Indiana University Apologizes For Racist ‘Black Santa’ Board
The Bloomington branch of Indiana University has found itself under fire for a racist bulletin board that they said was created to spark discussions about diversity. The board, which was created by the school’s CommUNITY diversity organization, featured a black Santa Claus blowing into a microphone and asked the question, “Can Santa Claus be a black man?” Each stocking in front of the fireplace mantle also had a racist question placed near a floating gift.
The four racist questions about what would happen if Santa were black included: “Wouldn’t all the presents be stolen?” “Wouldn’t he only visit the ghetto?” and “Would you let him come down your chimney?” The final question was: “Did you ever play with a black Barbie doll?” A blank space near each of the questions was included so students could write down their responses.
Even though the board was created by the school’s diversity organization, students began protesting the racist aspects of it. Indiana University-Bloomington addressed the controversy via their Twitter page and confirmed that the board had been removed. “The intention was to educate, not offend,” they wrote. “But we recognize the problem and apologize to everyone affected.”
IU Spokesman Mark Land acknowledged that “if you didn’t know any of the context, you just saw the bulletin board, it looked like someone had created a poster that had very negative stereotypes about African-Americans.” He apologized to anyone offended by the board, but also said no disciplinary action would be taken because school officials believed the group only had the best of intentions.
(Photo: Indiana University – Bloomington)