Commentary: On Santa and Jesus, a Network Anchor's Odd View

(Photo: The Kelly File via FOX News)

Commentary: On Santa and Jesus, a Network Anchor's Odd View

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly proclaimed that Santa and Jesus are both white and that political correctness has gone too far.

Published December 16, 2013

Just when you think it couldn’t get any more insane at Fox News, America was treated to yet another bit of lunacy from the far right’s most reliable media outlet.

Courtesy of Megyn Kelly, the network’s news anchor, the nation has now learned that not only is Santa Claus white but so, too, was Jesus Christ. These fascinating revelations came to light as Kelly mused about an engaging essay by Aisha Harris at entitled “Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore.”

In that essay, Harris discussed the confusion she experienced as a child in seeing Santa Claus in various racial incarnations. She proposed that it might be nice and easier for children to handle to remake Santa into a more culturally neutral figure such as, say, a penguin.

That prompted Kelly to declare: “For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white.” If that weren’t enough, Kelly decided to walk squarely into the absurd. 

"Jesus was a white man, too,” she said, speaking with unbridled authority. “It's like we have, he's a historical figure, that's a verifiable fact, as is Santa, I just want kids to know that. How do you revise it in the middle of the legacy in the story and change Santa from white to Black?"

Kelly’s comments, not surprisingly, stirred a controversy. The Fox anchor spoke with great certainty about the ethnicity of Santa Claus as though she had obtained his long-form birth certificate. There is a good deal more clarity about the ethnicity of Jesus, considering the part of the world in which he was born. Let’s face it; there aren’t a lot of young men born in that region of the Middle East with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Charles D. Hackett, the director of Episcopal studies at the Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, said it best. 

“The fact that he probably looked a great deal more like a darker-skinned Semite than westerners are used to seeing him pictured is a reminder of his universality," Hackett said, speaking to the Christian Science Monitor. Kelly’s portrayal, he said, is “a reminder of our tendency to sinfully appropriate him in the service of our cultural values."

Somehow, Kelly is revealing how uncomfortable many people are with the notion of certain figures being non-white. But Santa? Come on. Whose next on the list of figures whose Anglo-Saxon purity she’s willing to vouch for? Spiderman? The Tooth Fairy?

After the firestorm she created, Kelly has since backtracked a bit, explaining that her comments were really intended to be “tongue in cheek.” But there was no hint of humor in her initial presentation on Fox. It proves again that there moments when it’s simply best for network anchors to simply report the news and keep the opinions to themselves.

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks. 

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(Photo: The Kelly File via FOX News)

Written by Jonathan P. Hicks


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