Racist letter backfires spectacularly as black Santas take over neighbourhood

A black man horrified when a racist letter demanded his family's black Santa ClausChristmas decoration to be taken down has since watched his neighbourhood transform.

In a video aired by CBS, homeowner Chris Kennedy reads out part of the offensive note sent to his home in Little Rock, Arkansas, US, last month.

He narrates: "Please remove your n***o Santa yard decoration.

"You should not try to deceive children into believing that I am a n***o.

"I am a caucasian (white man to you) and have been for the past 600 years."

It was signed anonymously with "Santa", and claimed the family was "jealous" of white people and should move out of town.

Although Chris was anxious about potential repercussions on his four-year-old daughter Emily, he decided to not remove his Santa Claus.

Since then, the neighbourhood has become a hub of black Santas after neighbours bought their own in solidarity with Chris and to show the anonymous note-writer they were alone in their hate.

"I ordered the same one, and so did the Joneses, and so did the Ketinas, and the Kellers next door got one," neighbour Chip Welsch told CBS News.

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He said: "I thought it was a nice way to tell one of our neighbours that we weren’t like that."

Another neighbour, Cheryl, said she found the letter "very, very racist" and said she went out and bought the biggest black Santa she could find.

Santa Claus is a fictional character, loosely based on Saint Nicholas who was a Greek bishop living in what is now Turkey in the years 280–343.

One of the earliest idols of him depicts the saint with a slender body and olive-brown skin.

Coca-Cola takes credit for the popularised image of Santa in the 20th century, writing on its website: "Before 1931, there were many different depictions of Santa Claus around the world, including a tall gaunt man and an elf – there was even a scary Claus.

"But in 1931, Coca-Cola commissioned illustrator Haddon Sundblom to paint Santa for Christmas advertisements.

"Those paintings established Santa as a warm, happy character with human features, including rosy cheeks, a white beard, twinkling eyes, and laughter lines."

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