Recently Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly sparked controversy when she insisted on air that both Santa Claus and Jesus are white. Some stores like to use black Santas so that children of colour can see someone they can relate to more. The State Library of Queensland recently had a singalong and photo session with Murri Claus, an Aboriginal Santa.
What do you think? Does Santa have to be white? Does it matter?
If you want to look at origins of Santa Claus, than he is likely Dutch and thus Caucasian. But if Santa is mythical, does it matter what colour his skin is?
I like the idea of being more inclusive, but then why not just popularise the mythical figures of other cultures as equally important, rather than changing this one? Isn't that implying that this cultural tradition is more important?
Santa Claus also if not female. We don't make Santa female to be more inclusive, and I find including Mrs Claus is not 'feminist' or equal representation, but hey look, even Santa has a subservient wife who plays second fiddle to his awesome.
As for Jesus, given his appearance was never given before his death, he was likely unremarkable looking for the time and place he was in, and thus probably Middle Eastern, and tanned darkly from spending a great deal of time out doors. I think he should be depicted, then, as he was to the degree to which that is possible. It might help our culture get over being afraid of Middle Eastern folk.
Actually, way way up North you get the Inuit and the Aleut (they used to be called Eskimoes), who are not white. But the Santa is a creation of Caucasions so it makes sense for him to be Caucasian too. But I don't quite understand people getting upset if a store wants to employ a black Santa.
Santa is a character from Western culture and a Christian holiday. Historically, this was a white world, so it is only natural that Santa Claus be classified as white. Also the myth of Santa coming from the North Pole indicates that he should be white. I think it is silly to make everything race related. The colour of his skin does not matter.
As for Jesus, he should technically be more of an olive oil or darker colour than white, based on where he was born.
The Santa we are familiar with was designed by Rockwell for Coca Cola. He used to wear green before that - and be variations of skin colour. So I have no issue with variations, but I am of the Coke Generation, so if you say Santa, that jolly fat fellow in Red & White is who I see...
The artist who designed that campaign for Coke based his image on earlier illustrations with the same red and white suit. Coke just borrowed and popularised the image.
I have heard a theory that the red and white actually represent the hallucinogenic mushrooms used by Siberian shamans, and that the flying reindeer was to do with the reindeer consuming the mushrooms and tripping. I don't know if it's true but it's interesting.
Well, even as a child I couldn't quite believe in Santa Claus's existence, especially not in South India, where Santa would have experienced heat+humidity perennially. Since Santa(s) I've known or read about are males and originate in North Pole, I've assumed that he is white, for other unknown reasons.
But the real purpose of Santa I've assumed is to set the kids their own annual performance appraisals - yearly judgement day every Xmas - where their behavior through that year is assessed to determine if they're gifted the desired presents or not. And they get to meet the bubbly, loving angel and receive gifts personally from him.
Guess that as an added bonus - he brings along Mrs. Santa (to satisfy gender equality movements) and his smart set of goblins to create a jolly atmosphere for everyone.