December 19, 2013

Should Santa Be a White Man? Just Ask Fox News.

Santa just is white. Jesus is a white man.


This Fox News debate started as a response to an article written by Slate.com blogger, Aisha Harris. In the article, Harris argues that the idea of Santa as an exclusively white male is racist, and that his whiteness enforces the American paradigm of whiteness-as-default. She jokingly argued that Santa should be a penguin, a non-human symbol of racial ambiguity.

Fox News didn’t like that.

Here’s the video:

If this is the news that America is watching and believing, I am ashamed. In the beginning of the segment, news diva Megyn Kelly nonchalantly claimed that all the kids listening at home should know that Santa is inherently white. I find it appalling that this woman delivers the news to a country that fought a Civil War and went through a Civil Rights Movement. And has a black president. But none of this matters because color doesn’t matter.

We’ve been through this before, America…several decades ago. Get it into your head.

I applaud you, Aisha Harris, for calling these people out on their unimaginative, close-minded ways. Maybe St. Nicholas was a white man. But Santa is not the same person. Santa is fake, and therefore he could be reinvented as anything to an accepting individual. And thank you for bringing light to that fact. And for the record, history shows that Jesus probably wasn’t white either. Oops.

And thank you to Bernard Whitman, the only person in this news segment who stood his ground, who defended Harris, and who will receive credit for the only intelligent comment in the entire three minutes of racist blabber:

“I think that it’s fine for Santa to be represented as a traditional white man, but I also think that if people want to represent him as an African American male, a Latina, or an Asian or a drag queen, I think our social fabric can sort of take the elasticity of Kris Kringle.” 


So for all you kids watching at home, whiteness is a historical construct. And currently, it is the default of this country. How unfortunate. I hope we can someday have a frank conversation with our kids about race and openness instead of just automatically telling them that their version of Santa has to be white.

After all, the West was won by white Europeans. So Santa should be white too. Right? Sorry, everyone else who isn’t “white.” You have no Santa to identify with unless you choose the white one or make up your own fantasy Santa or choose a penguin to haul your gifts down from the North Pole.

No. No. No. No. No! Let’s be creative, folks! Christmas should be and needs to be enjoyed by everyone equally. 

I hope that this country someday develops a sense of loving-kindness, awareness, and appreciation for others.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.


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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo credit: Photobucket user speedee1975


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