Civil rights activist Merlin Kennedy has become the first official black Santa Claus in Normal, Illinois nearly 50 years after police detained him for violating the town’s “One Santa Rule.”
In 1966, Kennedy had protested the town’s “One Santa Rule” by attending the annual Christmas parade as Santa Claus.
According to the McLean County Museum of History, Kennedy was riding on an NAACP float, but police stopped it before it could reach the parade route. So Kennedy and others climbed off the float walked the parade route instead, waving to the children.
“They just seen the suit and they didn’t recognize a black person in the suit. One [white] woman almost jerked her little boy’s arm off because he called me Santa Claus,” Kennedy later recalled.
But before they could finish the route, a police officer told Kennedy that he was “under arrest for disturbing the peace.” Although the incident generated sensational headlines at the time, officers eventually declined to go through with the arrest.
WYZZ reported that Kennedy donned the Santa costume once again over the weekend after the NAACP partnered with the town of Normal to host the Santa Station.
“Because of the times that we’re living in today, with so much happening throughout these United States, that we get an opportunity to rewrite history and to continue the conversations about race and inequality and diversity,” Bloomington-Normal NAACP Vice President Takesha Stokes told WYZZ.
Kennedy will be back in the costume again at the Santa Station on Friday, Dec. 18 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Watch the video below.
Black man righteously scolds judge after white gun nut walks free: ‘Keep on with these racial disparities’
A Vermont man excoriated a judge this week after bail was not imposed on a white man who violated a court order by allegedly purchasing a handgun.
Max Misch was first charged in February with two misdemeanor counts of possessing high-capacity magazines, which are illegal in the state.
In a Monday hearing, Judge William Cohen ruled that Misch would not have to pay bail after he allegedly bought a handgun in violation of a court order. Misch's wife reported the gun purchase to police.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib defies Trump in NAACP speech: ‘I’m not going nowhere, not until I impeach this president’
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) defiantly insisted on Monday that she would be in Congress until President Donald Trump is impeached.
At the 2019 annual NAACP convention, the announcer noted that Tlaib is a member of the four congresswomen known as The Squad who have recently been told by Trump to "go back" home.
Tlaib began her remarks by alluding to the president's attack.
"I’m not going nowhere, not until I impeach this president," she shouted.
Watch the video below from the NAACP.
C-SPAN caller poisoned by Trump says congresswomen in The Squad own ’27 million black African slaves’
A Republican caller told C-SPAN on Monday that four non-white congresswomen own "27 million black African slaves."
On C-SPAN's Washington Journal program, a woman in Washington called in on the Republican line to rant against members of the so-called Squad: Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ayanna Pressley (MA) and Rashida Tlaib (MI).
Lara began her call by chastising the media.
"There's a lot of facts that are being walked around," she complained. "For example, regarding the Russia-Mueller thing, it's a proven fact that there was false evidence bought by Obama, Clinton and all the rest... those are facts. That's not an opinion."