This week sparked a debate about whether or not Santa Claus is an old, bearded, white man. An article, “Santa Claus Black or White? Why It Matters,” in the Liberty Voice turned the question into a political broohaha about the significance and importance of acknowledging and addressing the color of Santa’s skin in our day and age. Huh?!?! The argument started because a blogger named Aisha Harris wrote a piece in which she “appears to have suffered, as a child, a deep psychological crisis over Santa’s skin color.” And, instead of leaving well enough alone, Fox News host Megyn Kelly took exception with Aisha’s issue, joked about it, and proclaimed, “Santa just is white.”
As a Jew, I’m not sure it’s politically correct (or appropriate) for me to weigh in on this, but…I must say it…(if you’re under the age of ten stop reading here…and if you still believe as an adult…SPOILER ALERT!!!!) Santa isn’t real! Neither is the Tooth Fairy. Neither is a Leprechaun. Neither is Cupid. Sorry, but these guys aren’t real individuals. They have no special powers. Their skin color is completely arbitrary!
Once again I find myself wondering why people focus on the “packaging” of things instead of the contents. Why do we judge a book by its cover? Why do we think an attractive outward appearance automatically belies a pretty inner person? The same way God isn’t a kind, gentle, jolly old man with a beard (after all…God is female anyway!), neither is Santa.
We all should work hard to NOT judge ANYONE by the way they look. The color of someone’s skin or hair should not matter. What does matter is how a person behaves: what he or she does and says.
Santa Claus (and this season in general) merely personifies concepts and values…peace, love, happiness, charity, hope, faith, goodwill, etc. These are the spirits and ideals on which Christmas — and Judaism — are based. This time of year — and all year — we should strive to make these part of our lives. This is the way we will make our world — and ourselves — better.