Anthony Newerls has been the Santa at the Atlantic Terminal Mall in Brooklyn, New York for 10 years. People have been going out of there way to come see him all that time because he does such a good job speaking to their children, and spreading Christmas spirit. He is exactly the same as every other mall Santa across America, except for one little fact, he's black.
"Growing up, I had never encountered a black Santa. The first black Santa was the Santa that I encountered as a partner here at the mall," said Newerls. He also said that he vividly remembers the first time that he felt that he was being treated differently as a black Santa.
He remembers splitting shifts at the mall with another black Santa during his first year sitting in Santa's chair. That the other man he was working with was a couple of shades darker than he was, and that was making people wait until Newerls was on duty.
"More people would come on my shift, than on his shift, and that let me know that there was a comparison in who the parents decided they should take pictures with," he said.
Even though popular culture has almost forced us to accept that "Santa can only be white," tons of people are still more than happy to have their kids sit on the knee of a black Santa.
Brooke Burt brought her daughter to see Newerls, and her daughter absolutely loves it.
"I didn't necessarily seek out a Santa of color, but I'm glad that we did find one because I think it's important to show your children diversity in all sorts of religions and cultures," said Burt.
Desiree Gist is another visitor to the Atlantic Terminal Mall Santa, and she makes a very valid point as well. "You have different cultures, so why not have different Santa's?"
Newerls' presence as a mall Santa isn't making everyone happy. Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly went on what can be described as a racist rant on live television when she aimed her commentary at children who might be watching.
"And by the way for all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white," said Kelly.
Santa is a symbol, and as long as the suit the man is wearing is red, trimmed in white, that's good enough for me.
Have a Merry Christmas everyone.