At first glance you may think the bulletin board above is something from a high school or middle school classroom, but it was part of Indiana University’s Community Education Program (CEP).
The CEP placed three bulletin boards in the Foster Residence center asking if, “Can Santa Claus be a black man?”, “If Santa is a black man, would you let him come down your chimney?” and “If Santa Claus is a black man, wouldn’t he only visit the ghetto?”
Although a university spokesperson said the display was created as part of a diversity program to “raise awareness and promote discussion on issues such as race, gender and sexual identity”, not everyone was pleased with the artwork.
“The aim of this was to start a discussion around racial stereotypes, and while the intent was good the execution was misguided,” said IU Associate Vice President of Public Affairs Mark Land in a statement. “This program has a good record of fostering debate among students on important issues, but this effort missed the mark.”
Due to the backlash the artwork received, the university took down the displays.
“(We) apologize if the images offended anyone – that clearly wasn’t the intent,” Land wrote.