Skip to main content

I haven't written in quite a while, but Megyn Kelly's uninformed, racist remarks goaded me into action, even in the middle of grading finals and papers.  Here's what I sent her:

Dear Ms. Kelly:

As a scholar with two doctorates in the field of early Christianity (specializing in the Christian East), I was appalled to hear your remarks about the presumed race of both Santa Claus and Jesus.

You correctly stated that the mythical figure of Santa Claus is based on an historical figure, St. Nicholas.  St. Nicholas was the bishop of Myra, a city near the southern coast of Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey).  First of all, modern categories of “black” and “white” are just that – modern – whereas race was understood differently in the ancient world.  St. Nicholas was not “white” if by white you mean European.  He most certainly was not a pale-skinned, red-cheeked, obese, married man, as Santa Claus is typically portrayed in contemporary American culture.  Rather, St. Nicholas was an unmarried, ascetic (i.e., thin through fasting), Mediterranean/Middle Eastern bishop, so the notion of the contemporary Santa Claus’ being “black” is no further removed from the historical reality than his being fat, married, and “white.”

Even more disconcerting was your equally inaccurate assertion that Jesus was white.  Jesus was, of course, Jewish, and so was racially Semitic, at a time when there was very little intermarriage of Jews with non-Jews.  This means that Jesus would have had black or very dark brown hair, dark brown eyes, and olive skin, with Middle Eastern facial features, including probably a large nose.  He was most certainly not a white European.  The portraits of Jesus that I have seen in Protestant churches and homes throughout the country depicting him with light brown or even blue eyes, light brown (almost blond) hair, and clearly European facial features is as historically inaccurate as any black/African Jesus.

Ironically, then, It appears that you are as concerned to make important figures such as Jesus and St. Nicholas/Santa Claus similar to your own cultural and racial identity as is Aisha Harris.  Perhaps you should be more sympathetic to her position.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

schemp, Egg, Mark Sumner, Pat K California, Thumb, Alumbrados, Superskepticalman, cdreid, Mimikatz, vicki, TXdem, Chi, filkertom, Radiowalla, True North, MadRuth, grollen, Timaeus, Subterranean, Liberal Thinking, dfarrah, Gooserock, JeffLieber, TrueBlueMajority, NYmom, Sprinkles, Yoshimi, Shockwave, Heimyankel, simaramis, Sherri in TX, Wintermute, SanJoseLady, Jay C, Troutfishing, mslat27, eeff, rubyr, frsbdg, Pompatus, HootieMcBoob, LeftHandedMan, freelunch, MarkInSanFran, JLFinch, checkmate, rasbobbo, concernedamerican, missLotus, susans, BlackSheep1, kalihikane, amsterdam, mbayrob, sfgb, KMc, mole333, boadicea, AlyoshaKaramazov, otto, Frederick Clarkson, taonow, Bronxist, librarianman, Terre, splashy, antirove, Alna Dem, Cardinal Fang, wader, revsue, jdmorg, Lilyvt, Redfire, Texknight, SneakySnu, hangingchad, TexDem, MKS, MA Liberal, Noodles, exiledfromTN, cosette, yet another liberal, niteskolar, DSC on the Plateau, dwahzon, Steven Payne, Catte Nappe, lcrp, riverlover, 2dot, Brian82, Diana in NoVa, zerelda, Curt Matlock, randallt, WisVoter, Hillbilly Dem, hayden, Black Max, eve, realalaskan, rambler american, Josiah Bartlett, rmx2630, Armand451, oortdust, Gowrie Gal, angrybird, bloomer 101, Bluesee, Simian, radarlady, Ckntfld, ichibon, caul, Explorer8939, Chinton, chimene, democracy inaction, JohnB47, one of 8, citizenx, basquebob, terrypinder, Gary Norton, eru, owlbear1, SaraBeth, Pam from Calif, Sun Tzu, aaraujo, GreyHawk, Fury, markdd, sunbro, Tool, Tunk, Shotput8, FindingMyVoice, Jlukes, Hannibal, peacestpete, mightymouse, begone, Philpm, third Party please, kovie, lonemorriscodem, WB Reeves, tarheelblue, Keone Michaels, Kingsmeg, 417els, BeadLady, Themistoclea, hungrycoyote, SciFiGuy, profundo, Yellow Canary, deha, global citizen, gpoutney, The Hindsight Times, Rosaura, JVolvo, middleagedhousewife, onionjim, JWR, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, NancyWH, Bernie68, Temmoku, postmodernista, sea note, OHdog, janetsal, BeninSC, anotherdemocrat, nipit, tgypsy, Debs2, paz3, EdSF, beth meacham, FishOutofWater, Mary Mike, Dave in Northridge, mommyof3, davehouck, artisan, letsgetreal, jnhobbs, Moderation, Bridge Master, CT Hank, Wreck Smurfy, leonard145b, skod, Empower Ink, gizmo59, rmonroe, rogerdaddy, JaxDem, hulagirl, GAS, OleHippieChick, Youffraita, Tchrldy, LI Mike, smrichmond, elwior, Akonitum, Calamity Jean, Lujane, TomFromNJ, tofumagoo, royce, pamelabrown, RandomNonviolence, hwmnbn, left my heart, catly, petulans, TexanJane, Piren, BYw, pelagicray, Al Fondy, suesue, sydneyluv, LaFeminista, maggiejean, Bule Betawi, Rhysling, artmartin, MufsMom, greengemini, juca, bobatkinson, Carol in San Antonio, CanyonWren, Don Enrique, Heianshoka, ebrann, indres, mkor7, Remediator, Obama Amabo, followyourbliss, elziax, papahaha, COwoman, Egghead, sfarkash, Little Flower, ArthurPoet, LincolnDuncan, LookingUp, collardgreens, Words In Action, HoopJones, Just Bob, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, hatecloudsyourthoughts, David PA, NJpeach, gramofsam1, piers, kjoftherock, Crabby Abbey, mookins, alguien, freeport beach PA, Things Come Undone, Garfnobl, batchick, gulfgal98, pixxer, ItsSimpleSimon, Hoopgreen, Kristina40, AJ in Camden, Texnance, Betty Pinson, cocinero, science nerd, Oh Mary Oh, FrankSpoke, slice, dpwks, praying manatheist, kerflooey, slowbutsure, La Gitane, ObamOcala, hagarwood, asterkitty, SoCaliana, lupinella, molunkusmol, mrsgoo, Haf2Read, marleycat, sethtriggs, thomask, BarackStarObama, moldyfolky, EagleOfFreedom, Grandma Susie, wintergreen8694, TRPChicago, antooo, bluedust, Daulphin, Joe Jackson, cailloux, Vatexia, Hayate Yagami, SoCalSal, JenS, VILLY, Alfreda89, DRo, googie, Chitown Kev, Rashaverak, caryltoo, Mathazar, BlueDragon, jacey, Pinto Pony, ridemybike, KiB, bluezen, anodnhajo, MightyMoe, Siri, IndieGuy, SilverWillow, nellgwen, tb92, swampyankee, 2thanks, FloridaSNMOM, congenitalefty, peachcreek, belinda ridgewood, MartyM, doroma, Buckeye54, javagal, rebereads, lunachickie, avsp, 4mygirls, wasatch, Robynhood too, ShoshannaD, Portlaw, Hammerhand, Sue B, Upie, Blue Bell Bookworm, onceasgt, countwebb, Linda1961, JayRaye, Joy of Fishes, SixSixSix, HedwigKos, Jollie Ollie Orange, ORswede, Jeff Murdoch, helpImdrowning, PaloAltoPixie, Smoh, Grandson named me Papa, nice marmot, BadKitties, ET3117, k9kiki, tampaedski, Another Grizzle, tubaguy, TheDuckManCometh, Gardener in PA, debn, MethuenProgressive, eagleray, justaHippie, RocketJSquirrel, jbsoul, marykmusic, VPofKarma, Skyye, ginimck, Marymeet27, EastCoastProgressive1963

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site