Last week in a school in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, (about 15 miles north of Albuquerque) a teacher was in hot water after telling a black student that was wearing a Santa hat and beard in class, “Don’t you know Santa Clause is white? Why are you wearing that?” Students prior to that day were told they could come to class dressed as Santa, an elf or a reindeer.
The school has put out a statement saying that the teacher was “disciplined,” but not actually what the disciplinary action consisted of. The parents of the boy said that the teacher apologized to the family and the boy has been switched to another classroom.
This incident comes on the heels of Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly saying on the air that both Santa Claus and Jesus were white.
It is true that both Santa and Jesus are most often depicted as white, but it’s an absolutely ridiculous thing to claim that Santa even has a race or that Jesus in the flesh was actually white.
A Santa Character was in fact fabricated by Western culture, which is why we often think of him as being European descent, but the idea behind Santa is that he’s a man bearing gifts ALL OVER THE WORLD (to good children). His mythical being is often tied with the altruistic spirit behind Christmas; and yes of course he’s a guy in a red suit that we have fun with for the sake of our children on December 25th. To think that non white families can’t conjure up an image similar to their own likeness is silly in itself because of the mythical nature behind the whole story. He’s made up for freaking sake, why are we even worrying about this?! Why are Fox news reporters trying to prove he’s a white guy? Oh wait, nevermind: They are Fox News, and this is what they do.
Sorry, but one specific race or specific culture, not even pop culture, owns the myth of Santa at this point. How do people even begin to think that they could dictate what an imaginary figure looks like in other families’ minds?
The modern day pop culture depiction of him was largely created by cartoonist, Thomas Nast (a German man) and Clement C. Moore who wrote A Visit from St. Nicholas which later became known as Twas the Night Before Christmas, and is widely used as what many of us typically think of Santa looks like. But just because a cartoonist colored the guy with a peach-toned stroke, doesn’t mean that that’s the one true Santa. I really have trouble even getting past the fact that people feel the need to argue over a made up guy. It’s like saying the Easter bunny has white fur, it should be a non-issue.
But on the other hand, Saint Nicolas who was a 4th century Greek predecessor of Santa is often portrayed as having darker skin.
Jesus has been studied by archeologists and they have determined that he indeed is not white and probably looks something similar to the image below.