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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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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