Santa is white. Jesus, too.
As if it isn’t difficult enough for us to navigate through the intricate web of differences of opinions and to sort through clashing perspectives about those things in life which are readily observable, apparently we also feel an overwhelming desire to declare our rightness even in relation to the people, places and things we have simply made up and created as figments of our imagination – the most recent and glaring example being a nationwide debate over the color of Santa Claus’s skin.
Apparently this mysterious and beloved Christmastime character can only be “made up” in one way according to Fox News correspondent Megyn Kelly, whose recent comments during “The Kelly File” have ignited a racial firestorm across the internet. Responding to an essay hosted on Slate.com by blogger Aisha Harris entitled “Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore. It’s time to give St. Nick his long overdue makeover,” Megyn Kelly stated the following:
“So, in Slate, they have a piece, .com, ‘Santa Claus Shouldn’t be a White Man Anymore.’ And when I saw this headline, I kind of laugh and so I said, this is so ridiculous yet another person claiming it’s racist to have a white Santa. You know? And by the way, for all the kids watching at home, Santa just is white but this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa. But you know, Santa is what he is and just so, you know, we are just debating this because someone wrote about it kids. OK. I want to get that straight.”
Kelly went on further to say, “Jesus was a white man, too. It’s like we have, he’s a historical figure that’s a verifiable fact, as is Santa, I just want kids to know that. How do you revise it in the middle of the legacy in the story and change Santa from white to black?”
Megyn Kelly has since attempted to backstroke her way out of her matter-of-fact statements by suggesting they were “tongue-in-check” and that “Humor is what we try to bring to this show, but that’s lost on the humorless.”
The author of the original article, Aisha Harris, is not falling for Kelly’s efforts to dismiss the whole thing as taken out of context and accuses Megyn Kelly of “playing the victim.” “It kind of reinforced my point, actually,” Harris said in an interview on CNN of Kelly’s original comment that Santa just “is” white (Jesus, too). “The fact that Kelly and some of the other guests on the show were insisting that Santa is white just spoke to the reason why I wrote the piece: a lot of people out there automatically assume that Santa must be white, and it’s laughable that he should be anything else.”
Will we ever see the day when a deeper appreciation for the gifts of our diversity will override the fear-driven oppression and judgment that surprisingly still runs rampant in our world? Can anyone think of a truly significant reason to negate someone’s preference for a black Santa? If we are expending this much energy debating and slinging mud at each other over the pigmentation of a fictional holiday character, how can we ever expect to collaborate with each other on some of the social and economic issues that are really impacting us in our world right now?
What is it going to take for us to live in peace and harmony on this planet earth? A white Santa? A black Santa? An intervention by God Herself? More wars? Less talking and more listening? More acceptance and less judgment?
What is it going to take, friends from around the world?
(Lisa McCormack is a Feature Editor at The Global Conversation. She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at www.ChangingChange.net, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)