Now that we’re deep into the ridiculous, annual War on Christmas – you know, the one where we’re supposed to believe that America is waging a duel to the death with roughly three out of four members of its own population – a new wrinkle has been added:
What color is Santa Claus? Is he white? Is he black? Paisley?
And, for that matter, what about Jesus?
This kerfuffle got kerfuffling when a “culture blogger” named Aisha Harris, who is black, wrote a compelling piece in Slate about how, as a child, she “knew two different Santa Clauses.”
The first had a fat belly, rosy cheeks, a long white beard, and skin as pink as bubble gum. He was omnipresent, visiting my pre-school and the local mall, visible in all of my favorite Christmas specials.
Then there was the Santa in my family’s household, in the form of ornaments, cards, and holiday figurines. A near-carbon copy of the first one—big belly, rosy cheeks, long white beard: check, check, check. But his skin was as dark as mine.
Harris goes on to write:
Two decades later, America is less and less white, but a melanin-deficient Santa remains the default in commercials, mall casting calls, and movies. Isn’t it time that our image of Santa better serve all the children he delights each Christmas?
Yes, it is. 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.
Cue the outrage. Continue reading