Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

A Man Attacked for his Black Santa Display Decides to Become a Black Santa Himself

Now THIS is the Christmas clapback we needed to see.

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Image for article titled A Man Attacked for his Black Santa Display Decides to Become a Black Santa Himself
Screenshot: HBO Max via YouTube (Fair Use)

Two years ago, Chris Kennedy received a racist letter criticizing his Christmas display of a Black Santa Claus on his front lawn in Lakewood, Arkansas, per The Washington Post. Ironically, the anonymous letter was signed by someone claiming to be the real Mr. Claus. Kennedy didn’t remove his Black Santa but instead, he trained to become one himself.

The letter Kennedy received accused him of being a racist and “jealous” of white people (as if). They also demanded the removal of what they called the“negro” Santa Claus. To this day, no one knows who wrote the letter, per The Post.

I am a caucasian (white man, to you) and have been for the past 600 years. Your being jealous of my race is no excuse for your dishonesty - Obviously your values are not that of the Lakewood area and maybe you should move to a neighborhood out east with the rest of your racist kind,” read the letter.

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You know what else Santa has been for the past 600 years? A figment of the imagination completely subject to interpretation. I can imagine the anonymous Santa was furious when they heard about the new Little Mermaid.

Anyways, in response to the letter, Kennedy not only kept up his Santa display but actually added another one next to it. Per The Post, his neighbors showed a great deal of support. Though, Kennedy was left determined to address the issue this incident exposed: a lack of representation. After the ordeal, Kennedy signed himself up for Santa Claus bootcamp.

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More from The Washington Post:

“I couldn’t let hatred win,” said Kennedy, 35, who is a data verification analyst. “You don’t like me having a Black Santa in my front yard? I will go and be the Santa Claus for the entire city.”

Initially, Kennedy started dressing up as Santa for his then 4-year-old daughter, Emily. He rented his first Santa suit two years ago, after the hateful letter, and they posed for pictures.

When the opportunity arose to partake in “Santa Camp” — an annual program run by the New England Santa Society — Kennedy was on board. Organizers contacted him after hearing his story and explained that they were seeking Santas of various backgrounds to join their group.

It was clear that “they really wanted to push things forward and be more inclusive,” said Kennedy, who had never heard of Santa Camp before.

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Kennedy’s journey can be followed in the documentary, “Santa Camp,” where, at the time, he was the only Black candidate. Per The Post, he will be the primary Santa for the Southwest Little Rock Christmas and City of Maumelle Christmas parades. What was meant to breed hate and intimidation turned into something positive and tremendously impactful.

“I’m going to be the Santa for kids that look like me in my area and coming here has given me the tools to be able to do that to the best of my abilities” he said in the documentary, after burning the hateful letter.