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‘Black Santa’ Campus Display Prompts Controversy

A “Can Santa Be A Black Man?” bulletin display was removed from Indiana University this week after student complaints over it blew up via social media outlets.

The billboard included a colorful paper cutout of a black Santa playing a saxophone with questions posted in red and green paper stockings alongside that questioned “If Santa Claus is a black man, wouldn’t all the presents be stolen” and “If Santa Claus is a black man, wouldn’t he only visit the ghetto,” according to the Indiana Daily Student newspaper.

The NBC affiliate WTHR reported another question posed to students was: “If Santa is a black man, would you let him come down your chimney?”

Students were encouraged to write their responses to the questions.

Mark Land, the university’s associate vice president of public affairs and government relations, told the Indiana Daily Student that the display was “created to provoke a discussion about racial stereotyping. … The idea was good — the intent to create a forum for discussion — but the execution was off the mark.”


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