Fox News' Megyn Kelly declares that Santa and Jesus are white: 'That's a verifiable fact'

OPINION - Fox News devoted several minutes of television airtime to debating the 'facts' about the race of Santa Claus...

Fox News devoted several minutes of television airtime to debating the “facts” about the race of Santa Claus.

Let that sink in for a minute. Fox News used actual airtime to broadcast four adults talking about the race of a magical man who travels all over the world in one evening via flying reindeer to give presents to all the good little boys and girls on the planet.

Is it time to call it Fox “News” yet? The segment on Megyn Kelly’s show was inspired by a well-written piece on Slate by Aisha Harris.

Harris, an African-American woman, wrote about how as a child she was confused by the mainstream depiction of a white Santa and the decidedly brown Santa that was celebrated in her household. Basically her argument was that Santa does not have to be white, but because in today’s society only whiteness is viewed as universally appealing, Santa is typically depicted as a jolly old white man. Harris posited the notion of making Santa into an adorable penguin instead, which would be something relatable and fun for all children minus any feelings of racial exclusion.

Pretty simple, concise and logical piece, but Megan Kelly could not fathom the idea of a black Santa and was put off by the idea of a penguin Santa as well. Here are a couple choice quotes from Kelly’s Onion-worthy Santa segment:

“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?”

-Megan Kelly

“First of all, the penguin would never work, Megyn. A penguin can not lug all of those gifts around the world.”

-Megyn Kelly’s equally clueless guest

You don’t have to be a Biblical scholar to take issue with Kelly’s “verifiable fact” that Jesus was a white man and knocking down the penguin Santa idea because penguins can’t carry gifts is absurd.  If you’re okay with having a magical, obese, old man visiting every child’s home in the world in under 12 hours, then surely a penguin can do that, too.

Christmas is supposed to be a religious holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus, but today (and it’s been this way for a long time) Christmas is about spending several weeks worshiping capitalism and gluttony. The fanciful imaginary character known as Santa has been around for centuries by various names and has numerous international folktales, legends, myths and produce placements associated with him.

I’m fine with having no Santa at all. This is coming from someone who does not have children and stopped believing in Santa at about five years old.  I love the idea of nurturing the natural wonder and imagination of children. However, making kids believe that some strange magical man (a living, breathing human being) is constantly watching them and is making note of their good and bad behavior so he can sneak into their homes one night a year to drop off the appropriate amount of gifts is a little weird and quite creepy.

I seem to be in the minority on the no Santa thing, but if we must continue the absurdity known as Santa Claus, then I agree with Harris. Santa should seem relatable and accessible to all children.  A guest on Kelly’s show actually made the same point that it’s perfectly fine for different cultures to create their own versions of Santa, but he didn’t get to speak long because Kelly ran out of time. Interesting.

What do you think about Santa being white in the mainstream? Should we have a more universal Santa that is non-human as Harris suggested?

Follow Demetria Irwin on Twitter at @Love_Is_Dope and connect with her on Facebook.