Santa Claus aka Frank Skinner has been fired by the Mall at Waycross Shopping Center in Waycross, Georgia, for the sin of wearing a Trump hat when no children were around.
Skinner, who has worked at this mall for 14 years and who says he has played Santa for going on 50 years now, said he put the hat on for a quick photo near the end of the evening when no children were around. He then posted the photo to his personal Facebook page.
“It really was an innocent thing. It really was,” he told First Coast News.
In a Facebook post, Skinner went into more detail:
It was about time to close at the mall for Santa. There were no children around and on a whim I decided to switch hats and pose with a President Trump hat. For fun, I took the picture for personal use, with my personal phone. Later, for laughs, I posted it on my personal Facebook page. I certainly was not trying to create a firestorm by doing that but simply intended to post the photo on my page for a little humor, as I have many friends & family who like me, support our president. I knew they would enjoy the photo and get a laugh. Obviously, that turned out to be poor judgment on my part. I didn’t anticipate how upsetting that would be to some members of our community. For that, I’m deeply saddened and apologize.
Unfortunately, after posting the photo someone went to my personal Facebook page and took a screenshot to use and report. I don’t know the exact actions taken by that community member from that point, on, but somehow the Mall management received a request for the removal of my trump hat, (request sent out of context as if I wear it all day) & First Coast News received the photo as well. The news contacted the mall management for a statement. The statement the mall received claimed I would be replaced and from that point, on this, all became a massive controversy.
When I spoke to the Mall management they advised me that I would be removed from the rotation for a few days to investigate. Then I read the statement made by the Mall Management to the news and gathered I had actually been fired
Apparently, the mall announced his firing in response to receiving the photo through social media:
“We apologize for this occurrence and will be addressing this right away,” the mall’s management wrote in response to a social media complaint. “The Mall at Waycross does not support any specific political party. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Kindly, Mall Management”
“I just felt like my constitutional rights were being taken away,” he added.
Skinner believe someone saw the photo on his Facebook page and ratted him out to the mall management.
“I in no way meant to cause anyone discomfort,” Skinner told First Coast News. “At the time I thought it was harmless fun. Now I realize in this day and age that I should not have posted it. Obviously it did offend some folks. I can assure everyone that was not my intent. I have learned a lot from this. Going forward I will keep this in mind.”
I think we can all agree that it was not a smart move for Skinner to put the hat on while at work, but no one’s claiming he put it on in front of children, no one is saying they saw him wearing it at the mall, so after 14 years, why not a quiet reprimand for Skinner and an assurance to irate customers that it was inappropriate, it has been addressed, and it will never happen again?
The firing is a massive overreaction on the part of the mall, but this is what happens when you have a billion-dollar media industry spending those billions on a fascist cause to turn support for Trump into something socially unacceptable.
Obviously, Skinner’s constitutional rights were not violated. The mall can hire and fired whoever they want. But America’s social compact was violated, a social compact that says we shrug off harmless mistakes, deal with them in private, move on…
Anyway, would it surprise anyone if President Trump invites Skinner to the White House to play Santa?