Just in time for the holidays, a self-styled cultural rights group is launching a campaign against Santa Claus to protest what it calls “a deliberate campaign of psychological warfare against racial, sexual, religious, and obese minorities.”
The organization, the Citizens’ Coalition against Cultural Corruption and Capitalist Cruelty, argues that Santa Claus has conveyed harmful stereotypes and inflicted generations of children with various forms of repression.
“We just want to make the Annual Winter Holiday Solstice Event Season more socially just and fair to non-white, non-Christian, non-gender-specific children everywhere,” said Regina Simon, executive director of CCCCCC. Simon argues that the traditional Santa Claus/Annual Winter Holiday Solstice Event Season image is loaded with insensitive symbolisms.
“Look at any depiction of Santa Claus, for example on the cover of a children’s book, and you can see the injustice,” she said. “You typically see white children, never any African-Americans, Latino-Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans or Native Americans; always a boy and a girl, never a homosexual, lesbian, transgender, or transsexual child.”
Simon also contends that many illustrated children’s books reflect and embrace class divisions by depicting a smiling, wealthy Santa Claus greeting well-dressed children in their warm, comfortable homes on Annual Winter Holiday Solstice Event Season Eve.
“What about the impoverished children, the ones forced to live in homeless shelters by their capitalist oppressors? Why does Ole Saint Nick never visit low-income neighborhoods?” she said.
Revolutionary Soldiers of Racial Justice, a progressive civil rights group, joined in the chorus of complaints. Mufassa Ajil-Kholar, director of RSRJ, called Santa Claus “a shameful depiction of white supremacy and dominance.”
“You never see Santa Claus visit a public housing project,” he said. “He doesn’t want to visit little black children who, thanks to the white-capitalist-slavery-industrial complex, disproportionately populate such areas.”
Simon said the image of Santa Claus as an obese man also perpetuates harmful stereotypes.
“You have an overweight man being lured to children’s homes by milk and cookies, as if he’s some kind of dog being enticed by a treat,” she said. “Whoever came up with this unfair depiction of Santa obviously believes that overweight individuals cannot help but eat fatty foods. Leave some cookies and in comes the fat man.”
Also under fire is the classic Annual Winter Holiday Solstice Event Season story of Santa Claus looking out for which children are naughty and which are nice. The so-called good children get presents, but the bad children only get a lump of coal.
“This is outrageous discrimination!” Simon stormed. “Why should some children get presents, but not others? What defines good and bad, when such terms are relative to the individual anyway?”
Ajil-Kholar also protested the good children/bad children construct as racially unjust class discrimination.
“The so-called ‘bad kids’ are disproportionately low-income minorities living in neighborhoods riddled by crime, drugs, and poverty,” he said. “Santa Claus wants to punish these kids even more by denying them equal treatment and presents and by furthering the gap between rich and poor, white and black.”
Ajil-Kholar said that all children have a right to presents and believe that Santa Claus should begin a dialogue with the so-called bad children to, as he put it, “understand their situation as a function of the class system, racial injustice, social injustice, racial-social injustice, and socioeconomic injustice.”
Simon said she would like to see Santa Claus distribute presents to all children, become an advocate for more government programs to alleviate social ills, and lobby for a more just tax system which would help all children by making all parents pay their fair share.
Both organizations will launch joint television and radio ads against Santa Claus, in addition to gathering petitions against shopping mall outlets to protest the Annual Winter Holiday Solstice Event Season tradition of the Mall Santa.
Ajil-Kholar said he is optimistic that Santa will evolve into a more just Annual Winter Holiday Solstice Event Season character. “This culturally-integrated oppression will be defeated, just as Jim Crow was.”