December 16, 2013

Another "Just Kidding" Moment About Racism on Fox

Unless you just popped in from Mars (greetings and salutations if you have), then you must be aware of the kerfuffle over Megyn Kelly at Fox News saying that of course Santa Claus and Jesus are white and you'd be crazy to suggest otherwise. This was in response to an article at by Aisha Harris that argues having only white Santas perpetuates a "white-as-default" culture that can have a negative effect on non-white families.

Now, as a white guy, I have never given this much thought. Which is at the same time the benefit of being a white male in current-day America and the curse of being completely clueless about how other people perceive what we may consider "normal". The goal is to recognize that what I experience in this country is not what most people experience, and to be empathetic and to try and see things from other points of view. I really sucked at this when I was younger but I like to think I have gotten better at this as I have aged. Which is the long way of saying that Ms. Harris has a completely legitimate point. And while she couched it in a tongue-in-cheek suggestion we turn our symbol of Christmas into a penguin, it's a point worth looking at and discussing.

Unless you are on Fox. Enter Megyn Kelly:

"By the way, for all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white but this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa. Santa is what he is and just so you know, we are debating this because someone wrote about it, kids."


"Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn't mean it has to change...Jesus was a white man, too. He was a historical figure. That's a verifiable fact -- as is Santa. I just want the kids watching to know that. My point is, how do you just revise it in the middle of the legacy of the story and change Santa from white to black?"

As Jesus himself said, "Suffer little children to come unto that I may use them to shield my blatant racism." Or something like that.


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