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War On Christmas Update: Dreaming Of A White Santa And Jesus Edition

Merry Christmas Happy Holidays

Just when you thought that the “War On Christmas” meme could not possibly get any more ridiculous, it entered completely bizarre territory last week when Fox News host Megyn Kelly, now part of the network’s prime time line up, decided to add a racial element to the entire fake controversy:

On Wednesday night Megyn Kelly declared on her Fox News show that both Santa Claus and Jesus were white. Discussing a piece in Slate by Aisha Harris about a black versus white Santa, Kelly that “just because it makes you feel uncomfortable it doesn’t mean it has to change.”

“You know, I’ve given her her due. Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change,” Kelly said. “Jesus was a white man, too. It’s like we have, he’s a historical figure that’s a verifiable fact, as is Santa, I just want kids to know that. How do you revise it in the middle of the legacy in the story and change Santa from white to black?”

Here’s video of the segment in question:

As noted, the catalyst for the panel discussion on Kelly’s show was a piece in Slate by a woman named Aisha Harris where this argument is made:

When I was a kid, I knew two different Santa Clauses. The first had a fat belly, rosy cheeks, a long white beard, and skin as pink as bubble gum. He was omnipresent, visiting my pre-school and the local mall, visible in all of my favorite Christmas specials.

Then there was the Santa in my family’s household, in the form of ornaments, cards, and holiday figurines. A near-carbon copy of the first one—big belly, rosy cheeks, long white beard: check, check, check. But his skin was as dark as mine.

Seeing two different Santas was bewildering. Eventually I asked my father what Santa really looked like. Was he brown, like us? Or was he really a white guy?

My father replied that Santa was every color. Whatever house he visited, jolly old St. Nicholas magically turned into the likeness of the family that lived there.

Harris takes this bit of fatherly wisdom and bizarrely turns it on its head by suggesting that, in the future, we should depict Santa Claus as a penguin. You can click on the link to try to figure out the logic of that part of her argument, if you can. However, given the fact that we have already constructed a vast and rich story behind the Santa Claus character to begin with, it doesn’t seem all that strange to me that the explanation of Harris’s father regarding the physical characteristics of Santa Claus should not be included as part of that myth. After all, the myth itself is entirely cultural to begin with. Go to Europe and you’ll find that Santa Claus, or as he’s called in other nation’s St. Nick or Father Christmas, looks completely different from the character that we are familiar with and, in some cases, even delivers presents on a completely different day of the overall Christmas season. There’s surely plenty of room for the idea that the American idea of Santa Claus can be multi-racial. Indeed, as our country become more demographically diverse I predict that we’ll see depictions of Santa change accordingly, even if only in a subtle way at first. In any event, Harris’s argument is only tangentially related to what Kelly had to say so we’ll leave that argument for another day.

Not surprisingly, Kelly’s argument that both Santa Claus and Jesus Christ were, or depending on how you want to put it are, white was subjected to no small degree of ridicule. Beginning with this piece on The Daily Show:

Kelly’s argument also came under more serious criticism, such as this from Jonathan Merritt with regard to her assertion that Jesus Christ was white:

Setting aside the ridiculousness of creating rigidly racial depictions of a fictitious character that does not actually exist—sorry, kids—like Santa, Kelly has made a more serious error about Jesus. The scholarly consensus is actually that Jesus was, like most first-century Jews, probably a dark-skinned man. If he were taking the red-eye flight from San Francisco to New York today, Jesus might be profiled for additional security screening by TSA.

The myth of a white Jesus is one with deep roots throughout Christian history. As early as the Middle Ages and particularly during the Renaissance, popular Western artists depicted Jesus as a white man, often with blue eyes and blondish hair. Perhaps fueled by some Biblical verses correlating lightness with purity and righteousness and darkness with sin and evil, these images sought to craft a sterile Son of God.

The only problem was that the representations were historically inaccurate.

Modern Western Christians have carried these images over into their own depictions of Jesus. Pick up a one of those bright blue “Bible Story” books in a Sunday School classroom and you’ll find white Jesus waiting for you, rosy cheeks and all. Or you could survey the light-skinned Jesus in any number of modern TV or film portrayals, including History Channel’s hit series The Bible.

Interestingly, the Bible is far less descriptive on the matter of Jesus’ skin color than we are. Christian scriptures say very little about Jesus’ physical appearance. They do not comment on his nose, eye color, skin pigmentation, or hair. The glaring exception is Isaiah 53:2, which prophesies that the messiah won’t be much to look at, another fact that places the Bible at odds with the “well-groomed surfer-dude Jesus” who’s often put forth.

While James Poniewozik makes this point with regard to Kelly’s comments with regard to the supposedly lily white Santa Claus:

Santa just is what he is. OK, here’s the part where I need to take the argument seriously for a moment. That argument, such as it is, is that Santa Claus is based on a historical figure, Saint Nicholas. True: Nikolaos of Myra was a 4th-century Greek bishop in modern-day Turkey, and according to reconstructions of modern forensic scientists using skull remains, lookedsomething like this-not exactly the jolly North European bowl o’ jelly who has ho-ho-ho’ed across popular culture since appearing in early 20th-century Coca-Cola ads.

All that said! Relying on the historical argument to prove or disprove whether Santa is white is essentially insane. Because, and I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I will argue that once you give the guy a workshop of magical elves, eight tiny flying reindeer, and the ability to distend his corpulent body down a billion chimneys in a night, historical verisimilitude no longer obtains. Santa-avert your eyes, kids-is a fictional character, and as such, can plausibly be represented and colored any damn way you want him. (Or her! Yeah, I said it.) To say that he “is just white” because that’s the way fictional pictures of him have mostly appeared is to say that your pictures and traditions are solely legitimate, authentic, the cultural default. (A message that seems aimed not so much at the kids as at an audience of adult viewers terrified of cultural change in Obama’s America.)

On her show Friday night, Kelly attempted to spin the story claiming that it was all a big joke:

Megyn Kelly said Friday evening she was making off-hand and “tongue-in-cheek”comments about Santa Claus and Jesus Christ being white, and that the controversy over the segment is a result of “race-baiting” while the real debate was lost.

Devoting more than 15 minutes of “The Kelly File” to the subject and bringing on two panelists to discuss the reaction, Kelly said the original Wednesday segment was just a way to bring some humor to her show.

“I realize that the piece by [Aisha] Harris which went on to argue that Santa should be a penguin was also tongue in cheek. That’s in part why we covered the story in the first place,” Kelly said. “Humor is part of what we try to bring to the show. Sometimes that’s lost on the humorless.”

Kelly played several clips of other networks and late-night comedians discussing or making jokes about the Santa segment. The frenzied reaction would be funny Kelly said, “if it were not so telling of our society if any the knee jerk instinct to race bait” and attributed part of the blow back to Fox News’ popularity.

“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,” she said.

Andrew Sullivan for one isn’t buying it:

I’d say two things. The original segment was clearly not as light-hearted and humorous as Kelly now insists it was. She did not originally refer to the Slate piece as “tongue-in-cheek” and responded to its provocation by being offended, not amused. Since both tapes are out there, make your own mind up. But rather than cop to an obvious error – made off the cuff – she made the decision to hunker down and accuse others of persecuting Fox News because it isn’t liberal. So the classic and silly notion that white Republicans are somehow an oppressed class – and minorities should just stop whining – became her “correction.” But that’s not a correction. It’s a distraction.

More to the point, the much more disturbing assertion that “Jesus was white” – something Kelly injected into the conversation all by herself – is left hanging. She claims in one aside in her response that the question “is not settled.” But it is. Jesus was a first century Jew. He’s not a northern European. He was Semitic, not Caucasian. Now maybe Kelly will unpack why she may believe that Jews are somehow “white” in her racial categorization of humanity, while, say, Hispanics are not. But it seems likely she won’t. That would open a very large box of premises Roger Ailes prefers to keep vacuum-wrapped.

So she screwed up – which we all do. But on the core measure of whether she could fairly cop to her screw-up, correct and apologize for it, she failed.

Sullivan starts off his piece by noting his impression that Kelly has, in the past been different from other Fox News hosts in that she doesn’t neatly fall into the network’s habit of putting people on the air who simply parrot the GOP/Tea Party line without question. While I’m not a regular FNC viewer, I have been in locations such as doctors office waiting rooms where her old afternoon show was playing and she was often in the habit of bringing on people with opposing points of view and actually treating them fairly, something you don’t often see on that network (or on MSNBC to be honest.) She also has a reputation for putting notable conservatives on the spot, most famously on Election Night 2012 when she pretty much humiliated Karl Rove on the air when he refused to agree with the Fox Network’s own decision to call Ohio for President Obama by taking a camera back to the room where the data was being analyzed and having one of their experts refute Rove’s arguments point-for-point. After that night, it was at least six weeks before Rove even appeared on a Fox News program again. Moreover, when Kelly’s contract was up shortly after the election she was reportedly openly being courted by both CBS News and CNN and the one thing that ended up keeping her at Fox was the promise of a prime time show and, of course, a healthy increase in salary.

In that respect, it surprised more than a few people to see her make comments that would seem more appropriate coming out of the mouths of the hosts of Fox and Friends, The Five, or the Commanding General in the War On The (Fake) War On Christmas, Bill O’Reilly. Perhaps her move to prime time, and specifically the time slot once occupied by the incredibly vapid Sean Hannity made her think she has to appeal to the audience likely to be watching. Perhaps it was just a dumb screw-up. In any case, if there’s anything dumber than the War On Christmas, it’s turning the War On Christmas into a racial thing by creating a racial debate about the two primary “characters,” one cultural the other religious, of the Christmas season into something of a race war. If it weren’t for the fact that Fox News continues to be the most watched cable news network in the country, this wouldn’t even matter. However, that’s not the case unfortunately.

For the record, it doesn’t matter what color you think Santa Claus is and, based on all available ethnographic evidence, it is fairly clear that Jesus Christ, his mother Mary, and all of Jesus’s disciples were more or less dark skinned in the same manner that those people who live in those parts of Israel/Jordan/Lebanon where there has been very little interaction with Europeans are darker skinned. That’s just a fact whether it makes Fox News viewers comfortable or not.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. G.A.Phillips says:

    There is only one human race and we are all brown.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    Well, whatever the historical St. Nicholas or Jesus of Nazareth looked like, we can probably be confident that they weren’t 16th century Germans which is what the iconography might lead one to believe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  3. Franklin says:

    I thought our modern American representation came from an old Coke advertisement. But I’m too lazy to check that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  4. michael reynolds says:

    First: My God. GA Phillips said something intelligent. So Christmas really is a time of miracles.

    Second: the Wise Man in this seems to be Aisha Harris’ father.

    Third: The Donkey in this stable is clearly Megyn Kelly. On the other hand, she’s a babe. And in the spirit of forgiveness, I tend to cut slack to beautiful blonds. (I know: sexist. Sorry.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  5. “To say that he “is just white” because that’s the way fictional pictures of him have mostly appeared is to say that your pictures and traditions are solely legitimate, authentic, the cultural default.”

    This is the most significant observation is this whole discussion. What this underscores is how so many whites see white as “normal” and this is at the root of a lot of our race problems

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 1

  6. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    What this underscores is how so many whites see white as “normal” and this is at the root of a lot of our race problems

    And by association how many of them see not white as ” not normal”. You just have to love the persecution complex of the majority.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  7. @HarvardLaw92: Indeed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Let’s take the arbitrary racial definitions imposed on us by the Affirmative Action movement and apply them to the figures in question.

    Jesus of Nazareth: Jewish, Semitic. “White.”

    Saint Nicholas: Greek, Mediterranean. “White.”

    Sinterklaas: Northern European. “White.”

    But if we’re going to just arbitrarily dismiss historical accuracy for certain figures, can we remake “Shaft” with The Rock in the starring role? How about “Roots,” starring Robert Pattinson?

    This whole thing is stupid. Kelly is right, but it’s simply not important. When I first heard that they cast a black man as a Viking god for “Thor,” I was irritated — it seemed a bit of tokenism and a nod towards “diversity” that flew in the face of logic. Vikings were white, and they wouldn’t have a non-white god. But Idris Elba gave, in my opinion, the best performance in that film, and it included two Oscar winners.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 36

  9. KM says:

    Kelly has, in the past been different from other Fox News hosts in that she doesn’t neatly fall into the network’s habit of putting people on the air who simply parrot the GOP/Tea Party line without question

    She still willing works for them and they willing put her on the air. Just because she’s not as obviously batshit crazy as the rest of them doesn’t mean she’s a paragon of sanity and reason. She clearly believes what she said and is trying to spin it so she doesn’t take flack for it.

    I have never understood this fascination with what a physical Jesus must have looked like. I mean, ultimately it doesn’t matter one whit since the whole point of Christianity isn’t that he was born unto us fitting a specific preferable phenotype, but that he transcended all the petty useless mortal crap and died for everyone regardless who they were. Someone truly faithful doesn’t care what their Lord looks like – only those who’s faith and goodness are literally skin deep worry about such nonsense. And while St Nick was real, Santa is not and never was so what is the point if he’s fat or skinny or black or Asian or full-bearded or scruffy or what?

    Again, she’s employed by Fox for a reason. Just because she’s a little saner then most doesn’t mean she doesn’t have Issues With Race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Damn, found this just too late, but Case Closed: Santa is Odin, and both are white.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 19

  11. KM says:

    @Jenos:

    black man as a Viking god for “Thor”

    What’s truly weird about that was Heimdallr is known as the White God as one of his defining characteristics. Perhaps someone was trying for a meta joke that flew over everyone’s head?

    And the Aesir weren’t Vikings, they were worshipped by them. That’s like saying if you’re a fan of Mandela you must be black – false equivalency. I’m not British but I love me some Beatles.

    Plus, in the MCU they’re not really gods so what the hell do we know about race genetics in a universe where people fly and turn green when pissed? :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  12. Woody says:

    I’d say Ms Kelly has justified Roger Ailes’ undeniable brilliance concerning Fox News: she outrages the left, which tickles the right; and reinforces the right’s infinite capacity for victimhood, while giving the religious right yet another reason to defend Fox as an article of belief and martyrdom.

    And, yes, she is very attractive as well. Roger Wins The Weekend.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  13. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Idanian #13

    Considering that you were, once again publicly humiliated a few months ago when it became clear that you did not have a clue about the difference between race and ethnic identity, I am a bit surprised that you are anxious to jump into another discussion on race.

    But then you do seem to have a remarkably high tolerance for humiliation.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  14. An Interested Party says:

    Kelly is right…

    How’s that? You really think Jesus had the same melanin content as you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Someone should sneak onto her show and explain that, anthropologically and linguistically speaking, Iranians are more “white” than Jews.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  16. Andre Kenji says:

    Here in Brazil, there was a doctor in a hospital that used various racial slurs against a Black Mother(She compared her to a monkey and basically said that she was a Old N*). That´s the picture of this racist doctor:

    http://www.geledes.org.br/images/stories/2013/dezembro/Manaus-Amazonas-Amazonia-Medica-atender-crianca-pobretona-Manaus_ACRIMA20131211_0011_23.jpg:

    Race is basically a social construct, so, someone can be both viewed as White and as Non-White on different circumstances.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  17. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: Dumbass, I started from the outset using the official racial categories. So yeah, I’m as “white” as Jesus probably was by that definition.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 15

  18. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Oh, Annie. Why do liberals need to cut down strong conservative women?

    Kelly’s in for the Full Palin treatment. She’s smart, she’s educated, she’s articulate, she’s attractive, she’s a breeder, and she’s a conservative. She’s your worst nightmare brought to life.

    This makes me wonder. Why is it so many of the female liberal leaders have no real accomplishments of their own, while conservative women are self-made?

    Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama have no real accomplishments of their own, and almost entirely derive their status from their husbands. Nancy Pelosi was daddy’s little girl. On the other hand, women like Kelly, Sarah Palin, Michelle Malkin, and Ann Coulter made it on their own.

    Which is why they must be torn down.

    But back to the original article: this piece was a light-hearted fluff segment based on a liberal’s idea that we needed a black Santa, and maybe we should make Santa a penguin so he’d be both black and white. That idea needed to be laughed at.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 34

  19. KM says:

    @Jenos:

    Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama have no real accomplishments of their own,

    Really? Or perhaps, just not accomplishments you think are worthwhile? After all, of the below list you provided, only conservative doesn’t apply to them:

    She’s smart, she’s educated, she’s articulate, she’s attractive, she’s a breeder, and she’s a conservative. she’s liberal.

    Why don’t they meet those criteria for you, I wonder?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  20. beth says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: The idea that you would say Hillary Clinton has no accomplishments is probably the most laughable thing you’ve ever posted. Unless you’ve held an office higher than Secretary of State or U.S. Senator, I suggest you be quiet about who has accomplished what.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 1

  21. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @KM: You confuse two distinct points — not surprising. You’re mixing attributes with accomplishments. The two are not the same.

    But since you bring it up, why not tell us why Michelle Obama is such a good role model? Her job at the hospital that was so critical she was handsomely paid for it (largely by an earmark set up by Senator Barack Obama), but after she quit they didn’t bother to replace her.

    I guess no other politician needed a high-paying job for a relative. Astounding for Chicago…

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 18

  22. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @HarvardLaw92: And Steven Taylor. White people like Kelly do not see themselves as normal. They see themselves, based on their race’s performance during the 19th and most of the 20th century, as entitled and powerful and therefore “superior” and “preferable”. Normal connotes usualness and averageness–the opposite of Kelly’s implication–special people are the special color–white. Mix in the persecution complex Catholics like Bill Reilly suffer from and it explains Fox News’ talking points.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  23. michael reynolds says:

    I think Jenos has given up trying to pass himself off as equal to the ambient IQ of this room and is now just playing the clown hoping for attention, even derision. Not enough love in his life, perhaps?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  24. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Laurence Bachmann: And your deep insights on the psychology of people you see on TV is based on just what, exactly?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  25. rudderpedals says:

    MeGyn is simply the latest martyr. Everyone gets a turn. It’s part of the gig.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  26. KM says:

    @KM: You confuse two distinct points — not surprising. You’re mixing attributes with accomplishments. The two are not the same.

    It was your list, darling, so I’d say the confusion was yours since you listed them as reason Ms Kelly “your worst nightmare brought to life”. I’m not debating her credentials as I’m not well versed enough in her bio (or frankly give a damn). She could be the most brilliant mind to grace Fox’s airwaves for all I know. However, on this issue? She is wrong. She is wrong out loud and proud. This was not her being funny or trying to tell a joke. She seriously believes that the color of an imaginary figment of consumerism’s best efforts to sell everything in sight really matters. He’s not real so what exactly is her problem if someone thinks he looks different then she envisions? If a black Santa can boost sales, shouldn’t a capitalist be all over that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  27. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @KM: Did you actually watch the clips? I’m thinking no.

    Go and educate yourself. Let Ms. Kelly speak for herself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 14

  28. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @KM: Cupcake, if you couldn’t see where the list ended and the subject shifted, perhaps you shouldn’t trouble yourself with such complicated matters as discussed here.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 18

  29. C. Clavin says:

    Jenos…the poster child of today’s Republican Party…of course Kelly is right…she’s on Fox News…without whom Jenis would have no idea what to think.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  30. MarkedMan says:

    Just to be clear here, Jesus was a Semitic Jew, which is not to be confused with lighter skinned groupings coming from western or northern Europe. When I perused the Wikipedia list of ethnic groups included in the Semitic label the only two I could put faces to were “Arab” and “Ethiopian” so, yeah, Jesus would get a whole lot of extra attention at a US airport. And Fox News? Not so much in favor of his ‘kind’…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  31. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    But his mother gave him jello and Cheetos today…and wished his onesy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  32. MarkedMan says:

    And FWIW, I watched the original segment. There was nothing light hearted about it. Well, perhaps you could interpret the “Kids. Santa IS white” as a joking aside to any young children who might be watching. But then what was the point of saying it? That “kids” would find it disturbing if Santa wasn’t white? Which kids? Oh yeah, the ‘normal’ ones. AKA “white” ones. The latino and black ones who may have pictures of a darker skinned Santa in their home? F*’em.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  33. @KM:

    What’s truly weird about that was Heimdallr is known as the White God as one of his defining characteristics. Perhaps someone was trying for a meta joke that flew over everyone’s head?

    There’s rumors that some executives at Disney were concerned that, given the popularity of Nordic mythology in general and Heimdallr in particular among certain segments of white supremacy movements, a Thor movie might attract a fanbase that could lead to bad publicity. If true, the casting of Idris Elba in that role was intended as a pre-emptive eye poke toward that audience.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  34. JKB says:

    Well, according to the rules established for race and ethnicity by the US. OMB under the presidency of Bill Clinton,

    Jesus and Santa Claus are White Even Nikolaos of Myra is recognized as White by the US government.

    White – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

    You guys really need to stop obsessing over skin color.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 13

  35. KM says:

    @Jenos:

    Well bless your heart! Such a witty reply. Did you think of it yourself or did you have to have a strong self-made woman type it for you? Don’t trouble yourself over little ol’ me – I’m a big girl and read your poorly structured comments just fine. I’m more than capable of watching a video without inducing the vapors in myself.

    You didn’t give any reason Ms Kelly is successful – you listed attributes and then tried to excoriate someone when they point out the flaws in your logic. Perhaps if you were a better conversationalist, we would have less of these embarrassing moments when you just want to whine about women you don’t like and can’t provide solid credentials for the ones you do. Alas, the defender of conservative women can’t go 3 posts without resorting to sexism and asshattery. Poor Ms Kelly, if you’re the “intellectual” on her side…. you do her no favors with your nasty little episodes.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  36. angelfoot says:

    JKB: Santa Claus doesn’t exist. I don’t even know why Kelly brought Jesus into this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  37. Tillman says:

    Our culture’s conception of Jesus’s appearance is a conspiracy by Renaissance Italian artists who didn’t feel like hiring Jews to be models six hundred years ago. Consider Michelangelo: he didn’t even hire females to model for the women depicted in the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling.

    Go ahead, take another look at that ceiling. Those are really butch women.

    Santa Claus is a symbol of gift-giving and consumerism, and as such I don’t give as much a crap about what people think he looks like.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  38. Tillman says:

    @KM: Honestly, the fact that this thread seems bothered by a black Heimdall but not at all concerned about the Asian dude in the Warriors Three…speaks to priorities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  39. An Interested Party says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Oh pardon me, douchebag, but I didn’t realize that what you were trying to do was to ridicule affirmative action…meanwhile, your pathetic attempt to defend Kelly is as disingenuous as her spin that what she said was all a big joke…

    You guys really need to stop obsessing over skin color.

    Oh please…it is Kelly who appears to be obsessed with skin color…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  40. Kylopod says:

    Sullivan writes: “He was Semitic, not Caucasian.”

    While I agree that the common Western image of Jesus as a fair-skinned WASP is blindingly ahistorical, I admit to being a little intrigued by the assumption that “Semitic” is by definition not “Caucasian.” When I worked for the census, our manual instructed us to tell our respondents, when they weren’t sure what race to identify by, that “Caucasian” included those of Middle Eastern as well as European extraction. This fits the traditional definition of “Caucasian” in the old racial classifications of the 19th century, but it’s mostly ignored today, especially when it comes to Arabs.

    Of course that classification system is absurdly out of date, but the point is, so are terms like “Semitic” and “Caucasian,” and I think Sullivan is treating them too much like objective categories. Race has far more to do with social conventions than with biology, and “Semitic,” in particular, isn’t even really much of a social category anymore, assuming it ever was. The word itself is mostly restricted to Semitic languages and the term “anti-Semitic” (which everyone knows–even though some pretend not to–is simply a euphemism for “anti-Jewish”). Beyond that, it’s little more than a relic of an old system that no one today really takes seriously, not even white supremacists. I mean, people talk about Jews and they talk about Arabs, but who ever treats them as one single racial entity? (“I saw this dumb Semite walking down the street….”) For various sociological reasons, Jews today are widely seen as white (even swarthy Mizrahi Jews), while Arabs are commonly thought of as people of color. So while Jesus almost certainly did not look Northern European, where he’d fit in today’s classifications is not all that obvious, since we’re talking about a system that is itself fraught with complexities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  41. angelfoot says:

    @angelfoot: Well, that’s not quite true, Santa does exist, as a concept in the minds of young children. I suppose you could extend that to Jesus too. Any historical figures they might be based on are no longer important.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  42. JKB says:

    @angelfoot:

    Santa does exist for those who believe. And just as he can visit every home in 24 hour period hauling enough toys for all the good boys and girls in a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer (instead of 40 enormous moose), land on rooftops, go down chimneys with burning fires, not to mention get into high-rises with security, Santa appears in the way those who believe in him believe him to be. Even to the point of wearing a fur suit south of the 30N parallel in December while not dying of heat stroke.

    But based on Santa’s historical origins and the real person he is based upon, Santa is White according to the U.S. government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  43. angelfoot says:

    @JKB: See comment immediately above. It takes an exceptionally concrete thinker to give a crap about Santa’s historical origins. Jesus too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  44. angelfoot says:

    @angelfoot: And I’m not trying to say that people who have faith in Christ are like small children, just that Jesus has become an abstraction of larger spiritual and philosophical points.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  45. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Idanian #13:

    Hillary Clinton earned widespread respect in the Senate for her intelligence, work ethic, and grasp of complex issues. She did this in a single term, and some of the people who came to respect her were her political enemies.

    Don’t you think earning the respect of one’s adversaries is an impressive accomplishment? Well, I suppose your life experience does not really qualify you to have a useful opinion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  46. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    But based on Santa’s historical origins and the real person he is based upon, Santa is White according to the U.S. government.

    Since you have been telling us for years that the government is utterly incompetent and not to be trusted, it’s hard to see why you are wasting pixels with this comment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  47. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    this piece was a light-hearted fluff segment

    Yes, and Santa IS real.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  48. anjin-san says:

    Don’t be too hard on Jenos people, his blow up doll committed suicide recently.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  49. Andre Kenji says:

    Yes, Megyn Kelly is an excellent interviewer, she knows about politics and she seems to be an excellent lawyer. When she moderated the GOP debate she asked good questions, she did a better job than veterans like Diane Sawyer or John King.

    Unfortunately, we see NOTHING of that on her daily show on Fox.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  50. angelfoot says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Light-hearted fluff? Light-hearted fluff is a kitten in a tree rescued by the fire department. This was a mean-spirited hit piece by a major news network on a minor opinion writer. But I guess to the far-right mind these are one and the same.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  51. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    Eh, mediocre lawyer. She professes up and down that she left Jones Day, abandoning a partnership track, in order to become a freelance reporter. The consensus I have gotten from fellow alumni who are at Jones is that she was derailed and pointed towards the door. Anybody who has ever worked in one of these firms knows how it works – you are never fired, but it is made clear to you that you won’t be making partner and your future perhaps lies elsewhere.

    Again, that is entirely from others, but they’re generally reliable people and are positioned to know what they are talking about. She didn’t abandon Jones. They abandoned her.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  52. bill says:

    well i actually saw that show, first time i’ve seen her in that slot. i thought the whole issue was funny, didn’t see any firestorm coming over any of it. sure, santa is white and in the same breath so would jesus (if he exists). this is due mainly to the old age adage of their being 3 main races (Caucasian, African, Asian) and those dwelling in that part of the world would have to be considered caucasian. not that i buy into the pure “long haired white guy” theme anyway, but just for the sake of argument. and why are we even arguing over things we don’t think exist to begin with?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  53. Andre Kenji says:

    To me, the most interesting thing about this kind of discussion is not Jesus nor Santa, but the Virgin Mary. Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, is generally pictured as a mestiza with clear Amerindian heritage. Our Lady of Luján, the patron saint of Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay is also generally pictured as a woman with Amerindian heritage. Our Lady of Aparecida, the Patron Saint of Brazil, is a Black Woman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  54. angelfoot says:

    @bill:

    …why are we even arguing over things we don’t think exist to begin with?

    Because Megyn Kelly took Fox’s “War on Christmas” and added the unique dimension of race-baiting to it, and then accused her critics of being the race baiters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  55. angelfoot says:

    @Andre Kenji: As saints, Catholics should contemplate their miracles, not venerate their physical representation. I say this as a very lapsed Catholic. Maybe the Muslims have this right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  56. angelfoot says:

    @angelfoot: Her, not their.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  57. Grewgills says:

    @JKB: @Jenos Idanian #13:
    The historical figures Jesus and Saint Nikolas are as white as Yassar Arafat. Somehow I don’t think that is what Megyn meant though.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  58. Stonetools says:

    Well , since the ur-text tells us that Santa is a roly-poly elf, all this is moot, because Santa isn’t even human. What color are elves, anyone?
    Eh, this topic is just too stupid. K

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  59. Pylon says:

    Jesus was, of course, only half-Semitic, from Mary’s DNA. He also had genes from his dad which were probably dominant. And everyone knows God is white white white.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  60. Pylon says:

    I also happen to know that, at our place, Santa is of mixed white and Asian heritage. Though the body shape seems to be getting more and more like the Rockwell pictures.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  61. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: She’s also coming across as a blonde bimbo….

    Who would have known that getting a slot on Fox News would bleach your brain cells?!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  62. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Michelle Obama has been (as far as we can tell) a fantastic wife and mother. She has raised two extremely well-behaved and intelligent girls and managed to keep their lives private in what must be the biggest fishbowl in the world.

    Or I take it that raising children isn’t very important to you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  63. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Grewgills: Grew, just what standard are you using for determining “white?” I linked to a widely-accepted legal definition; everyone else is tapdancing around with semantics, avoiding anything that can be pinned down.

    And yes, by that definition I cited, Arafat was “white.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  64. C. Clavin says:

    @anjin-san:

    Don’t be too hard on Jenos people, his blow up doll committed suicide recently.

    And really…who wouldn’t???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  65. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @grumpy realist: Michelle Obama has been (as far as we can tell) a fantastic wife and mother. She has raised two extremely well-behaved and intelligent girls and managed to keep their lives private in what must be the biggest fishbowl in the world.

    While certainly admirable, it’s hardly role-model material. At least that’s what the feminist movement spent decades telling us. Women should be more than just wives and mothers, we’re told — recall all the sneering comments about Donna Reed, and Hillary Clinton’s dismissive “at home baking cookies” remarks?

    Michelle Obama was a “career woman” whose career was in a job paid for by her husband’s legislative efforts, a job that her employer essentially abolished after she left it.

    I don’t understand the admiration of her that borders on worship. I don’t see anything exceptional about her life choices and efforts that set her apart from, say, Laura Bush.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  66. @Jenos Idanian #13: I am curious: is it possible for you to put forth an actual argument? Forget what the straw women in your head are saying about motherhood and make your own case. Take a position and defend it, and not in some sort of faux dichotomy in which everything is is a lib/con contest.

    If you have a position on race, women, etc. make it.

    BTW: that cookie reference is about two decades old.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  67. In other words, the snarky “that’s what the feminist movement spent decades telling us” isn’t taking a position–it is just that: snark.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  68. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    Women should be more than just wives and mothers, we’re told

    Well, Michelle Obama is also the first lady of the United States of America. She represents our country all over the world, and for the most part, she has received rave reviews for the job she has done.

    Perhaps you did not get the memo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  69. Matt Bernius says:

    @Kylopod:

    When I worked for the census, our manual instructed us to tell our respondents, when they weren’t sure what race to identify by, that “Caucasian” included those of Middle Eastern as well as European extraction. This fits the traditional definition of “Caucasian” in the old racial classifications of the 19th century, but it’s mostly ignored today, especially when it comes to Arabs.

    It’s important to understand that Caucasian (as a pseudo-scientific racial categorization) is not the same thing as “White” (a sociocultural racial category).

    It’s also worth noting that “White” has always been a shifting category. Throughout the years various Caucasian people (Irish, Italians, Greeks, Romany, Turks, Jews) have been explicitly seen and labeled as not being “White.”

    In fact, one of the key privileges of being “White” is being able to say who *is* and *isn’t* “White” — which gets us back to the real underlying issue at hand.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  70. @Matt Bernius:

    It’s important to understand that Caucasian (as a pseudo-scientific racial categorization) is not the same thing as “White” (a sociocultural racial category).

    It’s also worth noting that “White” has always been a shifting category. Throughout the years various Caucasian people (Irish, Italians, Greeks, Romany, Turks, Jews) have been explicitly seen and labeled as not being “White.”

    In fact, one of the key privileges of being “White” is being able to say who *is* and *isn’t* “White” — which gets us back to the real underlying issue at hand.

    This.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  71. Andre Kenji says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Being “First Lady” is also a job. And it´s not an easy one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  72. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    You’ve been making these Michelle claims for years and I just ignored them.
    This morning was a little slow so I took the time to look it up.
    http://www.factcheck.org/2009/05/michelle-obamas-salary/
    Like all of your conspiracy theories your claims are pretty much total BS.
    Jenos…If all of your opinions are based upon complete nonsense…then all of your opinions are complete nonsense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  73. Matt Bernius says:

    @JKB:

    Santa does exist for those who believe. And just as he can visit every home in 24 hour period hauling enough toys for all the good boys and girls in a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer (instead of 40 enormous moose), land on rooftops, go down chimneys with burning fires, not to mention get into high-rises with security, Santa appears in the way those who believe in him believe him to be. Even to the point of wearing a fur suit south of the 30N parallel in December while not dying of heat stroke.

    But based on Santa’s historical origins and the real person he is based upon, Santa is White according to the U.S. government.

    What’s so brilliant about all of this — and perhaps it’s intentional — is that you spend an entire paragraph thoughtfully categorizing all of the wonderful, magical things than Santa can do… only to wrap it up by grounding him to a simple racial reality (Santa is White).

    What’s so sad about the entire Megan Kelly thing is that if you go back to the original Slate piece, Harris’ father offered the best solution right at the beginning: “My father replied that Santa was every color. Whatever house he visited, jolly old St. Nicholas magically turned into the likeness of the family that lived there.”

    Santa — true to his metaphorical tradition — reflected (showed us) the good in us.

    What’s tragic here is that such an open interpretation (no less magical than anything else about Santa) is so subversive/dangerous for so many folks.

    Seriously, I’d think FOX news would be far more concerned about the heavy communist imagery of Santa and the underlying socialism of his entire love, peace, and “give everyone gifts” agenda.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  74. @Matt Bernius:

    you spend an entire paragraph thoughtfully categorizing all of the wonderful, magical things than Santa can do… only to wrap it up by grounding him to a simple racial reality (Santa is White).

    Indeed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  75. C. Clavin says:
  76. C. Clavin says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    FYI….Friday night I played Santa for 55 kids at our company party.
    I was lucky enough to be born a white male in the US of A…the equivalent of winning a lottery.
    But not a single kid cared one way or the other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  77. Andre Kenji says:

    @angelfoot: I´m a lapsed Catholic too, but I think that Saints are more than miracles, they also represent aspirations. I think that in one sense people in Latin America sees Virgin Mary not as the Mother of Jesus, but the representation of all mothers(That´s why Jesus as a “boy, “el niño, menino”, is also very popular).

    That´s why there are Catholics like Newt Gingrich and Rich Santorum that never talks about saints.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  78. Matt Bernius says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    Being “First Lady” is also a job. And it´s not an easy one.

    There’s a long standing tradition in American parties to see the First Lady from the opposite party as a social gadfly. Though typically they’re typically viewed is a *slightly* better light than their husbands.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  79. al-Ameda says:

    She also has a reputation for putting notable conservatives on the spot, most famously on Election Night 2012 when she pretty much humiliated Karl Rove on the air when he refused to agree with the Fox Network’s own decision to call Ohio for President Obama

    I’ll cut her some slack for that War on Christmas, Aryan Santa and White Jesus stuff, but really … I suppose it gets people riled up, but it’s so tired, lame and stupid. Even members of my family (brothers and sisters) get riled up by this stuff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  80. al-Ameda says:

    @anjin-san:

    Don’t be too hard on Jenos people, his blow up doll committed suicide recently.

    I believe it was the Ann Coulter model?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  81. Andre Kenji says:

    @Matt Bernius: Here that´s less of an issue, people seems to concentrate on politicians, not their families(Lula´s son, a successful media entrepreneur, it´s the exception that makes the rule) . Dilma Rousseff endures dozens of misogynistic insults, but very few of them are related to the fact that she is unmarried.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  82. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I think the group would be interested in hearing exactly how your accomplishments compare to those of Michelle Obama???

    The first lady, a graduate of both Princeton University and Harvard Law School, was quite accomplished before she joined the University of Chicago in 1996 and ultimately the medical center in 2002. Her prior work experience included stints as an associate with the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin LLP, assistant commissioner of planning and development in Chicago’s City Hall and executive director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  83. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And yes, by that definition I cited, Arafat was “white.”

    Do you honestly believe that’s what she meant?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  84. wr says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: “BTW: that cookie reference is about two decades old.”

    Yes, but to be fair his stirring defense of the Donna Reed Show is still less than fifty years out of date.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  85. grumpy realist says:

    @wr: And what no one seems to point out is that all those women who played Donna Reed type roles in films and on TV?

    They were actresses. Getting a paid salary. Employed women, in other words.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  86. wr says:

    @grumpy realist: To be fair, so is Ann Coulter, and Jenos seizes on every one of her words as if she actually meant them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  87. C. Clavin says:

    @wr:
    Ann Coulter is a woman?
    Are you sure?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  88. Kylopod says:

    It’s important to understand that Caucasian (as a pseudo-scientific racial categorization) is not the same thing as “White” (a sociocultural racial category).

    True–but people have come to treat the two terms as more or less equivalent. So just as “white” is a shifting category, so in effect is “Caucasian.” The linguist Geoff Nunberg provides an intriguing quote from an early-20th-century immigration reformer listing all the following groups as non-Caucasian: “Tartars, Finns, Hungarians, Jews, Turks, Syrians, Persians, Hindus, Mexicans, Zulus, Hottentots [and] Kafirs.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  89. R.Dave says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: ““To say that he “is just white” because that’s the way fictional pictures of him have mostly appeared is to say that your pictures and traditions are solely legitimate, authentic, the cultural default.”

    I don’t think that’s a fair or accurate read of Kelly’s comment. The presumption behind her comment wasn’t (in my view anyway) that her traditions are solely legitimate or authentic, but rather that all traditions derive their legitimacy and authenticity from their longstanding historical development. In short, older trumps newer, and a tradition is only a tradition if it’s, well, traditional. When a fictional character originates in a predominantly white culture and is depicted as white for hundreds of years, that fictional character “is” white. Similarly, characters drawn from Native American, Chinese, African, Indian or whatever other cultural traditions just “are” whatever race they have been perceived and portrayed as for generation upon generation. Of course, people are free to re-imagine myths however the heck they want, but that new re-imagination doesn’t change the essential characteristics of the pre-existing tradition in anything close to real time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  90. @R.Dave: Yes, but the notion of accepting white as default in an unthinking way underscores the privileged position of whiteness in this conversation. It is especially significant with the inclusion of “Jesus is white” especially since she admitted the next day that she was unaware that Jesus likely wasn’t white.

    I concur that Santa has traditionally been drawn as white. This is because white has been the dominant color in the US and the whole point of the essay that was under discussion was about how a non-white girl might interpret that dominance. That white is dominant, and therefore the norm/the default that non-whites have to accept is a power dynamic and not just a discussion of empirical facts. That Santa wears red is a description. That “Santa is just white” goes to historical power dynamics. To go to “Santa is just white” misses why the conversation existed at all.

    The general condescension in the discussion for some of the participants illustrates the problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  91. John425 says:

    Sahih Muslim Book 001, Hadith Number 0324.
    Sahih Muslim Book 01. Faith

    Bismillah-Hir-Rahman-Nir-Raheem

    Chapter : Pertaining to Jesus son of Mary and al-Masib al-Dajjil.

    It is narrated on the authority of ‘Abdulldh b. Umar that one day the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) mentioned in the presence of people about al-Masih al-Dajjal. He said: Verily Allah (hallowed be He and High) is not blind of one eye. Behold, but the Masih al-Dajjal is blind of right eye as if his eye is like a swollen grape, and the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: I was shown in a dream in the night that near the Ka’bah there was a man fair-complexioned, fine amongst the white-complexioned men that you ever saw, his locks of hair were falling on his shoulders. He was a man whose hair were neither too curly nor too straight, and water trickled down from his head. He was placing his bands on the shoulders of two persons and amidst them was making a circuit around the Ka’bah. I said: Who is he? They replied: Al-Masih son of Mary. And I saw behind him a man with intensely curly hair, blind of right eye. Amongst the persons I have ever seen Ibn Qatan has the greatest resemblance with him. He was making a circuit around the Ka’bah by placing both his hands on the shoulders of two persons. I said: Who is he? They said; It is al-Masih al-Dajjal.

    Are Liberals going attack the Prophet Muhammad, too?
    And remember Muhammad was from the Middle East and an Arab. Not all Middle Easterners are dark. That would be racist to claim that. In fact Muhammad was described as white man with a reddish tint in Islamic text.

    So, are liberals going to claim Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was a racist because he claimed Jesus was white and the devil was black?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  92. For example, when you have Neal Boortz saying “I’m sorry. Santa Claus is white, okay? Deal with it,” that’s more than just making a observation about traditional depictions.

    Then going to “I’m gonna scream and complain because Martin Luther King is always portrayed as black” is ramping up the politics as well. Further, it implies the notion if there is an attack on one of our icons, we will attack one of yours (and note, as such, whom Santa then belongs to in that formulation). And before someone accuses me of putting words in Boortz’s mouth, consider the implication of picking MLK for his analogy.

    Note the caller’s attitude to the situation in the clip: “everything’s gotta be black now, it doesn’t matter what it is.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  93. Matt Bernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    That “Santa is just white” goes to historical power dynamics. To go to “Santa is just white” misses why the conversation existed at all.

    It also ignores all of the “Black” Santa images that have been part of a subaltern culture for quite some decades.

    I grew up in the 80′s and 90′s in a racially mixed area and school district. During that time, I saw my share of African American Santas.

    To say Santa is “just white” is to invalidate anyone who portrays him in any other fashion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  94. @Matt Bernius: Absolutely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  95. Matt Bernius says:

    @John425:

    So, are liberals going to claim Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was a racist because he claimed Jesus was white and the devil was black?

    Only when conservatives throw out the Book of Revelations whose description of Christ is what many “Black Christ” advocates have historically hung their hat on:

    “And in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters” (Revelation 1:13-15).

    With hair “white like wool” (which can be interpreted as also describing a short kinky texture) and feel like “fine brass” (not a particularly Caucasian skin tone).

    Of course, this might also point out the issues with trying to make literal sense out of metaphorical and figurative descriptions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  96. @John425: I do find it amusing that a Muslim holy book is being rolled out as a defense of Megyn Kelly on a Fox News broadcast.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  97. @Matt Bernius: And on a lighter note: click.

    As such, I pity the fool who says Santa is always white…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  98. Matt Bernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    As always, those pictures are 100% win! Plus you gotta love the fact that the most visible article of Santa T’s bling in the first picture is the low hanging Star of David.

    He brings it all together.

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  99. G.A.Phillips says:

    First: My God. GA Phillips said something intelligent.

    Stole it from Gods Word and science, Harry :)

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  100. Tyrell says:

    We have no idea of the true appearance of St. Nicholas. Most of our images have originated from 19th century artists such as Currier and Ives.
    Jesus was of Nazareth. That should speak for itself concerning possible physical appearances.
    I am more interested in Santa’s helpers than Santa himself. How about you?

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  101. John425 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Not about Megyn Kelly. Just stirring the pot to agitate the ever-so-politically-correct who think MSNBC is the voice from on high. That is the delusion.

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  102. John425 says:

    @Matt Bernius: The Islamic text is a normal descriptive. Revelations IS metaphorical.

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  103. MarkedMan says:

    OK, this thread has just reached another level of bizarre entirely. Christianists are claiming Jesus was a blond haired white guy based on a dream the Muslim Prophet had 600 years later? C’mon people, you don’t seriously believe JC looked like anything other than a typical Arab? Because if he had showed up 6 feet tall with straw colored hair and rosy red cheeks, well, THAT would have been mentioned in the Bible…

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  104. Matt Bernius says:

    @John425:

    The Islamic text is a normal descriptive. Revelations IS metaphorical.

    Except the fact that Christ appears to the prophet in the form of a *dream* (“I was shown in a dream in the night that near the Ka’bah”). And Dreams are, in both the Jewish and Christian traditions, also metaphorical.

    To your very point *Revelations* is a waking dream.

    So basically your argument just disappeared in a puff of hermeneutics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  105. wr says:

    @John425: So now you will claim the Koran as the definitive text containing the Only Truth?

    Glad to hear it. Let us know how that works out for you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  106. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    You seem to be very impressed by Ann Coulter’s accomplishments. Well, she is a best selling author.

    Come to think of it, so is Obama. How come then, according to you, Obama has no real accomplishments?

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  107. C. Clavin says:

    Bill o’Really has now backed up Kelly and doubled down on the stupid .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  108. John425 says:

    @Matt Bernius: No such admission. Mohammed described Jesus in “normal” terms, i.e. straight hair and white-complexioned, whereas “feet of brass” is hardly an everyman description. You’re focusing on the delivery method (the dream) and ignoring the descriptors.

    Still waiting for the brave liberal soul to label Mohammed and his dream as racist or go the other way and say this is much ado about nothing.

    BTW: I understand that Megyn Kelly was referencing an article from Slate that started all this.

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  109. @John425:

    Still waiting for the brave liberal soul to label Mohammed and his dream as racist or go the other way and say this is much ado about nothing.

    I don’t find a dream sequence (or any eye-witness description) written hundreds of years after the fact as definitive, no.

    Are you arguing that Mohammed is the definitive source for what we need to know about Jesus of Nazareth?

    BTW: I understand that Megyn Kelly was referencing an article from Slate that started all this.

    The Jesus part Megyn started all on her own.

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  110. Pharoah Narim says:

    @C. Clavin:She fails the adam’s apple test…… XXY or XY

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  111. Pharoah Narim says:

    @John425: Dude, Mohammed lived 600+ years AFTER Jesus….and you want to push his description off as authoritative? The only “evidence” we have is empirical observations of the peoples that inhabit the are Jesus was born in.

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  112. DrDaveT says:

    @Pylon:

    He also had genes from his dad which were probably dominant.

    Not necessarily! Thus the all-time classic reply of Cecil Adams (of “The Straight Dope” fame) to the question “What does the H in ‘Jesus H Christ’ stand for?”.

    Answer: ‘haploid’

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  113. Kylopod says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: @Pharoah Narim: I think both of you are missing John’s point. This is what he said:

    Still waiting for the brave liberal soul to label Mohammed and his dream as racist

    John is not arguing that Muhammad is in fact an authority on Christ’s physical appearance. He’s calling out what he sees as hypocrisy on liberals’ part for calling Megyn Kelly a racist white while not extending their condemnation to Muhammad.

    The assumptions he’s making are fascinating. First of all, people weren’t calling Kelly racist for claiming that Jesus was a white man; they were calling her racist for insisting that Santa (not Jesus) must necessarily be white, and they were arguing that her statements about Jesus are simply inaccurate based on modern scholarship.

    But more fundamentally: where on earth did John get the impression that liberals have some kind of taboo against criticizing Muhammad? Just about the only common liberal belief about Islam is that Muslims have a right to practice their religion and should not be treated as if they are all terrorists. But in the right-wing universe, that amounts to being some kind of apologist for Islam. In consequence, John is unable to comprehend the possibility that people who, say, supported the Cordoba Initiative might disagree with some of the teachings of Muhammad.

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  114. Grewgills says:

    @John425:
    If it makes you feel any better, by modern standards Mohammed was a racist, then again so were most biblical figures. It can be a challenge to meet the standards of a society that comes more than 1000 years after your death.

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  115. @Kylopod: I understand what he is trying to do (as he thinks he is making a clever argument about evidence and alleged hypocrisy).

    BTW, I don’t think that Megyn Kelly was being racist, pe se. I think that Megyn Kelly was putting on a deep display of white privilege and that she has an incredible lack of self-awareness on the subject. I think the whole affair is illustrative of why so many people fail to have a clue on race relations in the US: because so many white people think of themselves as profoundly normal, profoundly the default position for humanity (or, at least, for being American) and don’t see how it affects the way they look at the world (again, as illustrated by the straight up assumption that Jesus was white and then admitting it never occurred to her that this might not be the case).

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  116. Matt Bernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I think that Megyn Kelly was putting on a deep display of white privilege and that she has an incredible lack of self-awareness on the subject. I think the whole affair is illustrative of why so many people fail to have a clue on race relations in the US: because so many white people think of themselves as profoundly normal, profoundly the default position for humanity (or, at least, for being American) and don’t see how it affects the way they look at the world (again, as illustrated by the straight up assumption that Jesus was white and then admitting it never occurred to her that this might not be the case).

    THIS!

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  117. Matt Bernius says:

    @John425:

    No such admission. Mohammed described Jesus in “normal” terms, i.e. straight hair and white-complexioned, whereas “feet of brass” is hardly an everyman description.

    BTW, you seem to miss the last bit of the oh so normal description “water trickled down from his head” (because every white guy has a fountain on the top of their head).

    Further you fail to note that “whiteness” is often used in religious texts from the region to connote divinity.

    But beyond all that, what we are still discussing is a *translation* of a (b) miraculous vision contained within a (c) dream. Emphasis on (a) translation, (b) miraculous, and (c) dream. So trying to cite this as any sort of hard evidence that the Prophet thought Christ was a “white
    guy” is frankly as much of a stretch as people trying to push the idea that Christ was an African based on Revelations.

    What’s also telling is the fact that you assign a far more flexible interpretive possibility to one text and a very literal definition to the other one.

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  118. Kylopod says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: My first experience with white-as-default occurred when I was a small child. My father had talked about his family’s housekeeper for a long time before I finally met her and discovered she was African American, a fact my father had somehow neglected to ever mention to me. I told her matter-of-factly “I didn’t know you were brown.” I would not remember this incident at all if she hadn’t told me about it much later, when I was in my teens. She didn’t sound the least bit offended–she was laughing at how utterly adorable I was as a tot.

    I’ve thought about that experience since then. It wasn’t because I lacked exposure to blacks–I grew up in a neighborhood that was at least 50% black. And it certainly wasn’t because housekeeper isn’t a stereotypical profession for African American women. It’s just that when my father described this woman from his childhood, I couldn’t help creating a mental picture of my own, and it wasn’t that of a black woman. I think a lot of white people do this–they tend to think that a person is white until proven otherwise. They just don’t usually blurt this out, the way a 4-year-old child would.

    One of my favorite episodes of All in the Family has Archie going to the hospital for a backache, and the patient in the bed right next to him is a black Frenchman. But because the partition separating their beds is jammed, neither man can see the other, they can only hear each other. They strike up a conversation, and when Archie hears the French accent, he naturally assumes the guy is white, and he begins to like the guy in a way that his normal prejudicial habits would prevent. At the end of the episode when they finally see each other face to face, Archie exclaims, “You didn’t tell me you was black!” The guy replies, “You didn’t tell me you was white!” Archie says, “White people don’t have to go around saying that.” That’s white privilege in a nutshell.

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  119. Santa Claus this historical figure of our imagination commercialized by the Mad men of Madison Avenue for generations, is just as fictitious as a blue eyed blonde Jesus that has been presented in countless mid century illustrations.Take a peek
    http://wp.me/p2qifI-1V2

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