Friday, December 25, 2009

The Sixth Day of Christmas at SBPDL - Traditional Views of Santa Claus

Black people have a lot to be thankful for in the United States this magical Christmas Day. Sadly, for Black children around the nation - of whom more than 70 percent are born out of wedlock - they were visited last night by a large, fat, jolly white man bringing toys and goodies for good little boys and girls.

No, we aren't talking about the family that adopted Michael Oher, nor the many white families that adopt Black babies... we are talking about Santa Claus, that incredibly talented white man who lives in the North Pole and, with the incredible dexterity of his many elves and 9 reindeer, visits the homes of children and bestows upon them gifts for them to open on the 25 of December:

"Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle or simply "Santa", is a legendary figure who, in many Western cultures, brings gifts to the homes of the good children during the late evening and overnight hours of Christmas Eve, December 24 or on his Feast Day, December 6 (Saint Nicholas Day).[ The legend may have part of its basis in hagiographical tales concerning the historical figure of gift giver Saint Nicholas. A nearly identical story is attributed by Greek and Byzantine folklore to Basil of Caesarea. Basil's feast day on January 1 is considered the time of exchanging gifts in Greece.

While Saint Nicholas was originally portrayed wearing bishop's robes, today Santa Claus is generally depicted as a plump, jolly, white-bearded man wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots. This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast."
Basically, the entire history of Santa Claus is covered in the heritage of a Western European blanket and good ole Santa is a gift-giving, corpulent white guy, capable of delivering smiles and joy to kids of all races - as long as they haven't been naughty.

What compels this altruistic turgid white guy to dedicate his entire life to bringing joy and happiness to young people? Why invest so heavily in hoping to brighten kids lives with presents under the tree and stuffed stockings of candy and toys?

Well, some Black people find this notion of a bovine white dude watching them 24/7 to be a tad overbearing and encroaching on their personal freedom, if not down right racist. The fact that he watches white kids 24/7, notwithstanding, Santa Claus is viewed by Black people as the embodiment of George Orwell's Big Brother.

Worse, some Black people have the audacity to declare Santa an unreal entity:
"Back in September, Newsweek featured an article titled “Even Babies Discriminate“. Mandy beat me to the punch and blogged about it. However, what I wanted to blog about could wait, until now.

Towards the end of the article, we learn that teachers in a rural Ohio school read a version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in which Santa is black. They introduced the concept of Santa as a black man. At the school Christmas party, Santa showed up, and yes, he was black.

The problem is, Santa isn’t black. You know why?

Santa Claus isn’t real.

I love ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. I love Christmas in general. I watched Frosty the Snowman three times tonight. None of that changes the fact that Santa Claus is a fictional character. We don’t “do” Santa in our house. Jack is told that he is “pretend”, like the Disney Princesses and Lightning McQueen. Does he understand that? I don’t know. But I know he won’t be getting any presents from Santa, and that we do not encourage the Santa myth at all.

Now, I know that other parents like pretending Santa is real, and that’s OK, I suppose. My beef, and the reason for writing this post, is that a school was essentially teaching kids that Santa is real. Not only that, but they were teaching kids that this fictional character is black. So, then, the kids grow up, find out Santa Claus is a sham, and these kids who were so happy to learn that Santa is brown like them are doubly upset."

Thankfully, this view is in the clear minority, for most Black people believe in Santa Claus and more importantly, have created the myth of Santa Claus being an obese Black guy:
"And for me Santa Claus always was, is now, and always will be a black man.

Part of my investment in Santa's blackness derives from my personal biography. My father is a brown-skinned man who smokes a pipe and has had a full beard of gray hair since my infancy. Black Santa looks like my dad, so I am drawn to him. But my father is nothing like a jolly elf. Professor Harris is a stern disciplinarian and a politically engaged intellectual. I can't imagine anyone less likely to hang out with toy-building magical creatures while wearing a fur-trimmed red suit.

My attachment to black Santa is rooted in a fierce racial consciousness I have nurtured since childhood. In my adulthood I have revised much of my unthinking, black nationalist assumptions. My feminist commitments, interracial political work, and emerging cosmopolitan sensibilities make me somewhat less likely to exercise an automatic preferential option for blackness. This journey of political consciousness is also reflected in my holiday choices.

As a kid, black Santa represented a benevolent spirit of goodness and kindness directed toward African American children. Black Santa cared about little girls who look like me. I did not need blue eyes or blond ringlet curls for black Santa to find me adorable. Black Santa did not put a blond baby doll under my tree. He knew that I needed to rock, hold and nurture a baby doll with brown skin and kinky hair. Black Santa expected Nat King Cole to be playing on the stereo when he arrived on Christmas Eve.

Symbols matter. They help shape our understanding of national culture and identity. A president is not a country, but he embodies the national identity. Santa is the secular, commercial symbol of a religious holiday, but he nonetheless embodies the popular imagination of the holiday.

It is time for Americans to get comfortable with black Santa."

Yes, even though Santa Claus is a myth from the cold environment of Western Europe (and the marketing gurus of Madison Avenue) a rewrite is in order to ensure that Santa Claus embodies the new Black World that we all live in currently, to placate the national identity that is being forged, for we no longer live in Pre-Obama America.

Anything white that reminds people of The Greatest Generation must be replaced with a prominent Black face and Santa Claus is a symbol of ethnocentrism so pervasive that Black children find the image of a Black Santa as alien as white people do:

"In keeping with that spirit of diversity, several dozen families attended a recent holiday party at the West Medford Community Center, where an African-American Santa fielded toy requests from tiny tots while handing out candy canes. Cosponsored by the New England Alliance of Multiracial Families, the event, the 11th to feature a Santa Claus of color, attracted parents and children for whom encountering a black Santa (with a white Mrs. Claus standing alongside him) was not just a curiosity but a priority.

Deleatra Bolton of Malden, accompanied by her husband and two young children, said it was refreshing to find a "nontraditional" Santa in a state like Massachusetts, where such sightings tend to be rare. In Maryland, the state she'd lived in previously, black Santas are far more commonplace than up North, Bolton said.

"In our house at Christmas, all the angels and Santas are black," Bolton said over the fa-la-la of holiday music emanating from a boombox. "My daughter is 4 and just starting to realize about race." This year, she said, her daughter had wondered aloud why there was a black Santa at home and a white Santa at the mall. "I told her that Santa can change his color depending on whichever house he visits, and that what's important about Santa is what's on the inside, not the outside," Bolton said with a smile."

Santa Claus is a paragon of virtue, kindness and sharing and for these traits to be synonymous with a fat, bearded, white guy is not only racist and vile, but insulting to Black people who hope to remake Santa in the image of a Black man once and for all. White people can't have any positive symbols anymore to share with the world and culturally speaking, Santa Claus must be recast as a Tyler Perry character in the hopes of forever placing a Black man squarely in the residence of the North Pole once and for all.

Santa Claus was once a white gentlemen, who had consumed quite a few to many meals and became the portly, lovably benevolent septuagenarian who all children love to visit at the mall and then impart upon him their most coveted secrets: what they want for Christmas.

For Black children to continue to be told that only a white person can grant them these wishes on Christmas Day reinforces negative stereotypes about the patriarch role of the white man as being forever the protector of Black people:

"Students at St. Stephen Elementary School found out last week that Santa Claus can have the same skin color as them.

That's because two Santa Clauses — one white, one black — were invited to the rural Berkeley County school at separate times last Friday to take pictures with students of the same skin color.

Principal Willa Norton's decision to invite two Santas has drawn criticism from a few parents and from two civil rights organizations, which said the school shouldn't have divided the students by race without asking parents first.

Marguerite Lyons, who found out about the two Santas while picking up her son outside the school Thursday, said dividing the children by race smacked of prejudice. All the children should have seen one Santa, she said.

"I don't care if (Santa) was Chinese or Puerto Rican," said Lyons, who is black. "Everyone's the same."

Norton said everything was done to benefit a student population that is predominantly black and from low-income families. More than 97 percent qualify for free or reduced lunch, and 75 percent are black.

She said most of the children probably wouldn't have a chance to meet Santa otherwise, and she wanted to use the opportunity to let students know that the possibilities are endless.

"It was just an opportunity for my kids to be exposed to a Santa who looks like them," said Norton, who is black. "I just want my kids to know that everyone can do all kinds of things."

She said she even tried to find a Hispanic Santa for the handful of Hispanic children and an Asian Santa Claus for the school's one Asian child.

Parent Jay Paulin, who is black, said he liked that his daughter and the other children could talk and take pictures with a black Santa.

"It shows (Santa) can look like them too," Paulin said.

Norton said she told all of the 489 children that the Santas they met weren't the real Santa, just his helpers who agreed to take pictures while the real one prepared for Christmas."

No, the end of Santa Claus' reign as a white man incapable of hitting the gym is upon us and the correct and racially sensitive image of Santa Claus as a Black person is soon to be the norm in the United States of America. Whiteness is the first causality of diversity and Santa Claus' traditional whiteness must go. He - as an obese white man - is a callous example of cultural imperialism by white people upon the colored masses of the nation.

The end of the white Santa Claus is nigh, and this occurrence couldn't come soon enough for Black people, who have put up with a dominant white culture for far too long:

ATLANTA -- The man in the big chair taking Christmas requests at The Mall at Stonecrest might not fit the image most Americans have of Santa Claus. Though he has a beard, wears a red velvet suit and is pleasantly plump, this St. Nick is African-American.

Two years ago, during the first Christmas season at the newly opened mall in Lithonia, a suburb east of Atlanta, a white Santa was on hand to grant holiday wishes. Then requests started pouring in from African-Americans who said they wanted a Santa their children could relate to. Before long, there were two Santas at the mall, one black and one white.

"They had to try and meet the needs of their clientele, about an equal mixture of African-Americans and whites. I think they are doing that real well by offering both," said Myron Mills, 41, the black Santa who greets children on weekend evenings. "In addition to that, we have put a spin on it. I'm also a unique Santa because I sing."

Like Stonecrest, suburban shopping malls across the country have had to address the issue of diversity during the holiday season. Not only does it apply to Santa's skin color, but it means offering black-theme holiday cards in the Hallmark store, stocking Hispanic-looking dolls in toy shops and selling ethnic designed tree ornaments from carts in the mall hallways.

While African-American community groups and churches in many urban areas have long provided black Santas for children to visit, suburban malls -- where Santa is often the major attraction during the holidays -- often have not, despite efforts dating back to the civil rights era. In the 1960s, for example, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference boycotted Federated Department Stores to get them to hire a black Santa in Cincinnati.

While resistance to the idea remains in some places, diversity has gained support in recent years.

"As people become more culturally sensitive, we are beginning to see more diversity in icons such as Santa Claus. It is becoming more prevalent because America is experiencing a clashing of cultures and a transition," said Deborah Williams, a diversity consultant at Leadership Edge Management Consultants in Atlanta.

"It is difficult because our society has traditionally been based on white dominance. But in this evolution, the needs of changing communities will have to be addressed. And over time, people will become more comfortable with two Santas, a black Santa or one of another ethnicity."

For 9-year-old Zachary Kimmel, a white child who was waiting in line, there is no reasonable explanation for two Santas.

"It's freaky," said the third-grader, who lives in Conyers. "I don't get it because it doesn't keep with the legend of Santa Claus. Everybody knows Santa Claus is white."

His mother, Angie Venham, 35, said she made a conscious decision to come to the mall when the white Santa was on duty.

"There is nothing wrong with people having a selection so they can choose the one they want," she said. "We just wanted to keep down the confusion. You heard the boy."

Jack Greene, 69, a white who is working his 12th year as a Santa and his third at Stonecrest, said he has not noticed a difference in the preference of black and white families.

"Black people don't seem to care that much whether Santa is black or white. I have just as many black kids as white," said Greene. "In fact, some of the black people have said they prefer a white Santa."

Mills, the African-American Santa, said about 95 percent of the children he sees are black or Hispanic."
Santa Claus' days a white guy are numbered, and for many this moment couldn't come soon enough:

"Like shopping for gifts then wrapping them up, some Christmas traditions rarely change. But there's one classic image of the holiday season that seems to be changing color. Still, true believers don't seem to mind.

Black Santas in predominantly African-American neighborhoods have become a regular thing for the holiday season, but lately we see more and more in areas that are mostly non-black.

"Santa is so symbolic in these times and a Santa is a Santa. Kids see no color they just see Santa and they know who he is and they know what he stands for," said Carlton Benjamin, a professional Santa Claus.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn is known as New York City's polish enclave. Yet black Santa is a hit.

Barry Perlmutter owns a company that is a Santa agency of sorts with a multi-cultural crew of Santas ready to be dispatched to any venue in need of a freelance Father Christmas.

Perlmutter said, "I might hear from an adult, not really a child: 'Oh, that's a black Santa or sometimes we have a Spanish Santa and the adults more than the children might feel a little weird, but I want to make sure that we have a diversified group of Santa Clauses that can go anywhere anytime and make everybody happy."

And everybody's happy here at a store in the suburban town of Bay Shore, New York where customers are predominantly white, but their Santa is black -- and good for business, too.

For some kids in this suburban neighborhood, it didn't even occur to them that Santa is black. When asked if they noticed anything different about him, they struggled to find an answer.

But some of the older children did notice something was a bit different.

"He's black," said 9-year-old Michael."

Black Santa toys and decorations are big sells in the Black community and make economic sense for those companies deciding that 13 percent of the United States population is worth placating with merchandise.

Stuff Black People Don't Like includes the traditional views of Santa Claus, even though the myth of a magnanimous elderly individual who bestows presents to morally upright children originated in Europe. Santa - in this current era- is Black and he has a few things in common with Tiger Woods, although Santa has always stopped at three hos.

Black children - and all non-white kids - must learn that the era of white dominance is over, and with the it, the noxious notion of a white Santa Claus too.


RiPPa said...

This was an excellent read, my man. I'm linking this post on my page.

Anonymous said...


White people adopt mostly white children. Micheal Oher is an exception, not the rule.

-Black guy

Anonymous said...

Its about black Santa's. Not about adoption. Put down the Xmas crack pipe - then post

Anonymous said...

Yeah they do, BG. But so the commotion Blacks have been making about the presumed impropriety of Whites adopting Blacks is not due to pressure from fanatic Blacks?

B. Herder said...

Why should 'Santa' be an exception? Hell, black people have been claiming for years that JESUS was black. Santa is small `taters.
I'm just waiting to hear the claims that the Easter Bunny is really a crow.

Anonymous said...

I really hate black people who expect acceptance from white people. It's funny and pathetic at the same time.

-Black guy

Anonymous said...

We have one of those dancing Santas. It's white, and no one cares. Santa is a white man's fantasy, and changing it would be as stupid as a white dude rapping.

-Black guy

Anonymous said...

"Yeah they do, BG. But so the commotion Blacks have been making about the presumed impropriety of Whites adopting Blacks is not due to pressure from fanatic Blacks?"

Ummm, maybe this is why;

Anonymous said...

Black Guy,
You always put the words funny or amusing or some such in nearly every post. Why do your words show nothing but jealosy of whites, obsession with this site, and sullen rancor? It's funny, remember? Show some mirth. I'm sure laughing at you and your inane comebacks.

Anonymous said...

anon 12/26 8:02am,

Jealous of whites? Wow! Based on what I've seen on this site, white people are lame,boring, and obsessed with black people. So much so, that they are lead to believe we don't like Santa Claus. I would have to know white people to be jealous, but if that would make you feel better about your lot in life, go for it.

When I said this site was funny and amusing I meant it. The fact that some posters on this site don't get the "joke" when they agree with the premise is amazing.

-Black guy

Anonymous said...

actually Santa is not a white man's fantasy it comes from Nikolaus who lived in Anatolia (Byzantine Empire back then ,today Turkey).He used to give presents to poor children.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I read the website White Watch like the guy above suggested. Basically it seems to be a rather humorless take on white perverse behavior. Of course the black proclivities toward psychopathology are, shall I say it, whitewashed. My post on that website was:
"I am not white supremacist nor black supremacist. Personally I think, after reading many white nationalist/separatist websites for quite a while, the real disaffection whites have with blacks concerns not blacks’ behaviors per se, but the laws of this nation that make freedom of association suspect, and the apparent support blacks exhibit for suppression of freedom of association. Specifically, whites don’t want their kids to share classrooms with blacks. They would gladly support in a fair manner the educational efforts of American blacks if blacks agreed to leave whites alone during the educational process.
Most whites are well aware their race has been through a very tough time in the 20th century, and has caused much bloodshed; tragically much of it white.
However, the challenge blacks will face in the future is going to come from a very powerful and totally ethnocentric Han Chinese nation. China wants Africa, pure and simple. They will take the parts of it they want and there is not an armed force in the world that can stop them. If you thought whites were bad to Africans, and I admit they were, it is high time to start coming up to speed. Africa is in the 21st century now. White slave days are long since gone. Unless the African people plan on dying out they had better learn to defend themselves."

Anonymous said...

anon 12/26 3:07pm,

You are probably too smart for this site. Somewhere there is a dude who's head just exploded. Since you seem to be new here let my explain how things work. Here is a list of "acceptable" opinions.

1. Obama(I call him the half white dude named Barry.)

2. How much black people suck.

3. Detroit.

4. Black privilege(whatever the hell that is)

5. Kwanzaa(If you're like me and aren't familiar with exact dates the good people here will fill you in). If you miss it don't worry. Black history month is 28 days of pure comedy on this site.

6. Boring and questionable statistics are always welcomed.

You're threading on dangerous grounds implying Santa is not a jolly old white man.

-Black guy

Anonymous said...

From a commentary on Marx in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
"If we start with the idea that the point of ideas of justice is to resolve disputes, then a society without disputes would have no need or place for justice. We can see this by reflecting upon Hume's idea of the circumstances of justice. Hume argued that if there was enormous material abundance — if everyone could have whatever they wanted without invading another's share — we would never have devised rules of justice. And, of course, Marx often suggested that communism would be a society of such abundance. But Hume also suggested that justice would not be needed in other circumstances; if there were complete fellow-feeling between all human beings. Again there would be no conflict and no need for justice. Of course, one can argue whether either material abundance or human fellow-feeling to this degree would be possible, but the point is that both arguments give a clear sense in which communism transcends justice....
Complete fellow feeling... think about it.
So the next time you hear blacks scream "No justice no peace.." ask this a plea for fellow feeling or an incitement to race war? And if it is an incitement, and it seems to be so, why should white people want to stay integrated with these who feel such hatred for us? Isn't this an open invitation to cut all ties with them? But, this also doesn't seem to be the goal for blacks. What they want is even more involvement of whites in their affairs. They want forced integration of schools, for example. This they want because presumably the mere presence of white students will magically rub off on them and help them...? Could any argument be more inane?
And if the first part of the commentary wherein it is stated that justice is obviated in the presence of plenty provided the plenty is unviolently apportioned, I wonder which would be easier for all to achieve? A complete transformation of the American economy in order to ensure each and all have "plenty" and there is no argument AT ALL about the division, or simple social separation given that fellow feeling is much easier achieved in that way?
Thus we see the reason for Obama's rhetoric about transformation. He is well aware the clock is ticking out on the integrationist program. He is well aware the USA is soon to be undergoing secessionism.
I say Long Live a Separate White Homeland.

Stuff Black People Don't Like said...

Actually, that area of the world when St. Nicholas was roaming around happened to be populated by white people.

Regardless, Santa Claus is a myth perpetuated by white people throughout numerous centuries of European folklore.