Megyn Kelly is being roundly mocked and lambasted online today for a segment last night in which she asserted a little too matter-of-factly that Santa Claus is white. In response to a Slate article in which Aisha Harris proposed a more racially inclusive Santa—a Penguin perhaps?—Kelly said, "For kids watching at home, Santa just is white," Kelly said. A couple minutes later she added, "I mean, 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 at home to know that."
Scorn swiftly rained down on Kelly.
- "Megyn Kelly believes in Santa and knows he is white," read a Seattle Post-Intelligencer headline.
- "Yes, as a figure, 'Santa Claus' has his roots in early Christian Europe," writes Jamelle Bouie at the Daily Beast. "But he’s a human creation, and given his role as a non-sectarian symbol for the holiday, it’s reasonable to want to remove race from the equation as well." And the assertion that Jesus, a Middle Eastern Jew, was white "reflects ignorance" at best.
- Harris herself responded, saying Kelly was wrong that this is about political correctness. It's about "expanding our perceptions of the 'norm.'" If you think Santa has to be white, you probably have little imagination. "I mean, we are talking about a magical man who slides down your chimney every Christmas Eve. Just so we’re clear."
- "Everyone involved in this story can learn something today," writes Ben Dreyfuss at Mother Jones. "Children: Stop watching cable news. Go outside and play in the park. ... Megyn Kelly: Jesus was not white. Santa is not real."
- The whole kerfuffle happened to come the same night the Washington Post put up a glowing five-page profile declaring Kelly "Fox News' brightest star." Writer Dan Zak has put up a quick follow-up post noting some of Kelly's past racial controversies, and sharing a quote in which she says she's learned not to respond in these cases.
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