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Can This Santa Help Diffuse Racism in America?

Santa is about peace, love and putting a smile on children’s faces. And for the children in Southern California’s Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, Santa is looking a lot more like them.  While Mall of America’s black Santa, Larry Jefferson-Gamble, is continuing to receive a mix of support and backlash from racist Christmas lovers across the country.

Eighty-one-year-old, Langston Patterson, pushes forward with his hope to bring children of all ages and races together to celebrate the holidays in a loving way.  For him, it’s not what Santa looks like but rather what he represents.  The most important question he receives isn’t “why are you black?”  It is simply “are you the real Santa Claus?”

Do you think that Patterson and Jefferson-Gamble can help diffuse some of the racism in America?

Feel free to watch and share “Black Santa” on “60 Second Docs.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yiVyhJSsmo

SantaAccording to an article in Huffington Post, a black Santa Claus at the Mall of America in Minnesota, giving children of color a Kringle that looks like them at the nation’s biggest shopping destination.

Naturally, some people just can’t handle this, and racists are taking to social media to denounce Larry Jefferson-Gamble,  a retired U.S. Army veteran who has been playing Santa since he was 12 years old.

Trolls invaded the comments section of articles such as a CBS Minnesota report, where they posted insulting and racist remarks. The comments function was ultimately turned off ― although many of the posts are still visible in the article.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune turned off the comments function of its article on the mall’s first black Santa before it was published based on past experience with trolls.

But this was one battle the trolls wouldn’t win, as many others took to social media in support of the black Santa.

What do you think?

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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