Black Santa in Shopping Mall Causes Internet Meltdown

An African-American Santa Claus at Minnesota’s Mall of America has found himself at the center of a Twitterstorm after a deluge of disapproving tweets criticized his hiring.

Larry Jefferson-Gamble may have the bushy white beard and eyebrows, old-fashioned granddad spectacles and warm smile but that wasn’t enough to satisfy many who were upset at the ‘non-traditional’ depiction of Father Christmas.

A retired veteran of the United States army, Jefferson-Gamble has been dressing up as Santa since he was 12, so experience is not the problem. Many complaining online felt this was political correctness gone too far.

Jefferson-Gamble himself isn’t letting the critics get to him, insisting he “ignores the negativity” and surrounds himself with “positive and energetic people.” 

“As I portray Santa Claus I’ve got to be around happy people who want to celebrate the holidays – whether it’s Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Ramadan or Merry Christmas,” he said.

“People who are negative about it, I don’t pay any attention.”