Earlier this week, a newspaper ran a sweet story about the Mall of America’s first black Santa Claus, but they were not expecting the backlash they received shortly after.
Larry Jefferson is a retired U.S. Army vet from Texas and hence considered one of the best candidates to dress up as a “Santa to everyone.”
“What they see most of the 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.”
However, when the Minneapolis Star-Tribune did a piece on him, its comments section was soon flooded by a spew of vile, racist comments.
According to the editorial of the newspaper, the comments about the black Santa were so unpleasant the newspaper had to close down the story’s comment section.
Looks like we had to turn comments off on story about Mall of America's first black Santa. Merry Christmas everyone!https://t.co/BQVm24DH6y— Scott Gillespie (@stribgillespie) December 2, 2016
“Looks like we had to turn comments off on story about Mall of America’s first black Santa. Merry Christmas everyone!” Star Tribune writer Scott Gillespie posted.
A similar case of a hate-filled comment section occurred on CBS Minnesota’s version of the story as well. The station also chose to close down the comment section for this particular article.
However, the move didn’t stop racists from venting out their frustrations from other online channels, including Twitter.
But this is one war the grinches won’t win, as in the spirit of Christmas, people soon came to the defense of the veteran.
Watching people meltdown over a Black Santa in the Mall of America. "Santa is white!" Well, in our internment camp he was Asian. So there.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 3, 2016
@StarTribune Good for the Mall of America! Santa is for every child.— Kim Randolph (@kimr55760) December 4, 2016
santa can't be black but our president can be orange? ok...— jas (@avocadomami_) December 4, 2016
@StarTribune I just love this photo. Santa is so jolly and has a REAL BEARD! Merry Christmas!— Myxomatosis (@Myxomatosis225) December 4, 2016