Sunday, 4 December 2016

Black Santa: Good Santa




An American mall has hired a Martian Santa Clause!

No, that's not true.

In fact, the Mall of America, in Minnesota, has hired its first black Santa in 24 years. And, judging by the headlines I've seen, you'd think they'd hired a Martian.

Take the UK's Metro newspaper. It proclaimed:

That’s because this year, the Mall of America has hired its first black Santa in 24 years of trading. And we are pretty darn excited about it.”

So what? Perhaps this mall has never done so before for a whole host of reasons. Perhaps no black person has ever applied to be a Santa. Perhaps the percentage of blacks in this city of Minnesota is relatively small. (In fact, African Americans make up 5.4% of Minnesota; so this has to be factored in.)

This reminds me of the endless fuss made about the supposedly low proportion of Muslims/Asians and blacks in the British Parliament.

In 2015 there were 650 Members of Parliament. 41 of them were black and “Asian”. That's 15%. Yet, roughly, blacks and Asians make up only 9% of the British population. That means that blacks and Asians are simply not discriminated against in Parliament. Indeed, according to these figures, blacks and Asians are over-represented in Parliament!

The thing is that if so many people think it's such a big deal to have a black Santa, then this could be a case of positive discrimination – and that's not a good thing. Positive discrimination is, quite simply, racist. It's racist in both the positive and in the negative sense.

The articles I've seen on this black Santa only hint at racism, rather than state it. We're meant, in other words, to assume racism; even though there's no evidence to support such an accusation.

Larry Jefferson was hired over 1,000 other candidates. Were the other 999 job-seekers all white? Probably not. Let's just hope Jefferson's a good Santa; not just a black Santa.

Nonetheless, Jefferson said:

There needs to be more Santas of color, because this is America, and kids need to see a Santa that looks like them. That helps kids to identify with the love and spirit of the holiday, you know?”

Yet child psychologists have been telling us for years that young children don't think in terms of another person's skin colour. They say that they're, in fact, “colour blind” until they get “socialised” into being racist. So how does that factor in to these comments?

Despite saying stuff about “people of color”, Jefferson did sum up the fuss when he said: “But gosh, I’m just Santa!” He also said that people were making “a big deal about this because I’m a black Santa”.

Jefferson can't understand the fuss. In fact he said it's “hilarious to me”.



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