Lecturer receives right-wing backlash after finding out Jingle Bells has racist origins

Lecturer receives backlash after researching racist origins of Jingle Bells

Kyna Hamill says Jingle Bells has racist origins

Thursday, December 21, 2017

A lecturer is facing an online backlash after publishing research on the racist origins of the song Jingle Bells.

The Canadian is currently teaching at Boston University and has been looking at the song for years, before finally discovering where it came from.

Kyna Hamill's research claims it was first performed by someone in blackface at Ordway Hall in Boston in 1857, according to CBC.

She claims the person who wrote the song "capitalised on minstrel music and entered upon a 'safe' ground for satirising black participation in northern winter activities."

Although the paper was published in September, Hamill is now receiving a deluge of criticism as the world gears up for Christmas.

She said: "It has been quite surreal. It's been a crash course in public relations and internet trolling."

Hamill also told CBC Daybreak South "it's been pretty stressful because I've had a lot of hate mail and harassment because of it."

The reason for this, she claims, is that after doing an interview with a local news website, her findings were reported by other right-wing outlets - which misrepresented her.

The woman alleges some media outlets have claimed she is stating the song is racist and therefore should no longer be used, but Hamill says this is not the case.

The lecturer has now stopped reading the messages she is receiving and has also filed a complaint with the police.

Despite the problems, Hamill is supporting the research she has done and says she won't let it ruin Christmas for her.

She said: "Everything I said is true. I haven't really done anything wrong. If people don't want to be comfortable with the truth, then that's not really my problem."

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