Once and for all…
Santa Claus is a fictional character. He does not exist. He originated from Sinterklaas, the Dutch St. Nicholas, patron saint of children who lived in the 4th century. The modern story of Santa Claus arose in the early 1820s when Clement Clark Moore wrote ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’.
By the 1930s Coca Cola was bringing images of a red suited, jolly Santa to the world. Does he really exist? No. Is he white? That depends. Which Santa are you talking about? The one on the TV show with Rudolph that you watched last night or the one that you saw at the Mall last week?
Santa Claus is a state of mind, a representation of goodness, and if it makes African-American (or Asian or Hispanic) children feel more included to give their wish lists to a Santa of their race then no, Santa does not have to be white. He is, and always has been, whatever a lonely child needs him to be.
On to Jesus. Jesus is a historical person. It’s hard to find references to him in history books because oddly enough, there’s a HUGE chasm between religion and pretty much every other facet of the secular world these days, but yes Virginia, Jesus did exist.
Jesus however, was not white. For this one I’ll ask you to simply turn on your TVs and look at any report coming out of the Middle East. Now quickly shut it off, because any news report coming out of the Middle East isn’t going to be pretty. If there’s good news in that part of the world, you won’t hear about it in the West.
The reason I asked you to do that was to look at the PEOPLE. Notice what they look like. You didn’t see a lot of blonde hair and light skin did you? Probably not a lot of blue eyes either.
The first ‘white’ men recorded in Palestine, what is now the Holy Land, were the Romans. Jesus was a Jew, born in Galilee to Jewish parents. As the Bible, the Talmud and the Quran all agree, he certainly existed, but he likely would have looked like your typical Palestinian of today, with dark hair and eyes.
Me personally, I don’t get why either Santa Claus or Jesus have to be white’. It doesn’t matter to me.
Good kids will still get Christmas presents from a black Santa and I can still feel love from reading the teachings of a Jesus with dark, curly hair. Or from those of Mohammad or the Buddha for that matter.
But that’s just me.