The Color of Me: Santa Claus
He makes the list. He checks it twice but for an anchor of Fox News Channel and a Blogger for TheSlate.com, who is naughty and who is nice?
The Color of Me: Santa Claus
I chose to include this post in my Color of Me series because it deals with the subject of race. To read the first two posts in this series click on one of the following links below:
Aisha Harris, a blogger for theslate.com, posted an article on December 10th that focused on Santa Claus and asked the question if the image of Santa as a white male might be better if the portrayal was that of a Penguin. Harris takes the time to recount a personal experience from her childhood and comments on her own experiences. These were her opinions and the view, I suspect, was not to literally change the image of Santa to a penguin but to pose the question of Santa being something different. Something for EVERYONE.
She has received quite a bit of negative feedback since that post. After all, she’s attacking an American Icon. It’s Santa Claus. Pictures of Santa Claus drinking Coca-Cola are part of the American tradition. So, who is she to dare to suggest Santa as something other than what he is.
Yes, who is she, indeed? She is an American citizen just as I am. She, by no fault of her own, was born of a race that is not caucasian. Does that make her less of a citizen? Does that make her not have the ability to choose how she interprets an imaginary character? No, it does not. So, I commend Harris for having the guts to write the post.
The Kelly Comment
I normally don’t comment on anything political but Santa Claus is not Democrat or Republican and, had Megyn Kelly been on MSNBC or CNN, my comments would be the same. The Fox News Channel anchor of The Kelly File discussed the post on her show and assured children watching that Santa is white. When I heard this I immediately pictured thousands of white children crying at the prospect of Santa being something other than white. Kelly goes on to comment that Jesus is also white – which is something that I think isn’t the case but I won’t address in this post.
Look Who Made the Naughty List!
A firestorm erupted with backlash going to both Kelly and Harris. Harris responded with a follow-up post and Kelly stated the following:
In kicking off the light-hearted segment, I offered a tongue-in-cheek message for any kids watching saying that Santa, who I joked is a real person whose race is identifiable, is white, just as Harris claimed in her piece, but that we were debating whether that should somehow change.
I do not know either of these people and I cannot speak to the reasons why they wrote or spoke as they did. The following is my view based on my own experiences.
Santa Claus is based on a historical figure and is a creation of fiction.
There is nothing wrong with someone suggesting that something be changed. If we never changed anything no progress would be made.
White does not make right. (For any reading this, please let me clarify. I am white. I acknowledge this. I acknowledge that society sees me as a better person because of my skin color but my skin – just as anything else – does not define the person who I am. I am a human being just as is Harris and Kelly.
A Letter To Santa
It’s me, Kyle. I thought I’d write you a letter and let you know of my Christmas wish. I want a world..yes, a world. I want this world to be one where differences are not judged. I want a world where everyone is loved and treated with respect. I want a world where world leaders meet to discuss making the world a better place instead of discussing how to, maybe, agree to peace. I want a world where no child goes hungry and medications are available to all. I want a world where no one is better than anyone else. I want a world where goodness triumphs over evil. I want a world where jails don’t exist because there is no need.
I know it is a big list, Santa. Maybe you could just choose one. Oh, and I don’t have a chimney but I’ll leave the back door open. I’ll see you on Christmas Eve and know that you’re welcome here regardless of your color or if you are a penguin. After all, Santa, you’re not even real.
Visit the following links to learn more about Aisha Harris or Megyn Kelly.