Published December 04, 2013
A bulletin board meant to provoke discussions of racial stereotypes has been removed Monday night from an Indiana University residence hall after generating outrage on social media.
The Foster Residence Center display featured an African-American in a Santa suit and the question, "Can Santa Claus be a black man?"
WTHR-TV reports that the display also asked whether a black Santa would be allowed down the chimney or would only visit poor urban areas. One of the questions also asked, "Did you ever play with a black Barbie doll?"
IU spokesman Mark Land said the display was part of a residence hall diversity program, IU's CommUNITY Education Program, designed to promote discussions about race, gender and sexual identity. He said the intent was good but calls the execution "misguided."
"If you didn't know any of the context—you just saw the bulletin board—it looked like someone had created a poster that had very negative stereotypes about African Americans," he told IndianaPublicMedia.org.
The school tweeted that "the intention was to educate, not offend, but we recognize the problem and apologize to everyone effected."
The Associated Press contributed to this report