Fox News host Megyn Kelly has landed smack in the middle of the country’s culture wars by saying on national television there is no doubt that Jesus and Santa Claus are white.
Kelly, host of “The Kelly File,” was discussing African-American Aisha Harris’ recent Slate article titled “Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore”
when she made the comments that have since become a cause celebre for many.
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“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, Santa just is white.”
Kelly continued: “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?”
Harris seemed amused by the controversy her commentary has stirred, writing in Slate on Thursday that her critics are missing her point
. “I hoped the piece would come across as a little tongue-in-cheek, while at the same time expressing my real concern that America continues to promote the harmful idea of whiteness-as-default.”
She reminded those who insist that Santa Claus is white: “I mean, we are talking about a magical man who slides down your chimney every Christmas Eve. Just so we’re clear.”
Although Jesus is often portrayed in the U.S. as a white man with brown hair and blue eyes, the Bible doesn't make his skin pigment clear. A 2011 BBC documentary included an analysis that Jesus most likely would have the same sort of dark skin common with people in the Middle East today.
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