A bizarre segment aired by Fox News this week actually asked the question: Should Santa Claus be white?
The answer, from Fox News host Megyn Kelly, was naturally a resounding yes. “Santa is what he is,” she said.
The bizarre conversation -- between four white people -- took place after Slate published an article by blogger Aisha Harris in which Harris describes what it’s like growing up black and constantly seeing a white Santa.
“Eventually I asked my father what Santa really looked like,” she writes. “Was he brown, like us? Or was he really a white guy?”
“My father replied that Santa was every color,” Harris continues. “Whatever house he visited, jolly old St. Nicholas magically turned into the likeness of the family that lived there.”
Her essay eventually settles upon recommending a racially-neutral holiday figurehead: a penguin dressed in red and white. “People love penguins,” she insists.
In other words, it’s as if she wrote the piece intending to troll Fox News President Roger Ailes himself. And it worked.
The very notion of a black Santa apparently gave some Fox News producer an idea, of sorts: why not put a bunch of white people on television to defend Santa Claus’s whiteness?
And so it was.
“By the way, 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,” Kelly explained, to what must be her rather small audience of children who spend time watching Fox News. “Santa is what he is. And just so you know, we are debating this because someone wrote about it, kids.”
She went on to suggest that Harris must experience “real pain” by seeing a white Santa, and insisted that the Christian deity figure Jesus “was a white man too,” calling this “verifiable fact,” much like Santa’s whiteness.
“I just want the kids watching to know that,” she said. “My point is, how do you just revise in the middle of the legacy of the story and change Santa from white to black?”
(For the record, Kelly might be interested to learn that if he really did exist, historians say Jesus would have been a Middle Eastern Jew of olive complexion, if not darker.)
Watch, courtesy of Talking Points Memo:
Photo: Wikimedia Commons.