By now we’ve all heard about and perhaps even participated in the debate sparked by FOX news correspondent Megyn Kelly that Santa Claus is white and Jesus is too. Edge member Leslie Smith’s post about this recent tug-of-war of identity claims demonstrated how such conversations are made possible by some highly inventive—even outrageous—ideas. This past week, another assertion that foregrounds the difficulty of taking such outrageous claims seriously posited something curious about what the public outrage reveals or uncovers and what steps we should take next.
Both sides of the debate ultimately rely upon the same tactics and mechanisms that assist Kelly in making such preposterous assertions possible in the first place, suggesting that as much as things have “changed in America,” they also stay the same. Continue reading “Jesus Isn’t “White” but “Light””
If you haven’t already heard, the latest news from FOX news correspondent Megyn Kelly is that Santa Claus must be a white man. Kelly’s remark was prompted by an article written by Slate journalist Aisha Harris, wherein Harris pointed out how Santa’s constant depiction as a white man is a particularly powerful and, to many children in particular, damaging example of white normativity. After speaking to a group of panelists about various facets of the issue, Kelly reassured the children of America that Santa (and Jesus, too) are white. How do we know these things? One of Kelly’s panelists remarked that Santa is based on none other than St. Nicholas, a white,Greek bishop. In a equally problematic characterization, Jesus’ whiteness was claimed as a self-evident fact of history. Continue reading “Santa, Jesus, and All Those Other White Guys: Why “Reality” is No Barrier to Identity”