Another day, another Fox News host outraged about something fictitious.
Though earlier this week it was Gretchen Kelly‘s frustration with Festivus, the latest flap comes over Megyn Kelly‘s response to a Slate article by Aisha Harris, called “Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore.” In the article, Harris proposes that instead of a fat white man, Santa should be a penguin. “That this genial, jolly man can only be seen as white—and consequently, that a Santa of any other hue is merely a ‘joke’ or a chance to trudge out racist stereotypes—helps perpetuate the whole “white-as-default” notion endemic to American culture (and, of course, not just American culture),” Harris writes.
Kelly wasn’t having any of it. “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. But you know, Santa is what he is… I wanted to get that straight.”
She continued: “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?”
Harris wrote a follow-up post for Slate called “What Fox News Doesn’t Understand About Santa Claus,” pithily explaining that “Santa isn’t real.”
She continues that though Santa Claus is loosely based on Saint Nicholas, “He did not have a workshop in the North Pole nor eight faithful reindeer. Santa as we know him today is the result of wild imaginations and creative input from many people across centuries.”
“And yet Kelly and her guests not only say repeatedly that Santa is real and definitely white, they also equate him with Jesus, who, historians generally agree, was a Jewish man who grew up in Galilee. Was he white? Probably not. But the truest answer is that we really don’t know. Also, whiteness is a historical construct. And, again, Santa isn’t real,” Harris writes.
And the War on Christmas rages on.
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