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Op-Ed: Fox News' Megyn Kelly stirs controversy over racial remarks

By Scott Tuttle     Dec 12, 2013 in Odd News
On Wednesday, Fox News host Megyn Kelly found herself in the center of a hot debate over Santa Claus' race. The Fox News anchorwoman then proceeded to take it a step further making an analogy to Jesus being white as well.
The comment came in response to a blog written by Aisha Harris from Slate. In her blog, Harris makes the argument that for African American children it is hard to identify with Santa Claus as a white man. Thus, in her piece, Harris proposes changing Santa into a penguin, arguing that it would remove the racial element once and for all.
On her popular show called The Kelly File, the Fox News host fired back at Harris by saying "by the way, for all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white. But this person is maybe just arguing that we should also have a black Santa."
Of course, nowhere in her piece does Harris make the claim that Santa should be black. Kelly's tactic was a classic example of what logicians refer to as the straw man fallacy or an Aunt Sally as it is known in Britain. That's when you put words in your opponent's mouth and then argue against your opponent based on the argument that you created rather than what your opponent really said.
Kelly then asserted that "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 an historical figure; that's a verifiable fact — as is Santa."
Moments later, Monica Crowley, who was a guest on the show, chimed in by saying “you can’t take facts and then try to change them to fit some sort of a political agenda or sensitivity agenda.”
What Kelly and Crowley fail to realize is that what they are discussing are not facts. Though Santa Claus is loosely based on the Greek bishop St. Nicholas, he is in fact a fictional character. Unless someone can prove that the real St. Nicholas lived in the North Pole and went from house to house on a magic sleigh, you have to admit that a few facts might have been slightly altered to fit a "sensitivity agenda," be it sensitivity to the common child's imagination or otherwise.
As for Jesus' whiteness, this is not a verifiable fact either. Based on where he lived, most historians would argue that the real Jesus probably had the dark complexion typical of an inhabitant of a Middle Eastern desert climate. The classic paintings and depictions we imagine when we think of Jesus are probably often of a fair complected man with blue eyes, because the original painters were white Europeans themselves. It's not too far fetched to speculate that maybe they stretched the truth a little and chose to make Jesus look like something they identified more with rather than what they believed he really looked like.
Thus it is very likely that facts were changed to suit a sensitivity agenda in the case of Jesus too.
I'm not arguing that we should change all of these details to make Jesus and Santa more politically correct, I'm just pointing out that the argument Fox News is using against Harris is a weak one. I would also like to point out that if details about iconic figures, historic or fictional, could not be changed, what we know of today as Jesus and Santa Claus would be much different.
Those of us who love Jesus and Santa as they are owe it to "fact" changes that had already happened years before we were born.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Megyn Kelly, Santa claus, Jesus, Racism, aisha harris