Finally, someone has stepped up to treat the Santa Claus race controversy with the seriousness it deserves. CNN anchor Don Lemon interviewed four Santa Clauses of different races last night to declare once and for all who was the real Santa.
It has been a long week and a half of debate over whether the Greek/Turkish Saint Nicholas and his fictional counterpart Santa Claus have a fixed racial identity, but no one had yet addressed the primary source in this debate, Santa Claus himself. Lemon, who had previously weighed in on his new show The 11th Hour declaring that his personal Santa Claus was black, spoke to both a Santa “expert” (a little girl on the street) and four different Santa Clauses, making for a very strange four-way split screen.
The Santas — White Santa, Black Santa, Latino Santa, and Filipino Santa — all made their cases for why they were the real Santa. Latino Santa (who was white, “Latino” is not a race) made the compelling point that “kids enjoy Santa overall,” and it does not matter to children what color skin they see.
Filipino Santa had more to say, presumably because, as Lemon accurately notes, “we have heard even less” from Asian Santas. He noted that children never ask him “Why is he Asian?” or “Why is he short?” but instead, “they love me.” Everyone, he contended, was free to believe in the Santa that made them most comfortable, and his added skills as a “hip-hop dancer” (it was never explained why Asian Santa had magical hip-hop dancing skills) only cemented children’s love for him. Black Santa agreed with both, adding that he had felt no “displeasure” from children when they saw him at Christmastime despite not being white.
After teasing him for “hog[ging] everything, the history books,” Lemon gave the floor to White Santa. White Santa did not feel intimidated by the other Santas, instead welcoming them to the fray. After all, the world is a very big place to travel in one night– White Santa needs all the help he can get.
Having declared themselves equally legitimate, the debate settled, Lemon concluded with a plot twist: declaring himself Santa Claus. The other Santas seemed pretty content to pass down the crown.
Watch this amazing pre-Christmas-vacation cable news clip from CNN last night below: