Montgomery Mayor Considers Replacing White Santa With Black One in Annual Christmas Parade After Complaint

(Photo: Reuters/Gary Hershorn)Santa Claus rides on his sleigh down Central Park West in New York November 22, 2012.

The Mayor of Montgomery, Alabama, responded to a request for the city to include a black Santa Claus in its annual Christmas parade by saying he is open to the idea.

Mayor Todd Strange, who has been in office since 2009, addressed a recent complaint about the parade that was made during a council meeting on Tuesday.

Each year, Montgomery's Christmas parade draws in large crowds who gather to enjoy the fun festivities. Traditionally, a white Santa rides on the last float, however, one local resident called on the city to replace white Santa with a black one in a bid to promote cultural diversity.

City councilmen discussed the issue at a meeting earlier this week and one local businessman explained the reasoning behind his objection to a white Santa.

"Last year, when we attended the Christmas parade, my daughter noticed that Santa Claus was a different color," activist William Boyd told WAKA CBS 8. "And she asked me the question like dad, you said Santa Claus was black but that was a white Santa in the parade."

Strange said that a recent media poll revealed that most in the comunity have no issues with the white Santa, however, he believes Boyd has valid concerns.

"Take Santa Claus out of the parade because we have African, we have Chinese, we have Mexican, we have a diverse city," Boyd said.

Strange dismissed Boyd's idea to nix Santa altogether because in his opinion the children would suffer.

"One of the solutions that was raised was 'let's not have a Santa lets just have a float.' This Christmas season is all about kids, and kids have been coming for eons," Strange told The Christian Post. "To not have Santa lets our kids down. I know it will let my grandkids down, so we will have a Santa."

He also said that being that the parade is already finalized and just two weeks away (Dec. 19), Montgomery will consider featuring a black Santa in next year's festivities as opposed to this year's event.

"We have traditionally worked from a volunteer list of Santas. … I made an inquiry [asking] 'are any of those Santas on the list African-American' and the answer was 'no,'" he explained also telling CBS 8, "And so obviously, for this year we're already set for that. But I'm not opposed to that. I thought [Boyd] made some really good points last night."

Last year Slate.com writer Aisha Harris made headlines when she penned a controversial article entitled "Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore." She called on Americans to "abandon" white Santa and employ a more unique Christmas symbol.

Fox News host Megyn Kelly came under fire for responding to Harris' article by saying that Father Christmas, also known as Saint Nicholas, along with Jesus Christ is white.