Earlier this month a controversy arose after a tongue-in-cheek column written by Aisha Harris, a woman of color, was published online at Slate.com, suggesting maybe it’s time that Santa Claus is no longer depicted as a white man.
A Fox news host, Megyn Kelly, commenting on air about the Harris column, caused a firestorm by saying Santa is most certainly white and that Jesus is too. After many expressed outrage at Kelly’s comments, she later said that she, like Harris, had simply been making tongue-in-cheek observations and that her critics just don’t have a sense of humor.
This seasonal brouhaha has us wondering: Does it matter what race Santa or Jesus is? Tell us your thoughts.
Saint Nicholas was a Greek man who was also known as Nikolaos of Myra. He was a historic 4th-century Christian saint and bishop. “Santa Claus” comes from Dutch versions of his name and title. Regional and cultural traditions about his activity since then have widely varied. I believe the way Americans commonly picture him, race, clothing and all, is derived from vintage Coca-Cola advertising. So there’s the historic man and there’s the ongoing tradition of Santa.