HOW SANTA UNIFIED A COMMUNITY

Chris & Iddy Kennedy and their 4-year-old Emily live in a tranquil subdivision in North Little Rock, Arkansas.  They, along with their neighbors, take pride in their homes, keeping them in good order, manicuring their lawns and shrubbery which even look better during the holiday season decked with twinkling lights and the characters that we associate with Christmas, including Old St. Nick.

Everybody loves Santa because of the goodness of his heart.  He brings toys to GOOD boys and girls around the world, and somehow efficiently delivers all of that on the eve of December 25th.  Even FedEx and UPS can’t claim that kind of service.  And I capitalized GOOD in the previous sentence because that should not be dismissed cavalierly.  Santa Claus emphasized that all little boys and girls should listen to their parents and follow their lead, help their parents with the household chores of life, and love them with all their hearts.  If you’re a parent, you’ve got to love the guy – maybe not so much if you’re a sniveling mischievous rug rat worried that the only gift under that evergreen decked in tinsel is a charcoal briquette with the snot’s name engraved on that piece of coal.  I never witnessed that myself because I – along with my siblings took the position that we were God’s gift to our parents…if not plagued by our moments of angst and frustration that every human being suffers from, with the exception of the Christ Child in that stable of sinners, which didn’t include Mother Mary…dear OLD MOM.  I grew up at a time when everyone loved their mother even if she could be a BITCH at times, just like us kids.  That phenomenon might not exist in the 21st Century at the present moment, but, I think it’s still safe to say, that most people LOVE their mama.

The Kennedy parents of four-year-old Emily shared the magic of Santa Claus with their beloved child.  Let’s be honest adults, we LOVE the fact that our children – be they our own – or that of a sibling – bring GLEE to our hearts when their cute as a button kids eyes light up our souls as we relive the magic of Christmas as we experienced it when we were still innocent – like they are to us.  The anticipation of finding presents under that tree was overwhelming including the fear that there might not be a present.  Kids don’t question economics when they’re under ten, so, the conclusion, if you didn’t get much, was that you didn’t pass cheery fat Santa’s litmus test of being GOOD, or was it GOOD ENOUGH?

So the Kennedy parents, like parents all over the globe, had within their home visual representations of Santa Clause in his red and white cotton fluff outfit with that big black belt and that even bigger buckle along with black boots topped off with an elves hat – but this one was red with a white cottontail’s tale that would be nothing less than an homage to Brer Rabbit and family.  The only thing some might say was different is that each of those githerments, be they in the form of photos, artwork, quilts, and statuary featured a Santa with an AFRICAN shade of skin.  As they expressed in a TV interview, “Our daughter from day one was exposed to only Santa’s that looked like her.  We wanted that for her.”   That seems fair enough.  They wanted to raise their daughter as they saw fit and who reading this truly disagree with that notion in America?

So, it was no surprise that Chris Kennedy, the patriarch of Emily’s home, set-up an African American Santa Claus blow-up doll on their front lawn as the piesta-resistance ensemble focal point of the family’s quest to spread good cheer in spite of the darkness of a pandemic 2020.  What turned out to be surprising in the year 2020 was that someone pretending to be the REAL Santa Claus (with an accompanying glossy photo of an Icelandic-Polar-WHITE-SC inside the envelope to prove it) wrote a letter informing the NEGRO that it would be wise for the NEGRO to remove the BLACK SANTA (with the if you get my drift, insinuation from the BALTIMORE CATECHISM FOR RACISTS).

I can’t imagine anyone reading this who can’t or won’t relate to the right to put on their front lawn whatever they deemed appropriate for any upcoming official holiday season or Halloween, –which in my opinion is way too much for a pagan American celebration!  WHAT should have been nothing less than a moment of hope, joy, and to all men of goodwill — love, and peace expressed by a young family, obviously in love with each other and the zen that power holds for their future turned sour because of someone’s insensitivity to diversity.  You couldn’t help but see in the Kennedy family’s COLLECTIVE smile, which took on a life of its own showcasing a love expressed with a familial hug as both Mama and Papa squeezed their baby bear,   the apple of their eyes who wished the news reporter interviewing them a Merry Christmas and then looking into the camera did the same to all watching.

Besides the prominence of their touch – father, child, mother in a giant hug flashing their magically majestic eyes that radiated happiness that was pure as the white driven snow and as sweet, and soulful as one could ever plead God to grant (which is either white or black BUT nothing to do with the color of one’s skin).  One is a colloquialism and the other is a cultural colloquialism and whoever heard that the meeting of two colloquialisms might prove harmful?

A concerned patriarch’s mood of fear for the safety of his family filled the screen with the emotional stress that no man or woman living in America in 2020 should have to accept.  Frankly, it was downright disturbing even to this viewer.   But then the FATHER turned that stress into energy that provided him the confidence to protest the absurdity of the REAL Santa Claus letter that was so obviously a fake…I mean, where was the postmark to be found – The North Pole – on that envelope?  It sure looked missing in action to Mr. Kennedy and to all who viewed the interview.

But never fear dear Reader that Santa Claus, the real, real Santa Claus, the one that’s GOOD was not about to waste a crisis that if manipulated righteously would make the miscreant realize how big of a FOOL on the HILL he really was in his own community.  I’m not sure if the real, real Santa Claus guided them or not but Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy decided to share with their neighbors the insult they had endured.

To the surprise, I’m sure of the miscreant who wrote that hurtful letter, the neighbors and their neighbors and their neighbors and their neighbors supported one of their own, the Kennedy family by going out and buying the largest African American Santa blow-up dolls they could find and placing them prominently on their front lawns.  Within a week the lovely subdivision of North Little Rock, Arkansas, populated mainly by WHITES, overflowed with African American Santas spreading the love of one’s fellow man at Christmas and hopefully throughout the year via their extended and open blow-up-arms.

Thank you, Santa for bringing so many together to support one’s right to enjoy life, love, the pursuit of happiness, and yes, even planting a Santa that looks like he might be from Botswana rather than North Pole, Alaska, a small city near Fairbanks whose postmark is coveted.

Besides being a man of unquestionable ethics advocating good over bad, unifying a divided land of countrymen was/is just one more reason to love jolly Old St. Nick and why we owe him a big UP for bringing us together.  Buon Natale, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, Merry Christmas to all men of goodwill and HO-HO-HO to your heart’s content.

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