The media recently introduced a new issue into the national debate, with numerous publications decrying the plight of black Santas like the one at a New York City Macy’s, who is only available upon special request.
The preponderance of black Santa grievances seems to have resulted from Fox News host Megyn Kelly ridiculing a Slate article that said Santa Claus, who is based on St. Nicholas, should get a racial “makeover” so he isn’t white anymore.
The Root, a black-themed website co-founded by Harvard professor and White House “Beer Summit” participant Henry Louis Gates Jr., suggested that there is a veritable war on black Santas in a piece entitled “It’s Tough Being a Black Santa.”
“Now that we have those things out of the way, let us talk about the black men who choose to play the role of Santa Claus in malls around America,” the Root’s Jozen Cummings writes. “They are the real St. Nick’s stunt doubles, doing his dirty work while he preps for tonight’s long shift. Most do a fine job of it, like Langston Patterson in Los Angeles, but others are given such a hard time, we have to wonder, is being a Santa Claus worth it?”.
“Still, that guy’s job of being a black Santa in the largest Macy’s in the world seems to be a lot easier than the black Santa Claus in Southeast Washington, D.C.,” Cummings added, noting the pellet-gun shooting of a black Santa in our nation’s capital Tuesday.
“Before leaving, I ran into the first elf I had seen. I asked him why there aren’t any signs or notice for the ‘special’ Santa,” wrote CNN reporter Lorenzo Ferrigno, who asked the tough questions about Macy’s black Santa in a first-person expose. ”‘I have no idea, that’s a Macy’s thing,’ the black elf said. I asked him whether he thinks Macy’s should publicize the ‘special’ Santa. ‘I have no idea,’ the elf said.”
“Santa is very strongly typecasted because he was born out of Europe and as his story traveled throughout, he was mostly Caucasian,” the head of a Los-Angeles based Santa school called International University of Santa Claus recently told the Los Angeles Times, noting that he has only trained three black Santas out of more than 2,200 Santas trained.
The concept of black Santa has appeared before in popular culture. Rapper Freeway has an album called “Black Santa,” and boxer Sonny Liston appeared as black Santa on the cover of a controversial 1963 cover of Esquire, which Time magazine called “one of the greatest social statements in the plastic arts since Picasso’s Guernica.”
Whether or not Santa is white or black, Santas have it rough. Still, we can at least agree on one thing: The only black Santa movie in existence looks awesome.
It’s called “Black Santa’s Revenge.” It’s a 2007 short film directed by David F. Walker. The tagline is “He knows when you’ve been naughty.” It would make a perfect last-minute Christmas present for anyone.
Merry Christmas. You’re welcome.