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POETRY / Megyn Kelly says Santa is White / Brittany Lee Frederick

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Megyn Kelly says Santa Claus is white
and she’s right. White kids get the best presents 
and they get more of them. White Santa really works
with the 5-0. The list of naughty kids he keeps 
have something really important in common. You already know what it is.  

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White Santa is a shitty boss to his Black elves. 
They call him “Master” behind his back and
slack off while snapping doll arms into doll torsos.  
They never get overtime but they haven’t been able to 
organize a union yet, so they still have to put the hours in.  

There are some Black kids on the “naughty” list that
wish white Santa would come through with some coal, or at
least some crumpled bills for the gas bill. When the heat is still
off they boil water on the stove to bring to the tub.  

White Santa Claus has no manners. He tumbles down the 
chimney bringing in dust and bat droppings and who knows
what grime from the chimney’s walls. My grandma is up cooking
before the holiday. When she sees the mess he made on her
clean floor she takes up her broom to beat his ass. 
This is why I tell myself there is so much space under the tree.  

-  

Us Trinidadians have a different Santa myth. He skips
the milk and cookies and saves room for houses
that have out rum and ham.
He runs on Island time, meaning he doesn’t
finish his rounds until close to New Years.  

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Black Santa gets pulled over all over the world. 
The cops unload his sleigh, search through all the bags, 
and ask where he is going and coming from. They find the
weed – Santa’s broke too – so he sells fifths and
eighths to parents on the same gift-giving route.
He doesn’t turn a profit but most years he breaks even.
Black Santa tells them the weed is for his reindeer.  

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Trini Black Santa gets drunk while island hopping and loses
the sleigh and the bag of toys at someone’s house in Grenada.
They’ll wake up in the morning and they won’t be sure 
what to do with it. With the help of the neighbors they’ll at 
least get it off the roof before it comes crashing through ceiling. 
The kids will go through its contents and take some presents for themselves. 
Trini Black Santa won’t care about the sleigh; he’ll stop here or there for a pot
of curry goat or to join a game of cards. Trini Santa
hits on your mom, because he’s still looking for a Santa Gyal. 

-

If you want to know what I think, I think Santa Claus is a Black woman.
She takes on extra shifts before the holiday, puts her tips
away in a jar in her sock drawer, and ends up buying everything
on her kids’ list with a credit card. She’ll even buy the wrapping paper, bows, and
ribbon by scouring the Dollar Store as early as August. 

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White Santa teaches the white kids 
that hoarding wealth is an entirely acceptable thing to do. 
He also teaches them that poor kids belong in cages.  
Black kids know this, even if they can’t explain it yet,
so they roll their eyes and bite their tongues. 

Black Santa has a closet in his workshop full of dust-covered
presents. The tags on the labels read 
Jordan, Trayvon, Tamir … [ ] … … [ ] …Emmett …

White Santa threw those out a long time ago. They’re in a landfill somewhere,
covered in old food and clothes and plastic that’ll never decompose.  


Brittany Lee Frederick is a poet and short fiction writer based in Boston. She studied English and creative writing at Stonehill College. She has also published with the Harpoon Review and Glass Poetry. To read Brittany's bad tweets follow her @Britt_LF and to contact her email brittany.frederick2@gmail.com.