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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Can Santa Be a Black Man?

Posted by on Dec. 9, 2013 at 9:00 AM
  • 104 Replies

Appalling Billboard That Asked 'Can Santa Be a Black Man?' Had to Go (VIDEO)

by Maressa Brown

can santa be a black man billboard IUFor a season that's supposed to be the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year," we sure have to contend with some pretty nasty, bigoted behavior from our fellow humans during the holidays, huh? This week alone, we heard about the "War on Hanukkah" sign, and now comes news out of Indiana University in Bloomington about a ridiculously offensive, racially charged Christmas-themed residence hall display.

The billboard, placed near the entrance of the Foster Quad residence hall, was posted by staff and students from IU’s CommUNITY Education Program, which hoped the board would provoke discussion about racial stereotyping. But by posing questions like, "Can Santa Claus be a black man?" it was really more shocking and appalling than anything.

The board also asked residents, "If Santa is a black man, would you let him come down your chimney?" and "If Santa Claus is a black man, wouldn't he only visit the ghetto?" alongside notepaper for students to respond, with hopes that the activity would prompt productive conversation. Face. Palm.

While it's important to point out to students that stereotyping exists and is wrong, this disturbing display was far from the right way to teach that lesson. I can't believe anyone in their right mind OK'ed it in the first place.

It's a relief to hear that the billboard has since been taken down. From the university's official Twitter account:

IU Spokesperson Mark Land also acknowledged that while good intentions fostered the project’s creation, its execution missed the mark. Uh, I'll say! Thankfully, the incident was followed up with "a discussion about diversity and the bulletin board controversy," which is probably what they should've done before there was any such controversy to discuss ... but hey, at least we can hope everyone learned from the egregious mistake!


What's your reaction to this display?

Click here for video from 13 WTHR Indianapolis

by on Dec. 9, 2013 at 9:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Debmomto2girls
by Platinum Member on Dec. 9, 2013 at 9:03 AM
2 moms liked this

I am not getting what is offensive about this bulletin board on a college campus?

my4kids274
by Member on Dec. 9, 2013 at 9:04 AM

I agree with you.

Quoting Debmomto2girls:

I am not getting what is offensive about this bulletin board on a college campus?


numbr1wmn
by Gold Member on Dec. 9, 2013 at 9:04 AM

why not

NeonGirl9583
by on Dec. 9, 2013 at 9:04 AM
1 mom liked this
I think it is a Santa for every race.
rfurlongg
by on Dec. 9, 2013 at 9:07 AM
1 mom liked this
Santa should be relatable to your children. If a black Santa is more relatable, so be it.
tanyainmizzou
by on Dec. 9, 2013 at 9:07 AM

So a class teaching about white privilege is a good thing for fostering discussion but a board asking these questions isn't?


I don't get it.

norahsmommy
by Bronze Member on Dec. 9, 2013 at 9:08 AM
2 moms liked this
Of course Santa can be whatever ethnicity people want. He's fictional! Dang. I don't see what is offensive about the billboard. I think its just asking a question to make people think.
-Teeter-Totter-
by on Dec. 9, 2013 at 9:08 AM
Another day. Another group of buttholes.

That's my thoughts no matter what they were 'trying to convey'.

There are plenty of ways to get a point across without being an ass.

Santa can be any skin color you wish. He's everyone's to love and believe in. And everyone has every right to picture him as they wish.

AlekD
by Gold Member on Dec. 9, 2013 at 9:09 AM
1 mom liked this
Saint Nicholas from modern-day Turkey and would have had an olive complexion.
denise3680
by Gold Member on Dec. 9, 2013 at 9:10 AM

I do not think making young people look at stereotypes is wrong, but if they have not learned that lesson by the time they get to college, then they are not going to learn it at all:/ JMO.  I don't find it offensive, it does force people to think about race and how people react to it:/

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