the Star Tribune had to shut down the paper’s comments section.
It’s amazing that people get unhinged when they think a sacred icon —whether it’s Santa, James Bond or a comic book hero–is being changed to appeal to all people. Before they start tweeting or posting protests, maybe a little fact checking would spare them from showing stupid they really are.
Santa is based on a fourth century Greek Christian, Saint Nicholas who is said to have performed many miracles. Having coming from a rich family, Saint Nicholas made it is his life’s mission to look out for the poor. He was once said to have helped a poor man who was about to sell his three daughters into slavery and prostitution by giving them each a dowry so they could marry. Others say if you left your shoes out in front of your house, Saint Nicholas would put money in them. It didn’t take long for Saint Nick’s spirit of generosity to become legendary because of his habit of giving secret gifts to people. Saint Nicholas became the patron saint of merchants, children, pawnbrokers as well as sailors and repentant thieves. Eventually, the story of Saint Nicholas spread to places around Europe. When the story spread to Holland, the Dutch began to embellish the story and started calling Saint Nicholas “Santa Claus” and expanded the origin story to include reindeer, elves and even the red suit. Eventually, the story became a tradition that people tried to emulate by gift-giving.
Though the real Saint Nicholas died in the year 343, his remains are buried in a crypt at the Basilica di San Nicola in Italy where at the Vatican requested measurements of his bones and skulls to be recorded in the 1950s during a renovation project. Using these anatomically precise measurements, forensic pathology experts have come up with renderings of what Saint Nicholas actually may have looked like .
The latest 2014 rendering is said to be the most realistic since Liverpool Johh Moores University experts relied on the computer technology to come up with the facial reconstruction. Here is Saint Nicholas according to those experts….
But despite the darker skin tone of the real Saint, modern day Santa is usually a White man as white as the driven snow. Mediterraneans (Italians, Greeks, Spaniards) are said to have skin color ranging from “pink or peach to light brown” and dark brown or black hair. Most of the renderings of Saint Nicholas show him to have olive to brown skin-tone. But his physical appearance really doesn’t matter, since it is the spirit of caring about others—especially the less fortunate—that is the reason for the season.
But as always when it comes to social media, whenever racism rears its ugly head, there are people ready to beat it down with some witty responses…
Racists try to ruin everything by laying claim to everything that is pure, ingenious, good or positive as their exclusive right. It was a couple of years ago when FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly declared that everybody knows Santa Claus and Jesus are white…but neither of them were when you check their historical regions.
But beyond the color, there is a spiritual aspect that is more important. While racists are spewing their vile contempt, they are proving that they know nothing about what either Saint Nicholas or Jesus was about. How can you want to claim an icon while rejecting the fundamental truths of loving all and helping the less fortunate that continue to define them?
In short, get over it White people…just get over it already.
What do you think…is this the most ridiculous argument of White privilege yet….Or does it simply not matter?