The war on Christmas has been raging on these shores for years. The biggest casualty thus far: the obliteration of “Merry Christmas” signage and greetings in favor of a generic wish for “Happy Holidays.”
The forces of political correctness have taken their campaign overseas, notching victories throughout the Western world. But these Scrooges might have taken their fight too far, and to the wrong place, this year.
Santa — and common sense — are making a stand in Australia.
A company that trains and dispatches hundreds of Santas across the island nation every year has determined the jolly old saint’s calling card is potentially offensive. “Ho, ho, ho” has been hijacked by the American hip-hop culture, recruiters with Westaff Co. say, and now represents a slur against women. They can’t have Father Christmas referring to mothers as prostitutes, so his laugh must be modified.
The firm has told its Santas to spread holiday cheer with a “Ha, ha, ha,” instead.
Australians are a wonderfully plain-spoken people who don’t take assaults on their culture lightly. When Muslim immigrants demanded license to preach intolerance and criticized the freedoms provided by their hosts, the country’s treasurer said anyone who “wants to live under sharia law” and doesn’t “want to live by Australian values and understand them, well then they can basically clear off.”
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer captured the country’s essence wonderfully last year when he wrote: “Where Americans today sue, Australians slash and skewer.”
Needless to say, Westaff’s order hasn’t gone over well. At least two Santas have quit over the requirement. Department stores and shopping centers have taken pains to reassure parents that their Santas will greet kids with a “Ho, ho, ho.”
One retailer “has not directed our Santas to refrain from using ‘ho, ho, ho’ and believe the expression is an important Christmas tradition,” a spokesman said.
Westaff officials are in full retreat, saying their Santas have individual discretion on how to laugh.
“Gimme a break,” said Julie Gale, who runs an Australian campaign against sexualizing children called Kids Free 2B Kids. “We are talking about little kids who do not understand that ‘ho, ho, ho’ has any other connotation, and nor should they. Leave Santa alone.”
Maybel Lopez, a Sydney resident with a 5-year-old daughter, had no idea American gangsta rappers use a singular “ho” as shorthand for “whore.” And she doesn’t see any reason to censor Santa because some worry wart might confuse him with 50 Cent. “It’s what Santa has been saying his whole life — my whole life. It is just a normal thing … for him to say ‘ho, ho, ho.'”
Such nonsense would be funny if it weren’t so predictable. The culture of political correctness mandates than any form of expression that could be considered offensive to a single person, or simply make them feel the slightest bit uncomfortable, must be suppressed.
You think the war on Christmas can’t possibly get any stupider? Then the joke’s on you. Ho, ho, ho.