No, Megyn Kelly, Santa Is Not White


On Wednesday, Fox News discussed a recent Slate article by Aisha Harris that argued that depictions of Santa as a white man are a relic of a time long since passed and that, in our multicultural world, such depictions can make non-white children feel like outsiders. The piece, “Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore,” makes a lot of good points. In response, Fox anchor Megyn Kelly made a couple of less-good points:

1) “Santa is just white.”

“When I saw this headline I kinda laughed and I said, “Oh, this is ridiculous. Yet another person claiming it’s racist to have a white Santa.” And by the way, for all you kids watching at home (Ed. note: If you are a child who is watching Fox News on your own time, your parents have failed you), Santa is just white. But this person is maybe just arguing that we should also have a black Santa. But, you know, Santa is what he is, and just so you know, we’re just debating this because someone wrote about it, kids.”

Santa is not white, because Santa is not real. Santa is fake. Santa exists in Coca Cola commercials and the hearts and minds of misled children. Santa is often depicted as white because That’s The Way It’s Always Been. But Santa is not white, again, because Santa is not real.

2) “Jesus was a white man, too.”

“Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change. You know, I mean, Jesus was a white man too. He was a historical figure; that’s a verifiable fact—as is Santa, I want you kids watching to know that—but my point is: how do you revise it, in the middle of the legacy of the story, and change Santa from white to black?”

The historical Jesus was a Middle Eastern Jew. Scholars overwhelmingly agree that he did not look like a white European. He is so often depicted that way because white Europeans—and their similarly pasty American descendants—are so often the ones doing the depicting.

Everyone involved in this story can learn something today.

Children: Stop watching cable news. Go outside and play in the park. You’ll be happier.

Megyn Kelly: Jesus was not white. Santa is not real.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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