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Must Santa always be an fat old white guy?

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Rojava Free State
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Postby Rojava Free State » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:43 pm

A debate over a fictional character's race shouldn't lead to public shaming or loss of employment. How absolutely stupid
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Postby Costa Fierro » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:49 pm

The Huskar Social Union wrote:
Costa Fierro wrote:Ah, the local Facebook page that shared a post from someone who made a "comic" making disparaging comments about the person who portrayed Hana Kōkō that garnered national attention is now banning people who say that the criticism of it was racist.

I fucking hate this place.

What were people saying was racist about it?


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Postby Katganistan » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:48 pm

Cetacea wrote:So while other countries deal with gun violence, climate change and child sex trafficking, New Zealand this month has faced no less than two controversies concerning Santa and whether Santa parades can have the jolly Elf portrayed 1) by a Women 2) by another ethnicity (in this case a NZ Maori dressed in a red feather cloak)

People have lost jobs over the debate, Media commentators have had a field day and City Mayors have been forced to apologies to the nation. The fact they are debating a fictional character/marketing gimmick seems to have been overlooked in favour of outrage about tradition and anti-PC-ism.

So oh festive revellers of NSG as we wait for the lolly scramble could you gift me with your opinions - would you be outraged/saddened or confused if your communities local public Santa was non-standard Gender or Ethnicity? Can Santa be portrayed as anything other than a fat old white man?

https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national ... son-locals
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/109054 ... aori-santa
https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/108860 ... -the-boots


As a child, my parents took me to a department store in a predominantly black neighborhood to see Santa. I think my brother and I were like, "Well, ok?" for about two seconds before we were sitting in a black Santa's lap and telling him how we'd fared on the being nice thing.

Santa most definitely does NOT have to be a white dude. If kids are asked to believe that a 300lb elf can with his magic flying reindeer and a sleigh which can only be a TARDIS -- able to speed through time and space and to be infinitely bigger inside his sack of toys than is possible -- to give toys to EVERY kid in the world in ONE DAY, they can believe that Santa appears to them as someone from their ethnicity. So hell yeah, black Santas, and Asian Santas, and Hispanic Santas, and Pacific Islander Santas, and every Santa conceivable.

And hell yeah women Santas. Every been in line to see a mall Santa? Half the kids they put on his lap are crying and terrified. If there's an option and kids can choose Mr Santa or Mrs Santa, well done -- everyone's happy, pictures are taken, parents get their kids' shopping list and no one's scarred for life.
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Postby Katganistan » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:54 pm

Ostroeuropa wrote:I think it depends on the depiction and the logic behind it. There's been movies where Santa is a Rorschach for those around him and see him as their respective race/gender and how Santa is not actually any of them specifically.

This strikes me as acceptable and not inconsistent with the lore. There's also white dude depictions, likewise consistent with the lore given the characters history.

If you're depicting Santa as a christmas entity who is not and has not been human but just sort of happened, then depicting them as any race or gender seems fine to me provided it isn't asserted they are in fact that race/gender. (I.E, it's fine to have a santa who looks like a black woman. Because Santa is not a black woman, not a white man, and this is merely how they present themselves to us.).

If you're depicting Santa as Saint Nicholas or S.N who has transformed into a christmas entity, they pretty much should be a white male.

There's also a mishmash of these two by which you can portray Santa as Saint Nicholas who merged with the spirit of christmas, thereby ceasing to be solely a white male and capable of presenting differently, but who tends toward white maleness because it's what he's most used to.


And then we get to The Santa Clause depiction, where Santa is a title that is handed down upon the previous holders death. This interpretation is acceptable to have minorities and women too, but is likely to go over less well because it involves telling children who say "i thought Santa was a white guy" straight up "Santa's dead kid, i'm his understudy."

The worst of them is going "No, ur wrong, Santa was always a black woman."

If minorities or women are depicting Santa, they should roll with the first explanation. This might piss off some tribalists on both sides since it involves specific denial and rejection of "Black Santa" and so on at the same time as rejecting "White Santa.", but is the only means (other than Clause), by which Santa can be portrayed as a minority or woman without straining credulity beyond that which is normally expected for a Santa depiction.

In terms of "representation" however it also provides the most room to maneuver and allows multiple combinations of demographic to be presented throughout the event, and also provides a means for mall santas to explain away the situation in various means AND explain away how all the various white guy Santas look "Different.".


So let's think this through: Greeks are fat lily-white dudes with white beards now?
https://www.google.com/search?q=Greek+m ... 08&bih=667

Because St. Nicholas was Greek, and I'm not seeing anyone as lily white with button nose and cherry red cheeks here.
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Postby Ostroeuropa » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:12 pm

Katganistan wrote:
Ostroeuropa wrote:I think it depends on the depiction and the logic behind it. There's been movies where Santa is a Rorschach for those around him and see him as their respective race/gender and how Santa is not actually any of them specifically.

This strikes me as acceptable and not inconsistent with the lore. There's also white dude depictions, likewise consistent with the lore given the characters history.

If you're depicting Santa as a christmas entity who is not and has not been human but just sort of happened, then depicting them as any race or gender seems fine to me provided it isn't asserted they are in fact that race/gender. (I.E, it's fine to have a santa who looks like a black woman. Because Santa is not a black woman, not a white man, and this is merely how they present themselves to us.).

If you're depicting Santa as Saint Nicholas or S.N who has transformed into a christmas entity, they pretty much should be a white male.

There's also a mishmash of these two by which you can portray Santa as Saint Nicholas who merged with the spirit of christmas, thereby ceasing to be solely a white male and capable of presenting differently, but who tends toward white maleness because it's what he's most used to.


And then we get to The Santa Clause depiction, where Santa is a title that is handed down upon the previous holders death. This interpretation is acceptable to have minorities and women too, but is likely to go over less well because it involves telling children who say "i thought Santa was a white guy" straight up "Santa's dead kid, i'm his understudy."

The worst of them is going "No, ur wrong, Santa was always a black woman."

If minorities or women are depicting Santa, they should roll with the first explanation. This might piss off some tribalists on both sides since it involves specific denial and rejection of "Black Santa" and so on at the same time as rejecting "White Santa.", but is the only means (other than Clause), by which Santa can be portrayed as a minority or woman without straining credulity beyond that which is normally expected for a Santa depiction.

In terms of "representation" however it also provides the most room to maneuver and allows multiple combinations of demographic to be presented throughout the event, and also provides a means for mall santas to explain away the situation in various means AND explain away how all the various white guy Santas look "Different.".


So let's think this through: Greeks are fat lily-white dudes with white beards now?
https://www.google.com/search?q=Greek+m ... 08&bih=667

Because St. Nicholas was Greek, and I'm not seeing anyone as lily white with button nose and cherry red cheeks here.


Those guys all look pretty white to me tbh. You might be confusing white for aryan white. I'm not sure if there's a category term for the rest, non-aryan white?

Dunno. Ultimately it's about cultural sensitivity and cultural appropriation, and i'm not convinced subcategories of white are a thing the overwhelming majority take seriously. Sort of like "X should be played by a welshman" followed by "Well actually, it should be played from someone from Powys, as he was from that particular duchy which was an independent kingdom at the time." and its like... yeahhh we don't think that way about ourselves anymore.

If you view it as cultural property and buy in to the appropriation stuff, then as a result of a thing akin to a merger where "White" became the category rather than subsets of white, your point doesn't actually change anything.

Also not convinced "Lily-white" is an appropriate term to use tbh, especially given its political connotations. Strikes me as pretty racist of you to use it in this context where you're essentially telling people their skin color makes them a member of a radical hate group. Like "ISIS Brown" when discussing Arabs or something, "Terrorist-speak" for arabic and so on.

Maybe you didn't know. Maybe the person you got it off didn't know. But somewhere along the way, a racist black person used it in this context and it got to you. Probably because you haven't been policing yourself to ensure you aren't being racist to white people from some ideological inclination against such a thing, analogous to if your immune system just up and decided one day certain types of virus weren't things it needed to protect your body from.

Alas, progressives.
Last edited by Ostroeuropa on Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:29 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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The Alma Mater
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Postby The Alma Mater » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:48 am

Katganistan wrote:
Ostroeuropa wrote:I think it depends on the depiction and the logic behind it. There's been movies where Santa is a Rorschach for those around him and see him as their respective race/gender and how Santa is not actually any of them specifically.

This strikes me as acceptable and not inconsistent with the lore. There's also white dude depictions, likewise consistent with the lore given the characters history.

If you're depicting Santa as a christmas entity who is not and has not been human but just sort of happened, then depicting them as any race or gender seems fine to me provided it isn't asserted they are in fact that race/gender. (I.E, it's fine to have a santa who looks like a black woman. Because Santa is not a black woman, not a white man, and this is merely how they present themselves to us.).

If you're depicting Santa as Saint Nicholas or S.N who has transformed into a christmas entity, they pretty much should be a white male.

There's also a mishmash of these two by which you can portray Santa as Saint Nicholas who merged with the spirit of christmas, thereby ceasing to be solely a white male and capable of presenting differently, but who tends toward white maleness because it's what he's most used to.


And then we get to The Santa Clause depiction, where Santa is a title that is handed down upon the previous holders death. This interpretation is acceptable to have minorities and women too, but is likely to go over less well because it involves telling children who say "i thought Santa was a white guy" straight up "Santa's dead kid, i'm his understudy."

The worst of them is going "No, ur wrong, Santa was always a black woman."

If minorities or women are depicting Santa, they should roll with the first explanation. This might piss off some tribalists on both sides since it involves specific denial and rejection of "Black Santa" and so on at the same time as rejecting "White Santa.", but is the only means (other than Clause), by which Santa can be portrayed as a minority or woman without straining credulity beyond that which is normally expected for a Santa depiction.

In terms of "representation" however it also provides the most room to maneuver and allows multiple combinations of demographic to be presented throughout the event, and also provides a means for mall santas to explain away the situation in various means AND explain away how all the various white guy Santas look "Different.".


So let's think this through: Greeks are fat lily-white dudes with white beards now?
https://www.google.com/search?q=Greek+m ... 08&bih=667

Because St. Nicholas was Greek, and I'm not seeing anyone as lily white with button nose and cherry red cheeks here.


Not to mention that throughout Europe, Saint Nicholas and Santa Clause/Father Christmas are seperate persons - and Saint Nicholas is almost universally portrayed as a long, rather thin man. Not exactly a fat Santa.

But he is mostly white nowadays. Used to be black centuries ago, but isn't now.
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Postby Page » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:34 am

It's the most wonderful time of the year, the time of Christmas themed reactionary outrage.
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Postby Saiwania » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:35 am

The most common contemporary depiction of Santa (the red suit, White/fat/old one) was supposedly created by the Coca Cola company. It is purely a seasonal logo for retailers.
Last edited by Saiwania on Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Costa Fierro » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:37 am

Saiwania wrote:The most common contemporary depiction of Santa (the white/fat/old one) was supposedly created by the Coca Cola company. It is purely a seasonal logo for retailers.


Even though this depiction dates from a poem penned in 1821.
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Postby The Sakhalinsk Empire » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:38 am

He can be Sgt. Winter
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Postby The Free Joy State » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:00 am

Katganistan wrote:
So let's think this through: Greeks are fat lily-white dudes with white beards now?
https://www.google.com/search?q=Greek+m ... 08&bih=667

Because St. Nicholas was Greek, and I'm not seeing anyone as lily white with button nose and cherry red cheeks here.

Apparently, this is St. Nicholas of Myra
Image


But don't tell the kids who think of the jolly plump elf who shakes his belly like a bowlful of jelly and has rosy red cheeks and a nose to match (that's, realistically, either blood-pressure or the amount of sherry he apparently drinks). It'd break their hearts.

As for Santa's race, age and gender, I don't think it matters if Santa is Caucasian, black, Hispanic, Asian, old or young, male or female.

In fact, there's a long -- although somewhat mixed -- history of African American Santa Clauses. Viewed as a cause for amusement in the early 1900s, African American Santa Clauses became more widespread and were later part of the civil rights movement.

From the link:

Rev Otis Moss Jr, a regional director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, hit back [at claims that not hiring an African American Santa had nothing to do with equality], saying: "If a department store cannot conceive of a black man as Santa Claus for 30 days, it most assuredly cannot conceive of his being president or vice president for 365 days."

The store caved in and hired a black Santa the following year, something that began happening with increasing frequency across the country in the early 1970s, including at Macy's flagship New York store.


So, it's not as though non-Caucasian Santa Clauses are new.

Anyway, Santa Claus isn't the pigmentation that Coca Cola deemed necessary to sell their products in the 1920s; or even the beard or belly.

In addition to the gifts -- which, let's face it, most kids want the gifts -- Santa is an embodiment of the ideal of thinking of others/being "nice". And that ideal doesn't need to be represented by an elderly Caucasian man.
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Postby TREY DAVIS » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:05 pm

Hurdergaryp wrote:
TREY DAVIS wrote:It's a joke comment.

Is it even possible to laugh when no entertainment was to be had?


Humor varies, some people find things funny and some don't. Now I shall leave it at that.

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Postby Major-Tom » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:37 pm

He's whatever people think he is. White, black, blue, who cares?
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Postby The Huskar Social Union » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:44 pm

Costa Fierro wrote:
The Huskar Social Union wrote:What were people saying was racist about it?


Have a look through here.


.....

*Owen Wilson saying wow meme*

Sweet fucking Odin, yeah i can see why they can call that racist.
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Postby Hatterleigh » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:34 pm

Vassenor wrote:To follow up on what I said, a good chunk of the deities associated with the winter solstice are in fact female. Including, but not limited to Alcyone, Ameratasu, Bona Dea, Cailleach Bheur, Demeter, Frau Holle and Frigga, among others.

So what? Santa isn't a diety, he's a saint.
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Postby Hatterleigh » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:39 pm

Katganistan wrote:
Ostroeuropa wrote:I think it depends on the depiction and the logic behind it. There's been movies where Santa is a Rorschach for those around him and see him as their respective race/gender and how Santa is not actually any of them specifically.

This strikes me as acceptable and not inconsistent with the lore. There's also white dude depictions, likewise consistent with the lore given the characters history.

If you're depicting Santa as a christmas entity who is not and has not been human but just sort of happened, then depicting them as any race or gender seems fine to me provided it isn't asserted they are in fact that race/gender. (I.E, it's fine to have a santa who looks like a black woman. Because Santa is not a black woman, not a white man, and this is merely how they present themselves to us.).

If you're depicting Santa as Saint Nicholas or S.N who has transformed into a christmas entity, they pretty much should be a white male.

There's also a mishmash of these two by which you can portray Santa as Saint Nicholas who merged with the spirit of christmas, thereby ceasing to be solely a white male and capable of presenting differently, but who tends toward white maleness because it's what he's most used to.


And then we get to The Santa Clause depiction, where Santa is a title that is handed down upon the previous holders death. This interpretation is acceptable to have minorities and women too, but is likely to go over less well because it involves telling children who say "i thought Santa was a white guy" straight up "Santa's dead kid, i'm his understudy."

The worst of them is going "No, ur wrong, Santa was always a black woman."

If minorities or women are depicting Santa, they should roll with the first explanation. This might piss off some tribalists on both sides since it involves specific denial and rejection of "Black Santa" and so on at the same time as rejecting "White Santa.", but is the only means (other than Clause), by which Santa can be portrayed as a minority or woman without straining credulity beyond that which is normally expected for a Santa depiction.

In terms of "representation" however it also provides the most room to maneuver and allows multiple combinations of demographic to be presented throughout the event, and also provides a means for mall santas to explain away the situation in various means AND explain away how all the various white guy Santas look "Different.".


So let's think this through: Greeks are fat lily-white dudes with white beards now?
https://www.google.com/search?q=Greek+m ... 08&bih=667

Because St. Nicholas was Greek, and I'm not seeing anyone as lily white with button nose and cherry red cheeks here.

Greek people live in the sunny island nation of Greece. Santa lives in what is literally one of the coldest places on earth with half of the year spent in darkness and the other half spent with what is still a very low sun. Santa needs the blubber, it isn't a surprise at all he has lighter skin compared to your average greek, and he has cherry red cheeks because it's cold in the north pole. Also, just to clarify, Greek people are white. We're all on board with this right?
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Postby United Capitalist Federations » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:40 pm

Andsed wrote:
United Muscovite Nations wrote:It's a purpose of a bastardization of the Christmas season.

What? Is this is the ¨war on Christmas¨ myth?


How is that at all conveyed anywhere in either post?

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Postby United Capitalist Federations » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:43 pm

Page wrote:It's the most wonderful time of the year, the time of Christmas themed reactionary outrage.


It's highly humorous to me that you label anyone who admires or accepts traditions as a "reactionary".

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Postby Costa Fierro » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:20 pm

The Huskar Social Union wrote:


.....

*Owen Wilson saying wow meme*

Sweet fucking Odin, yeah i can see why they can call that racist.


And none of what is said there doesn't surprise me one bit. Hell my own parents have said the same things that are in there.
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Postby Valgora » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:22 pm

What I want to know is why the fuck did we make him fat?
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Postby Napkiraly » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:25 pm

Yes.
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Postby Napkiraly » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:25 pm

Valgora wrote:What I want to know is why the fuck did we make him fat?

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BigFun
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Postby Jeministan » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:28 pm

I met a black santa once

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Postby Xmara » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:16 pm

Santa embodies the spirit of giving, and the spirit of giving is for everyone. Why should it matter what he looks like?
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Postby Pope Joan » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:58 pm

some ignorant people actually fly into a rage if Saint Nicholas is portrayed as dark-skinned, although that is probably close to historically accurate.

Blame Clement Moore.

Some traditions have the three wise men be the ones who bring the gifts, which is at least tangentially biblical.

In the original poem, St Nick was an elf, with a miniature sleigh and tiny reindeer. We started thinking of him as big and fat around the time that many Americans were thin and underfed; maybe it appealed to our fantasies. Coke thought that celebrating chubbiness was a fine thing, and has mined that meme every Christmas for generations
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