Remember Megyn Kelly's bombastic announcement a few years ago that Santa Claus "just is white ... he is what he is"? Well, she's not going to be happy when she hears that the Mall of America doesn't agree: and they've hired their first black Santa in 24 years to prove it.
“This is a long time coming,” said Landon Luther, co-owner of the Santa Experience, which has run a photo studio at the mall for years. “We want Santa to be for everyone, period.”
The new Santa's real name (guys, remember that Santa isn't real?) is Larry Jefferson. He met Luther at a Santa convention in Branson, Missouri. According to The Root: "Of the 1,000 Santa impersonators in attendance, Jefferson was the only black one."
The Star Tribute explores what drove Jefferson to Santa-hood in the first place: "Jefferson officially began donning the red suit in 1999, but his love of playing St. Nick started as just a boy."
"After his father hurt his back, a 12-year-old Jefferson took on the role of Santa in the Arkansas family home, divvying up presents for his younger siblings," it continued. "It was a role that stuck, continuing long after he joined the U.S. Army infantry and served abroad in the Gulf War." Jefferson also volunteers for Project SPIRIT, an after-school program for black children in St. Paul Public Schools.
Unsurprisingly, most kids don't really give a f*ck what race their Santa is, as noted by Luther himself: “What they see most of time is this red suit and candy,” Jefferson said. “Santa represents a good spirit. I’m just a messenger to bring hope, love and peace to girls and boys. Anybody can be Santa; it’s what’s in your heart.”
[Photo: Screenshot from YouTube]