December 19, 2017

‘Jingle Bells’ Is Racist?

A Boston University professor asserts that the classic Christmas carol harbors racist roots.

Jingle Bells is racist — who knew? Well, honestly nobody did until one Boston University theater history professor made the assertion in her research paper on the beloved holiday song. Kyna Hamill explained, “The legacy of ‘Jingle Bells’ is one where its blackface and racist origins have been subtly and systematically removed from its history.” She added, “Although ‘One Horse Open Sleigh,’ for most of its singers and listeners, may have eluded its racialized past and taken its place in the seemingly unproblematic romanticization of a normal ‘white’ Christmas, attention to the circumstances of its performance history enables reflection on its problematic role in the construction of blackness and whiteness in the United States.”

So what is the history of “Jingle Bells”? It was written by James Pierpont and published in 1857, but there is debate as to exactly where it was created — either in Medford, Massachusetts, or Savannah, Georgia. It was the latter location at which Pierpont was employed as the organist and music director at a Unitarian church where his brother served as the minister. As tensions over slavery mounted, Pierpont’s church eventually closed due to its abolitionist leanings. So much for the racism angle.

Pierpont originally intended the song as a holiday celebration focused on Thanksgiving, but it was eventually associated with Christmas. The song’s lyrics and imagery of a snowy day sleigh ride had an obvious romantic allusion. Much as it is understood today, it was meant to be a fun, light-hearted song. So it’s really absurd to retroactively insert implications of racism into a song that neither references such bigotry nor even mentions race. It is the racially obsessed who seek to paint all history as merely the systematic oppression of one race at the hands of another. Life is simply too complex for such a shallow, lazy and vindictive worldview.

“Jingle Bells” is a fun song expressing the joy of the holiday season — just the same as “White Christmas.” Enough with these bah humbug racialists.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service, are proud sponsors of the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Folds of Honor, Honoring the Sacrifice, Warrior Freedom Service Dogs, Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, the Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation.


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Join us in prayer for our nation, that good and righteous national leaders would rise and prevail, and that division would be healed so we would be united as Americans. We pray also for the protection of our military Patriots, first responders and their families, and comfort for veterans who are suffering.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.