CBS

Black Santa Larry Jefferson Faces Racist Backlash

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This just in: Racist people are trash.

We all knew this already, but were once again reminded when a black Santa Claus at the Mall of America in Minnesota got slews of racist comments from online trolls.

Larry Jefferson is a retired Army captain who has been playing Santa at malls, parties and charity events for almost 20 years.

He's also black.

Amazing day at @mallofamerica capped by a visit with #SantaLarry, who is kind, engaging and thoughtful! pic.twitter.com/iHyVN9eaJA — Sean Jensen (@seankjensen) December 4, 2016

Jefferson was the first black Santa to ever appear at the Mall of America, which has been in business for 24 years.

Visitors young and old to the mall are nothing but delighted by Jefferson's Santa.

But as the story of Jefferson's Santa spread, partly thanks to a CBS Minnesota report, the racists trolls crawled out of their hidey-holes and attacked the comments section of his articles.

CBS has since disabled comments on that article.

In a radio interview with NPR on Friday, Jefferson said the hate was not unexpected, but he felt it was coming from only a small group of people.

When asked if he was surprised by the backlash to his Santa Claus, Jefferson said,

Not really, because of the times in which we're living in. But you know, that backlash was only a small percentage.

Many took to Twitter to defend and praise Jefferson, who's been nicknamed "Santa Larry."

Twitter
Twitter

With all this love, those haters can't touch this awesome Santa.

Plus, Santa Larry has his own method of dealing with the haters.

On Sunday, he told MSNBC he listens to Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" in the face of the backlash.

Santa Larry: one million.

Racists: zero.

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Citations: Black Santa Claus Is A Hit At Mall Of America, But Faces An Online Backlash (NPR)