Melissa Harris-Perry wrote an astute, thought-provoking letter to Santa Claus in response to the ongoing mind-boggling controversy that is still all too prevalent in the year 2013:
Additionally, the Los Angeles Times devoted quite a bit of well-deserved print space to a heartwarming piece about a beloved Los Angeles mall Santa Claus, a 77-year-old man named Langston Patterson:
For nearly a decade, Patterson has been the main attraction at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza during Christmastime: a rare black Santa Claus in a sea of white ones.
The mall, located in the heart of black Los Angeles, is one of the few in the country with a black Santa Claus. Some say Patterson is the only black shopping-mall Santa Claus in the Los Angeles area.
As visitors approached him on a recent afternoon, it was hard to tell who was more excited: the youngsters or the adults. The parents are the most loyal. They return with grandchildren, passing on a family tradition with a deep personal meaning.
Better not tell Fox's Megyn Kelly; she might "jest" about it.
Speaking of the Megster, check out this Moment of Must Read from Juan Cole:
So while St. Nikolaos would probably be considered “white” in today’s America, he would not necessarily have been in the early twentieth century.
Likewise, a Jew from Nazareth would definitely not have been considered “white” by many Protestant Americans in the early twentieth century. There would have been social clubs he couldn’t have gotten into.
But here’s the kicker. Megyn Kelly has an Irish name, and if she is Irish-American, then she would not have been considered “white” by many Protestant northerners in the nineteenth century.
So let's get a few things straight:
Everyone is born covered with skin whose function it is to keep our blood, bones, and organs in place, and that skin has pigment, sometimes more, sometimes less. More pigment means more protection from the sun and inexplicably, more contempt and inequality. Less pigment means more vulnerability and requires a higher SPF, and inexplicably, less ridicule and torment and more privilege.
Religion is "belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods." Belief in a god or some other higher power is not innate, it is taught. We are raised a certain way, trained, and eventually accept or reject our religious/non-religious upbringing.
Prejudice, bigotry, racism, discrimination are also learned and cultivated; toddlers are not racists. Babies do not shun other babies based on their skin tone, nor are they repulsed by anyone's sexual orientation.
People are different. Their world views are different. Their colors, languages, appearances, physical, and psychological configurations are different. Their experiences are different.
We are a huge and diverse crowd that shares one planet, we always have been, we always will be.
Get over it, people. We are woefully-- painfully-- overdue to finally accept and embrace all of those myriad traits, characteristics, beliefs, non-beliefs, hues, heights, weights, and varieties of human beings that inhabit Earth. We live together in one enormous place, and not one of us is better than the other because of where we were born, who we love, what we do or don't believe in, or our genetic make-up. Not. One.
That discussions like these still consume so much media space, debate time, and human energy is bewildering. Then again, that Fox calls itself a news station and continues to draw viewers is equally bewildering.