Fox "News" actor Megyn Kelly stressed today that, "...by the way, for all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white. But this person is arguing that we should also have a black Santa, but, you know, Santa is what he is, just so you know, we're just debating this."
While defending the Caucasian ancestry of the imaginary Santa Claus, Kelly added, "Jesus was a white man, too. He was a historical figure. That is a verifiable fact. As is Santa. I just want the kids watching to know that. How do you just revise it in the middle of the legacy? Of the story? And change Santa from white to black?"
Kelly is claiming it's a verifiable fact that Jesus existed, that he was a Caucasian child born to dark olive-skinned Jews, that he spent his life living in Africa and the Middle East. In other words, Kelly says it's a verifiable fact that Jesus looked like the Caucasian guy on the left, but not the brown guy on the right.
The dark skin tone of the people who lived in that part of the world at the time suggest that Jesus (if he existed) if seen today, would be described as a black man, or at least brown-skinned. From a social perspective, we have other clues; he called other men his brothers, public officials hassled him everywhere he went, authorities beat him up in custody, and he couldn't get a fair trail to save his life.
But I digress. Let's talk Santa.
I recommend checking out the Jon Stewart clip on this bs...it was priceless.
Sounds juicy. Can you post a link to that clip, Kairan?
I found it:
Danielle, here's the important part about Santa from the Jon Stewart video. The image on the right depicts the modern-day Caucasian version of Santa Claus (which Fox "News" asserts is based on historical fact). The image on the left is from the results of a study commissioned by the Vatican, which had the goal of estimating what St. Nicholas, a bishop who lived in what is now Turkey, actually looked like.
So the photo of Santa you posted below reflects the reality (exclusive of flying reindeer, elves, and the north pole): the real Santa was black.
Black Santa makes me happy. It's a good thing. But it's still silly.
I mean, none of it's real, so while we're at it, we should make the Easter Bunny and the Toothfairy into fellow mythical characters of color. Actually, Casper could do with a bit of a melanin infusion too. It might be hard to explain, but what about Frosty the Charcoal-Black Snowman (should we avoid going with an Asian Snowman)?
I mean, none of it's real,
I think that's the key point here. If it's not real, except inside the imagination, it can be anything anybody wants it to be. Who gets to say what's valid and what isn't?
so while we're at it, we should make the Easter Bunny and the Toothfairy into fellow mythical characters of color. Actually, Casper could do with a bit of a melanin infusion too. It might be hard to explain, but what about Frosty the Charcoal-Black Snowman (should we avoid going with an Asian Snowman)?
Yes, I really think we should [make mythical characters of color]. Or at least, nobody should mind (let alone find it threatening) when others do. The more people seem to mind, or the more people think that something imaginary is resistant to change in this way-- whether by sacredness or just some inherent quality-- perhaps the more impetus we should have to change it. So let's create new traditions from the old ones (or resort to parody or mockery) until the thing is changed. No character in often-retold tales of fiction or legend is immune when we simply ignore the standard and the traditional and make it our own.
Saint Nicholas was born in Turkey. Nikolaos of Myra Myra is now called Demre. So was he really whit?
Maybe he was technically "caucasian," but it's likely he was of a more brown tone than the stereotypical white person. The definition of 'whiteness' has changed over the years to include peoples previously conidered to be non-white, for example: Italians, Polish, Jewish, and Slavic people were not thought of as white.
The term caucasian is used by social scientists to describe more than just light skinned Europeans:
"Caucasian race (also Caucasoid) is the general physical type of some or all of the populations of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Western, Central and South Asia. The term was used in biological anthropology for many people from these regions, without regard necessarily to skin tone." --from Wikipedia entry on 'caucasian.'
I apologize that I can't link to that article on my tablet.