Fox News host Megyn Kelly offered no concessions to critics of her ‘white Santa’ comments earlier this week, instead condemning the ‘knee-jerk instinct by so many to race-bait and to assume the worst in people.’
The news anchor and host of “The Kelly File” first got into hot water on Wednesday, after she ran a segment about a Slate article suggesting American culture’s image of Santa as a white man was exclusive to those with different skin colors. The article’s author, Aisha Harris, suggested that Saint Nick should be instead replaced with a black-and-white penguin.
Kelly opened the discussion with a “tongue-in-cheek” disclaimer designed to retain Santa’s realism for any children that may be watching. ‘By the way, for all you kids watching, Santa just is white,” she said. “This person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa.”
The Daily Caller noticed the comments when they first occurred but did not report them because, quite frankly, we didn’t find them the least bit outrageous. Apparently we were wrong, as a slew of left-wing pundits and comedians slammed the anchor for her remarks over the next two days. Many suggested Kelly’s conception of ‘white Santa’ revealed her deeply-held feelings of racism and anger towards African-Americans.
Kelly rejected that criticism on her show Friday. “Well, this would be funny if it were not so telling about our society,” she claimed, “in particular the knee-jerk instinct by so many to race bait and to assume the worst in people, especially people employed by the very powerful Fox News channel.”
“Contrary to what my critics have posited,” she continued, “neither my statement nor Harris’s, I’m sure, was motivated by any racial fear or loathing. In fact, it was something far less sinister: A lifetime of exposure to the same “commercials, mall casting calls and movies” Harris references in her piece. From”Miracle on 34th treet” to the Thanksgiving Parade to the National Christmas Tree lighting, we continually see St. Nick as a white man in modern day America.”
“For me, the fact that an offhand jest I made during a segment — about whether Santa should be replaced by a penguin! — has now become a national firestorm says two things,” she concluded. “Race is still an incredibly volatile issue in this country, and Fox News and yours truly are big targets for many people.”
St. Nicholas of Myra was born of Greek descent in the city of Patara on the Mediterranean coast of what is now Turkey. The name “Santa Claus” is a Teutonic form of that name.
“Black Peter,” or Zwarte Piet, is a Moorish sidekick of Santa Klaus in Low Countries popular culture. Black Peter is sometimes confused with Krampus, Central Europe’s demonic, child-abusing anti-Santa.