‘This is so stupid’: Black Santa in shopping mall causes internet meltdown (VIDEO)
Larry Jefferson-Gamble may have the bushy white beard and eyebrows, old-fashioned granddad spectacles and warm smile but that wasn’t enough to satisfy many who were upset at the ‘non-traditional’ depiction of Father Christmas.
A retired veteran of the United States army, Jefferson-Gamble has been dressing up as Santa since he was 12, so experience is not the problem. Many complaining online felt this was political correctness gone too far.
@USATODAY This is so stupid. Tell them to do the first woman Santa next to prove how non-sexist they are. Smh.— Andrew Donchez (@andrew_donchez) December 2, 2016
I'm all for integration but who's fucking idea was it to make a black Santa. I fucking hate this political correctness bullshit— Mike VexiCan't (@MikeVexian) December 3, 2016
@HuffingtonPost Well A— Jesus Christ (@GoddZeus) December 5, 2016
St.Nick was doing his thing when the blacks where still in the jungles clicking their language
@AP why in the world do they have to change Santa!? Hes never been black!! WTF— Gonzalo Guillen (@gonzoguillen) December 2, 2016
The comments section of the Minnesota Star-Tribune had to be suspended because of the heated exchanges and inappropriate posts regarding the story.
Yet those happy with the idea of a black Santa far outnumbered the critics.
@StarTribune Good for the Mall of America! Santa is for every child.— Kim Randolph (@kimr55760) December 4, 2016
Many were keen to point out the true origins of St Nicholas, as well as Jesus.
Holly crap a Black Santa, what's next a Jewish Baby Jesus? #blacksanta— Shel B (@ShelBcomedian) December 4, 2016
For those offended by a black Santa Claus, this is for you. For centuries, the Ethiopian Coptic church has depicted Jesus as black. pic.twitter.com/J0wa47EsdC— Khaled Diab (@DiabolicalIdea) December 5, 2016
People are upset about Mall of America having a Black Santa but Santa is based off St Nicholas and he's Turkish so he's not even white— Gabriella ✊🏾 (@GabriellaZGreen) December 4, 2016
Jefferson-Gamble himself isn't letting the critics get to him, insisting he "ignores the negativity" and surrounds himself with "positive and energetic people."
"As I portray Santa Claus I've got to be around happy people who want to celebrate the holidays – whether it's Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Ramadan or Merry Christmas," he said.
"People who are negative about it, I don't pay any attention."