In light of a steady stream of racial profiling incidents reported in the media and the firestorm generated by Megyn Kelly over her thoughts on Santa’s skin color, we find out now that Macy’s has a “special” black Santa Claus that they’ve basically kept hidden for what could be many years.
Animal New York posted this story with the video above on its website this week, showing the twists and turns that their correspondent had to journey through to visit this jolly St. Nick. If you happen to know about him, you have to ask an elf to direct you to him. It’s like black Santa is also speakeasy Santa. If you don’t know what to say to get past the door, you can’t see him.
While it’s great that Macy’s recognizes a multicultural celebration of Christmas, it’s a fail that they don’t publicize it.
As this CBS News report shows, some people really appreciate that this Santa is offered. And as a couple of people on the street note, while it’s a welcome option, the more important thing for the kids is that Santa is there, taking wishes and spreading good cheer.
What’s weird, however, is that Macy’s doesn’t announce the alternative. A mother in that report says she’s been going for years, and has spread the word about him to her friends, even traveled a ways to take her kids to this Santa. But when approached by the news station, the retailer had no comment. The store’s VP of Media Relations Elina Kazan ultimately told CNN, “At Macy’s, we have upheld the tradition and believe in our hearts that there is only one Santa Claus, and that Santa is all things to all people who believe in the spirit and goodness of Santa.”
Ms. Kazan talks about Santa spirit, but the actions of the retailer don’t back that up. In fact ,the statement sounds a little defensive rather than a loud and proud declaration that they have Santas of different races. Black Santa is hidden away like a dirty secret they don’t want getting out. And some people take it that way. A shopper is also quoted on CNN: “It just adds to more division in my mind because if you just put them all out in the same place, then it would just be a choice of whoever walks up as opposed to a form of segregation, which is the way it seems like.”
When you hide something and make people search for it, that doesn’t make it special. Rather than contradicting the idea that Macy’s has a problem with racial diversity and diverse customers, this story adds to the evidence that it could be true.