Monday, December 16, 2013

Santa is white, but he doesn't have to be

Santa is a fictional being. As such, he is whatever we say he is. I imagine most people will say that he is white, therefore, he is white. Done.

Of course this also means that he doesn't have to be white. If we think he has some other assortment of visible genetic traits that we might classify as race, then he is that other race. Or maybe he's any race.

I imagine that I'm going to continue to think of Santa as white for a long time. Maybe the rest of my life. Anyone can think he's not white. I'll find that strange, but that doesn't mean that they are wrong, or that I'm right. In fact, I might be wrong to find that strange. I may be the strange one for thinking that he is white.

We could dig around for historical facts to back up one side or another. I could point to the European origins of Santa Clause-like beings, such as St. Nicholas. Of course the actual St. Nicholas was Greek, so he was probably not as pale as the Santa I'm picturing. This leaves me to point to American tradition, which has a pale Santa Claus. Of course tradition is not as traditional as we think, tending to change over time, sometimes even very quickly.

A white Santa, regardless of the demographics of the US, isn't wrong. But it isn't right either.


Unknown said...

"Santa is a fictional being."

Damn it man, you ever heard of spoiler alert!

Thanks for ruining Christmas :(

Klepsacovic said...

I uh... um. Troll post! Yea. I was just messing around. We all know Santa exists, and of course he's as white as freshly fallen snow. Not that snow after it's been shoveled and has dirt and bits of grass in it, but snow contaminated with nothing but airborn particulates.