Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly isn’t comfortable with the idea of a black Santa and wants to make a few things clear, especially to kids: Santa Claus is white and so was Jesus.
The anchor, who had an all-white lineup on her news analysis show, cleared up any misgivings that culture blogger Aisha Harris may have created with an article in Slate that explained the duality she faced seeing a white Santa as a child and a black Santa in her home.
Harris’ position is that as the cultural makeup of society has changed, it is time for an all-inclusive Santa.
Her answer: A St. Nick penguin. She writes:
Why, you ask? For one thing, making Santa Claus an animal rather than an old white male could spare millions of nonwhite kids the insecurity and shame that I remember from childhood. Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, Santa is one of the first iconic figures foisted upon you: He exists as an incredibly powerful image in the imaginations of children across the country (and beyond, of course). 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).
Sounds good, right?
“That’s where she went off the rails,” Kelly exclaimed, when one her panelists tried to defend the jolly-white-man makeover.
Kelly had heard enough. “By the way, for you kids watching at home, Santa just is white. But this person is arguing that maybe 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.”