For nearly a decade, Langston Patterson has donned a red Santa suit while greeting squealing fans at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in South Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The only thing that sets him apart from some other Santas around the country is that he’s black. So, yes, Megyn Kelly, there is a black Santa. We know you were just joking when you insisted on Fox News that Santa is white, but Patterson is an example that Santa can be an all-inclusive figure.
Recently, Arlene Graves watched from the sidelines as her godson talked with Santa, the Times reports.
“I just don’t want him to think that all greatness comes from a different race,” Graves, 45, told the Times. “There are Santa Clauses his color doing good work, too.”
Patterson’s post is located in the middle of the mall, where he brings smiles to frightened children and shares laughs with their parents. For the last two months of the year, he works seven days a week for four hours a day at the mall in the predominately black community.
“I never even thought about it,” the 77-year-old told the Times about his job. “I’m just giving back and making the kids happy.”
He got the job by happenstance in 2004. While seated at the food court, a mall worker asked if he wanted to be Santa, he told the Times. He knew it was his beard that had caught the worker’s eye. Ever since he had stopped shaving, he told the Times, people often told him that he resembled Santa.
But that was not the only draw. He told the Times that he took the job because he remembered the elaborate Christmases that his parents created for him and his four siblings in Houston during World War II.
His dad would wear a Santa suit and boom, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” in the middle of the night, to their delight, he told the Times. Then they would dash downstairs, just in time to see Santa sneak out the door.