Christmas in Living Color

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Francis Pharcellus Church September 21, 1897, edition of The (New York) Sun.

It is amazing to see how the fun filled hope, healing and illumination in this season of giving are not immune the rhetoric of racial division. Last week an article entitled “Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore “It’s time to give St. Nick his long overdue makeover” by Aisha Harris attempted to remove the negative aspects of cultural “Whiteness” from mythical Santa Claus.

While Harris’s honest portrayal of her own feelings and passions from experiences as a youth may have raise some eyebrows. The raised eye brows she caused where most certainly singed in a flashpoint, when Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly made the decision to interject her own personal opinion into the matter. She is quoted as saying:

thCASNA7AK“Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change. Jesus was a white man, too. He was a historical figure. That’s a verifiable fact — as is Santa. I just want the kids watching to know that. My point is, how do you just revise it in the middle of the legacy of the story and change Santa from white to black?” 

While on the surface this attempt at satire, as characterized by Kelly after the fact, would seem to be harmless albeit clumsy. Kelly, also days later claimed that both she and the Fox News Network were victims Race Baiting and of yet another Left-wing Media prompted attack. This Tongue and Cheek would be palatable if this weren’t tragically true in the case of an African America New Mexican boy who’s teacher told  him to take off his Santa hat with beard because Santa is White.

On the other hand, her statement that the historical figure Christ was White, was neither humorous nor histrionically accurate; but it speaks to cultural ethnic preconditioning at its worse.

We must be reminded that broad stroked comments like Kelly’s, on any side of the political or ethnic spectrum, lead masses of followers to politically or racially polarized corners. Meanwhile, this clandestine nature of partisan political philosophies along with their various talking points manifest into real self fulling prophesies of ethnic/cultural division. We live in a changing country that is reflective of our surrounding world where White is no longer the baseline default norm that everything and everyone else is measured against to assign viability and value.

Back to the Jesus matter; Jesus was multi-ethnic as described in Matthew 1:1–17  with only the possiblepuzzle-2 exclusion of European ethnicity in his genealogy. Finally and most importantly, the Bible has this to say about the physical appearance of Jesus:

 “He grew up before Him like a young plant and like a root out of dry ground. He didn’t have an impressive form or majesty that we should look at Him, no appearance that we should desire Him.”  Isaiah 53:2  (HCSB) Holman Christian Standard Bible

“Santa Claus exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.”

These intangibles create the foundation upon which we can begin to pivot away from fixed symbols of imagery and the baggage that they carry and move toward the healing and empowerment of  Synergy through “Building the Bridge Together”.

Kevin Robinson Executive Director of Accord1

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