Former Hamden Resident is Writer Who Sparked Santa Controversy

It was former Hamden resident Aisha Harris' article that prompted the debate as to whether Santa should be portrayed as white.

Aisha Harris. Credit: Twitter
Aisha Harris. Credit: Twitter

When Aisha Harris was a student at West Woods School — and later Hamden Middle and Hamden High schools — she felt different because she was often the only student of color in her classes.

At a student in the Talented and Gifted program, she often didn't see any other students of color in any classes except for physical education and a few others, she said.

In 2004, she wrote about her experiences in the Hartford Courant. And she continued to write — now as a columnist for Slate. And it was one of her pieces that set off a firestorm of debate: should Santa be depicted as white?

It was that piece that caught the attention of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who brought it up to a panel of guests on her show last week.

According to Kelly, Santa is white. Period.

With that comment, Harris, who moved to Hamden when she was in fourth grade, was brought into what became a nationwide debate on the appropriateness of Kelly's comments.

Harris appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday to defend her piece. 

"It kind of reinforced my point, actually," Harris told Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter. "The fact that Kelly and some of the other guests on the show were insisting that Santa is white just spoke to the reason why I wrote the piece — a lot of people out there automatically assume that Santa must be white, and it's laughable that he should be anything else."

Thomas Alegi December 18, 2013 at 07:47 AM
Who cares what color Santa Claus is, Rudolph the reindeer’s nose is Red and without Rudolph’s nose being Red the FAA will not let Santa fly.
cheryl December 18, 2013 at 09:27 AM
good job Thomas
cheryl December 18, 2013 at 09:33 AM
What color is Mickey Mouse or Goofy? So sad that everything now is regarding by Color? Thank you media. Do we really need more division? who else can we accuse of being white or black? Minny Mouse, Porky Pig, Donald duck? Oy-ve.....
Mike Devine December 18, 2013 at 06:16 PM
Good for Aisha. I remember when I was on active duty with the Submarine Force in Pearl Harbor I went up to the Pearl Ridge Shopping Mall and Santa was a brown skinned guy from the PI and spoke great Pidgin. Shaka Santa, da bes. Mo bettah in da Islands. The 25% off coupon for the Chicken Adobo was awesome, thanks Santa. Mabuhay.
Thomas Alegi December 18, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Mike Devine by your example does it really matter what color skin Santa has, it’s what you felt that matters…… When people go to a cancer clinic does it really matter what color skin the doctor has when he/she says, “no it’s not cancer”, so does it matter what color skin Santa has when he did say at one time “Have you been good or bad? Speaking of doctors, you know that you are old when the doctor tells you to slow down and not the police.


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