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This past week, Megyn Kelly stepped in a big pile of yellow snow for declaring that both Santa and Jesus were white, touching off days of well-earned mockery for the Fox News "journalist".

After being a no show for her program on Thursday, she returned Friday to answer her critics with a blistering observation on how America has lost its sense of humor around issues of race.

Humor is part of what we try to bring to the show. Sometimes that's lost on the humorless.

Outraged? Well, this would be funny if it were not so telling about our society, 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, neither my statement, nor Harris’, 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 very same "commercials, mall casting calls, and movies" Harris references in her piece.

From Miracle on 34th Street, to the Thanksgiving Day Parade to the National Christmas Tree Lighting, we continually see St. Nick as a white man in modern-day America. Should that change? Well, that debate got lost because so many couldn’t get past the fact that I acknowledged, as Harris did, that the most commonly depicted image of Santa, does, in fact, have white skin.

By the way, I also did say Jesus was white. As I've learned in the past two days, that is far from settled.

For me, The fact that an off-hand jest I made during a segment about whether Santa should be replaced by a penguin has now become a national firestorm says two things. Race is still an incredibly volatile issue in this country, and Fox News, and yours truly, are big targets for many people.

Did you get all of that, folks? It appears we all took to our fainting couches over a panel of comedians simply joking around about race. Why all the sensitivity, you liberal party poopers? What has America come to when Megyn can't hilariously declare that Santa and Jesus were and have always been members of the white class. Has this country become so dainty about the ears that Rush Limbaugh can't say the N-word with impunity because black people have taken it back for themselves? Just grow up and enjoy the comedic stylings that the right wing is so well known for.

The fact is, that yes, Fox News has a huge target on its back for race-baiting. The daily dog whistles it blows to attract and keep its aging, lily-white audience is Fox News' raison d'être. No amount of chiding and finger wagging from Megyn Kelly for not getting her knee-slapping "joke" changes that fact. If you want to remove that big ol' target from your back, the answer is very simple. Stop pandering to racists.

Originally posted to Steven Payne on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:23 AM PST.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges, RaceGender DiscrimiNATION, and Black Kos community.

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