The symbolism of the most powerful TV personality in America — an African American — interviewing the First Family — African Americans — was not lost on The Nation’s Melissa Harris-Lacewell, who suggests it’s time for a black Santa:
Black Santa will not cure the fundamental inequalities that shape the lives of black children and poor children of all races. He does not bring justice in his sleigh. Still, racism’s assault on black life is not just substantive and economic; it is also symbolic and psychological. Navigating the symbols of whiteness during Christmas always make the holidays a little harder for many of us.
As I watched Oprah Winfrey chat with the Obamas in the beautifully decorated White House, I felt like this holiday season was a little brighter in a darker hue.
In Tallahassee over the weekend, Soul Santa gave kids in the community someone they can relate to, according to organizers.
“We wanted to make sure the kids in this community could identify with a Santa,” said LeVerne Payne, one of the founders and original organizer of the event. “Some of these kids don’t get the chance to go the mall and see Santa.”
When does racial symbolism matter?
While reading Harris-Lacewell’s essay, I was watching White House spokesman Robert Gibbs’ daily briefing and was struck by the hue of the White House press corps.