OK

Megyn Kelly on Fox News with quote: 'I mean, 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.'
Sometimes I freaking love Fox News. They're just so very screw you in their truthiness:
"I mean, 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." — Megyn Kelly
Wow! There are a lot of presents underneath that tree—It's almost too good to touch. But let's, m'kay?

1. Unless Jesus was an albino or possibly a time-travelling Swede, Jesus was a swarthy Middle Eastern type. Did you know that he was Jewish? If you read the Bible it kind of comes up a lot. Not nice American Jewish, either, the kind that was begrudgingly given acceptance in America only after a few hundred years of considering them even worse than Italians, but the Middle Eastern kind. Artistic depictions of Jesus over the centuries have usually closely hewed to the skin tone of the whoever was painting him or, more accurately, whoever was paying for the paint, causing him to get progressively more honky as the religion spread through Europe and, eventually to America, where he is depicted today to be nearly transparent, necessitating greater and greater accessorizing. (Common Jesus accessories in today's depictions include assault rifles, dinosaurs, and a smug sense of self-satisfaction.)

2. Santa is, despite the general devastation wreaked upon the general public when this is mentioned, the much-honkified version of St. Nicholas, aka Nikolaos of Myra, aka the Bishop of Myra, aka a Greek fellow (or, with modern boundaries, a Turkish fellow.) He had a much harder time being accepted in America than Jesus did, and only really caught on here after his ad men suggested a paler, bleached complexion and an ongoing bout of severe obesity, thus allowing him to better connect with American audiences. Again, the great and abiding bigotries celebrated by past generations of Americans judge your relative level of racial whiteness via the proxy of marching proximity to England, with Frenchmen being more acceptable than Spaniards or Italians, Italians being more acceptable than Turks or Greeks, Greeks being more acceptable than Middle Easterners, and God help you if you get any farther afield than that. The exception is the Irish, who I believe throughout much of American history were thought of as albino Italians. The elves, though, I will grant you the elves. Pasty creatures.

3. I am not touching the "historical figure" part. Nope. Leave me out of it.

4. You may be confused by Megyn addressing "the kids watching." In Fox News parlance, Megyn means people with their original hips. No actual children watch Fox News, and if you run across a household in which actual children are exposed to Fox News you are asked to contact your local child services department immediately.

I think what we have here is not actually a historical assertion that Jesus and/or Santa were white, but the considerably more prevalent practice of sufficiently awesome ethnic people being elevated to the status of honorary white people due to their obvious awesomeness. It is like a medal for good behavior. The general understanding that even though you might have been born half-Polish or a quarter Romanian or God forbid full-on something or other, you have conducted yourself in such a way as to have surmounted those unfortunate roots, and can thus be welcomed into the wider pool of White.

The same honor can be taken away, as well—a reasonably untanned person who converts from Christian to Muslim will see their perceived Whiteness level go down several degrees, perhaps leading to more trouble in airport security lines or your state legislators placing monuments to the ten commandments outside their places of work as imagined ward against you. Whole ethnicities can undergo the same treatment, and while most Europeans have seen their honorary Whiteness go steadily up in America through the long decades, persons of other, more distant backgrounds may see their relative Whiteness increase or decrease according to current world events or current imagined American ally or adversary status of their ancestral countries, or countries near those ancestral countries, or countries that have names vaguely similar to those countries when you say them in American.

I am not sure that the lily class understands that dodging the need for wider racial acceptance by merely bestowing honorary whiteness upon historically awesome people is not, in fact, as great an honor as they make it out to be. Being able to respect someone only when you have forcibly stripped them of their roots and heritage is perhaps not respecting them in the manner you intended. At the least it suggests that your devotion to the importance of whiteness is measurably deeper than your interest in the actual person themselves; that does not sound like you are honoring them very much at all.

Again, though, I grant you the elves.

Originally posted to Hunter on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 11:14 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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