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Public Debate Over Race & Holidays

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Earlier this month, Slate magazine columnist Aisha Harris wrote “Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore” and criticized the traditional depiction of Saint Nicholas.

Harris first noticed “White Santa” when she was a child. She asked her father and he claimed “Santa was every color. Whatever house he visited, jolly old St. Nicholas magically turned into the likeness of the family that lived there.”

However, she was still embarassed by “Black Santa”:

“I remember feeling slightly ashamed that our black Santa wasn’t the ‘real thing.”

Thankfully for us, Harris has found a solution:

“And so I propose that America abandon Santa-as-fat-old-white-man and create a new symbol of Christmas cheer. From here on out, Santa Claus should be a penguin. That’s right: a penguin. Why, you ask? For one thing, making Santa Claus an animal rather than an old white male could spare millions of nonwhite kids the insecurity and shame that I remember from childhood.”

While she does anticipate pressure from religious groups, Harris casually brushes their concerns aside:

“Of course, since we created Santa, we can certainly change him however we’d like—and we have, many times over. Like the holiday itself, Santa has long since been extracted from his religious roots, even if the name St. Nicholas still gets thrown around.”

In fact, she proposes the same the same remedy for all traditional Christian holidays:

“So let’s ditch Santa the old white man altogether, and embrace Penguin Claus—who will join the Easter Bunny in the pantheon of friendly, secular visitors from the animal kingdom who come to us as the representatives of ostensibly religious holidays.”

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Recently though, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly responded to Harris’s proposal and said what everyone was thinking. She explained:

“By the way, for all of you kids watching at home. Santa is white…”

Later, Kelly even added:

“Just because it makes you uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change. I mean you know, Jesus was a white man too.”

Kelly’s comments unleashed a firestorm throughout the media and criticism from the negro community. However, everyone knows who their real Jesus and Santa Claus is…

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