|Don't let that mean lady tell you I'm not real!|
It was Christmas 1962 or '63. My dad was taking my brother and me down to his office in the Central District of Seattle. Rainier Avenue South ran through the neighborhood where most of the African-Americans lived. My dad referred to them as Negroes in those days. I never heard him say the other "N" word. As we passed a corner storefront, we saw Santa Claus with red suit, white beard, and . . . dark skin.
"Dad!" I don't remember what else we said. I do remember my dad explaining that it was one of Santa's helpers. That made sense. It was the same line we got when we saw different Santas in different stores even if they all tended to look like us (skin-tone-wise, that is). Dad may or may not have explained more but my little brain understood that it made perfect sense for Santa's helper to be a Negro where all the Negro kids lived (1963).
Now we hear that FOX News is escalating its war on the war on Christmas with Megyn's declaration that kids should know that Santa Claus is "white." Jesus too. Eh? I haven't yet met either one, but I'm pretty sure Jesus, at least, is not Irish or Danish. Santa? The original St. Nicholas was from Turkey, so I'm not sure what that means. Of course, I'm not quite sure what she meant by "white" either.
So, for Megyn and Fox News, I find this very appropriate:
Megyn, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Megyn, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Megyn, there is a Black Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Black Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Megyns. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Black Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Black Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Black Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Black Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Black Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Megyn, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Black Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Megyn, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.