More than a third of Americans say Santa is not "verifiably white," a new poll has found, while another third think he is, an indication the public is divided on the issue despite claims by Fox News' Megyn Kelly that the matter is straightforward.
According to a poll by Public Policy Polling
conducted Dec. 13-17, 36 percent of the 741 registered voters surveyed say he is not "verifiably white," compared to 32 percent of people who think he is. Another 32 percent say they aren't sure.
"The high level of indecision may be owing to only 43 percent of Americans saying they believe in Santa Claus to 50 percent who don't," the poll stated, noting that the figures were down from a year ago when 52 percent said they believed in him.
The findings come in the wake of controversy ignited last week by Kelly when she insisted on-air that it was a fact that Santa is white while remarking on an opinion piece
entitled, "Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore."
"When I saw this headline I kinda laughed and I said, 'Oh, this is ridiculous. Yet another person claiming it’s racist to have a white Santa.' And by the way, for all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white.”
Kelly continued: "Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change. You know, I mean, Jesus was a white man, too. He was a historical figure, that's a verifiable fact — as is Santa, I want you kids watching to know that — but my point is, how do you revise it in the middle of the legacy of the story, and change Santa from white to black?"
The comments lead to accusations of racism,
with Kelly defending her comments, arguing that critics were guilty of "race-baiting."
The poll also found that 72 percent of Americans think they're on Santa's nice list this year, compared to just 12 percent who think they've made the naughty list.
"Most people should have a good haul under the tree next Wednesday morning," the poll statement said.
Other findings indicated that just 41 percent of Americans think there is a "War on Christmas" in this country, a decrease from last year when 47 percent said they believed that to be the case.
"Americans are less concerned this year than in the past about the War on Christmas," said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. "That should make it easier for them to relax and enjoy the holiday."
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