The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, welcomed its first-ever black Santa in 24 years this week (video below).
WCCO reports that Larry Jefferson was discovered at a Santa convention in Branson, Missouri, over the summer.
Jefferson inked a four-day contract to work at the famous mall, and then will return home to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to do his regular Santa gigs, notes the Star Tribune.
The Star Tribune interviewed numerous people who had positive accolades for Jefferson, but Scott Gillespie, the editorial page editor for the newspaper, tweeted on Dec. 1: "Looks like we had to turn comments off on story about Mall of America's first black Santa. Merry Christmas everyone!"
While the comments were turned off at the Star Tribune, the comments at the conservative website WorldNet Daily were flowing and filled with racism:
"Santa scares the little kids as it is can't imagine what they will think about a fat blackman in a red suit. Santa was invented by white Europeans and keeping with tradition should be white. Blacks have nothing to do with christmas, but they are more than welcome to [participate]. Somehow a black santa on a sleigh pulled by 7 wildebeest landing on a grass roof just doesn't get it for me."
Other comments included: "He won't last long if he doesn't knock off that 'Ho, Ho, Ho' when the sistas be walkin' by ..."
"I don't think it would go off too well if he is caught going down someone's chimney."
"Now that is clever! If they want a black santa why don't they put him to work in Harlem!"
"Yeah, I want to see a white Shaft or Kunta Kinte."
"Saint Nicholas was white. It is revisionist history or possibly secularization of a Christian holiday. Because St. Nicolas was from Turkey pretty soon the Mall of America will have a Muslim Santa Clause. The Mall of America is in Minnesota and in Minnesota anything can happen."
"I mostly don't care, but I hear black people always complaining about cultural appropriation. If having a black Santa is what it takes for people to magnify Christ in their life than maybe we will see less racial tension in society."
"Blacks want revenge and it appears their strategy is working."