Image screengrab via CBS Minnesota

Earlier this week, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune ran a nice story about the Mall of America’s first black Santa. Larry Jefferson is a retired U.S. Army veteran from Texas, and his hope, along with the mall’s, was that he would serve as a “Santa for everyone.”

“What they see most of the time is this red suit and candy,” Jefferson told the paper. “[Santa represents] a good spirit. I’m just a messenger to bring hope, love and peace to girls and boys.”

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And then the paper had to disable its comments section, after it became overrun with racism.

Raw Story has amassed a whole collection of some of the vituperative tweets and comments made, so if you’re desperate to see them, take a look over there.

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This calls to mind the time when, a few years ago, Megyn Kelly took pains to inform inchoate conservatives watching Fox News at home that Santa “just is white.”

“This person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa. But Santa is what he is, and just so you know, we’re just debating this because someone wrote about it, kids. OK I wanted to get that straight.”

The “person” in question is Aisha Harris, who wrote for Slate that Santa should in fact be a penguin. The penguin, she argued, “will join the Easter Bunny in the pantheon of friendly, secular visitors from the animal kingdom who come to us as the representatives of ostensibly religious holidays.” Megyn Kelly can barely contain her disgust at the absurdity of this notion. You can practically see the bile dripping from her colubrine face.

“Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change,” she said. In a sense, she’s right, since Kelly’s continued employment at a major network makes me very uncomfortable, and yet, there she remains, collecting a monstrous paycheck which goes entirely to the pricey upkeep of her authentic-looking human costume.

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The important thing to note, kids (I assume that’s who we’re talking to here), is that because Santa isn’t real, so he can be whatever your imagination wants him to be.

Let’s do a quiz. Is Santa:

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1) A penguin

2) A cantaloupe wearing a jacket made of orange peels and a little grapeskin hat

3) The last piece of salami on the holiday platter

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4) Oprah

5) A lie

6) The indentation that Martha Stewart leaves in her memory foam mattress after rising each morning

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7. The song Push It, by Salt-N-Pepa

8. The ghost of Virginia Woolf

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The answer is:

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Yes. Santa is all of those things, and also, none of those things. The only thing Santa is definitively not is a racist internet commenter.