Old Navy is launching a virtual “Santa BOOT Camp” on Friday to train would-be Kris Kringles of color in the art of spreading holiday cheer and make the ranks of the people who play the iconic Christmas character a little less white. But as conservative pundits and politicians stoke white grievance and a national battle rages over the teaching of critical race theory, one of the original Black Santas has some advice for the newbies who intend to don the red suit this season: Disarm the bigots with Christmas cheer.
“I’m not about politics and I’m a faith-based Santa, so I know I am not the reason for the season and I’m happy to share that with anyone willing to listen,” Dion “Santa Dee” Sinclair, aka “The Real Black Santa,” told NBC News. “But if I’m not your kind of Santa, that’s OK. I will keep smiling and wishing the kids Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.”
Besides, Sinclair said, “the kids don’t see color. All they see is Santa Claus.”
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“It is a concern,” another of America’s premier Santas, Tim “Santa Tim” Connaghan, said when asked about the anger over nonwhite Santas. “Change is hard for some people, and things are definitely changing.”