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End to racial divide can start with Santa

Could it be time for a black Santa Claus

Dear Sir,

Isn’t it time for “black Santa Claus”? I know that Santa Claus isn’t real, so he could even be purple or green.

As we notice the stores in Bermuda starting their seasonal advertisements and the stocking of their shelves, why do our two largest chains still promote Christmas for the children of Bermuda with “white Santa” reading letters with a British accent — letters full of requests for well-deserved rewards and a Christmas parade, with “white Santa” extending greetings and distributing free treats?

Are they not concerned that they may be passing year after year the subliminal message to all children with impressionable minds that this is what your Christmas benefactor looks like? And possibly all benefactors in their future lives? Or have the owners and managers just never considered such?

Do we ever question that the person who is supposed to be the reason for the season and the fabricated Santa Claus are represented in the same way despite supposedly coming from entirely different parts of the globe?

And why do blacks still participate in this?

Blacks still attend the Christmas Parade in droves. Yes, it is fun to catch the candy and, yes, we delight in seeing our children perform in majorettes and bands, but are we spending our Christmas money, where we, the majority population, are seemingly disregarded and not represented year after year in this small but significant way?

White people, are you ready for this? Are you prepared to have your children believe that Santa Claus could be black just as easily as we all have been indoctrinated to believe that Jesus is white? Would a Santa with a Bermudian accent reading your children’s letters on television be acceptable to you or would you need to follow it up with, “Well, dear, that’s not the real Santa”?

This small, fabricated but popular part of the community events that we have chosen to relate to the celebration of Christmas could help to inculcate subconscious ideas of pre-eminence or dependence in our generations. That is because we have yet to straddle the racial divide.

For our children, in this instance, after many, many years of “white Santa”, we can start with simple but significant choices. We can choose to be more thoughtful and inclusive of the majority population of the island, or we can choose to keep things as they are, or we can choose to go with green or purple.


Hamilton Parish