Saint Nicholas’ Day

Last weekend at the Mall of America in Minnesota, Larry Jefferson donned his Santa apparel, talked with children, and posed for photos.

The internet trolls turned out in force because jolly old St. Nicholas was being portrayed by a black man.

This was the first time in the mall’s 24-year history that it hosted a black Santa. As for me, I’ve seen artwork and nick-knacks of black Santas, but I’ve never seen a living one.

Until now.

Santa Larry Johnson

You know who’s upset about the black Santa?

White people.

You know why white people are upset?

Because they’re racists.

I realize that’s an oversimplification and generalization, but so is racism.

How racist? Crashing people’s websites with complaints, racist.

Over Santa Claus.

Complaining about black Santa is like complained about a black Star Wars storm trooper.

These are fictional characters.

I’m sorry, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus, because racist bigots destroyed the selfless spirit of Christmas.

A Santa who isn’t white helps children and hypersensitive adults understand that the world is more complex and colorful than the bleached white pages of history.

St. Nicholas was from Turkey. So the fact is his skin was closer to Santa Larry’s tone than the images of Thomas Nast.

Thomas Nast Santa

Or the D’Arcy Advertising Agency’s work for Coca-Cola.

 D'Arcy Advertising Agency executive working with Coca-Cola

(By the way, you don’t get to complain about the commercialization of Christmas and then demand that Christmas images be more commercial.)

The fact is, for more than a thousand years, St. Nicolas was remembered for his giving spirit and was portrayed more like the dark-skinned Mediterranean that he was.

st-nick

So on Saint Nicholas Day, let us remember that Christianity, and all that it has produced, is older than the ad agencies of the United States and the childhood memories of white internet trolls.

hello-christmas-from-santa-larry

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