Everyone likes to put their own twist on the Holiday season, and some people are all about representation and Black Santa. However, an Oregon’s family festive decoration was slashed open and destroyed, leaving their neighborhood outraged and planning to put up their own Black Santas in solidarity.
According to The Oregonian, Fritz and Belinda Richard have lived in the same neighborhood in Bethany, Oregon for the past 21 years and always celebrate the holidays with festive decorations. This year the Richards decided to put up an 8-foot-tall inflatable Black Santa to celebrate the season.
However, when they woke up the next morning, the couple found the decoration decidedly deflated on the front lawn. When Fritz Richard went to inspect the decoration, he found that the Santa had been slashed open.
“Somebody went out of their way to do this,” he told the news site. “Who slashes a Santa?”
Although it is still not clear why someone would actually slash Santa, one thing did stand out to the Richards, who are Black.
“There are white Santas all over our neighborhood,” Belinda Richard pointed out. “They aren’t getting slashed.”
The couple reported the vandalism to their local Sheriff’s department.
“It looks like the side of a blow-up Santa was slashed about a foot and a half in length,” Spokesman Deputy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department Jeff Talbot confirmed.
However, no suspects have been identified in the case.
The couple also posted about the incident on Facebook, getting support and love from their community.
Looks like someone had a problem with our black Santa. I found him this morning, someone took a knife to him. Trump is really changing this country! Is this how you make America "Great again", with hate crimes?
Four of their neighbors said they would put up their own Black Santa decorations in protest and solidarity.
And the Richards are going to buy another one themselves.
In the meantime, the couple is considering getting surveillance cameras so they can help narrow down the suspects if any more vandalism occurs.