This weekend I popped into the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza to pick up something for my grandmother. I wasn’t particularly pleased about having to brave the mall during the great American shopping frenzy, but the nonetheless, it’s Grandma. What are you going to do?
So while I’m in the mall, I remember that I wanted to take a photo with Santa. Now before ya’ll get to sending me emails, no, I do not partake in the celebration of Christmas. I’m a Umoja Kujichagulia Ujima Ujamaa Nia Kuumba Imani kind of girl, if you know what I mean.
The only reason I was even willing to sit on a grown man’s lap and be pictured doing it no less, was that I had intentions of kicking off a campaign on my site that would encourage others to email me their family holiday photos. The photos were going to be used for a montage I wanted to create on my site showing the diversity of our families from coast to coast. Similar to the Jena 6 Day photo montage I posted earlier this year.
Now, back to the story.
So I get over to Santa’s Winter Wonderland and the crowd of determined parents with that “I’m gonna get my holiday photo today if it kills you” look in their eyes as they fuss over their fidgety young kids, most of whom don’t know what to make of the scary person dressed in red that keeps belting out “ho ho ho” only to terrify the kids even more, but I digressed. Well anyway, I get over to the line for Santa only to find out that Santa had lightened up quite a bit. In other words, Santa was not Black.
After I picked my face up off the floor, I went over to Santa’s Little Helper and asked what the deal was. All I see in line is little Black and brown kids with their parents. Where is the multicultural Santa? I’m sorry but if I am going to place my ass on the knee of a grown ass man in a red suit and give him his kicks for the day, the least the mall can do is provide me with a Black Santa. Hell, I’d even settle for a light skinned Santa and share in the holiday spirit with the many Latino families that were also in line.
Now if you live in Los Angeles, south of the 10, east of the 405, west of the 110, and north of the 105 freeways, then you know like I know that the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza is more or less considered the Black and brown mall of Los Angeles. The mall is situated on at the intersection of Crenshaw and King Blvds., and we all know that wherever there’s a street named after Dr. King…well then there you are.
So now given that 99 percent of the malls patrons are Black and brown, why then would the mall hire a Santa Claus that is not?
Santa’s Little Helper, Latino herself, I don’t think quite understood where I was coming from. And with a line of anxious parents to contend with, I didn’t rate high on her list of priorities. No worries, I hit it cause I’ll be damned if I am going to take a picture with a Santa Claus that isn’t African-American.
But this isn’t over yet. I’m going to contact the mall’s management today to find out what the deal is with the Black Santa. As much money as Blacks spend up in that mall, I feel that the least the mall can do is make sure that its Santa Claus is representative of the people it serves. Don’t you?