There’s a black Santa Claus at the Mall of America in Minnesota, giving children of color a Kringle that looks like them at the nation’s biggest shopping destination.
Naturally, some people just can’t handle this, and racists are taking to social media to denounce Larry Jefferson-Gamble, a retired U.S. Army veteran who has been playing Santa since he was 12 years old.
Trolls invaded the comments section of articles such as a CBS Minnesota report, where they posted insulting and racist remarks. The comments function was ultimately turned off ― although many of the posts are still visible in the article.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune turned off the comments function of its article on the mall’s first black Santa before it was published based on past experience with trolls.
But this was one battle the trolls wouldn’t win, as many others took to social media in support of the black Santa:
Jefferson played Santa at the mall through Sunday, and will now return to playing the jolly old elf in the Dallas area, according to AP.
“Kids love Santa no matter what color you are,” he told The Huffington Post last week.
(h/t Raw Story)
CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to reflect that the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s comment section was turned off when the story was published, not in response to negative comments.