The war on Christmas is serious business ... at least to FOX and other conservative media outlets that can't stop finding opportunities to freak out about fantasized attacks on the holiday and Christianity. Unfortunately, a writer at Slate set the perfect trap for an angry FOX anchor to walk right into this week.
Aisha Harris raised ire for her op-ed entitled "Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore," which posits that "America abandon 'Santa-as-fat-old-white-man' and adopt a penguin in his place," so as to spare "millions of nonwhite kids the insecurity and shame" she remembers from her childhood. In turn, FOX News host Megyn Kelly flipped out, delivering a rant specifically geared to "kids at home."
For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white. But this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa. But Santa is what he is. ... Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change, you know? I mean, Jesus was a white man too. He was a historical figure, that’s a verifiable fact, as is Santa — I just want the kids watching to know that.
Wow. First of all, which children are tuning in to The Kelly File!? Second of all, OMG, whhhhhyyyyyyy was this necessary? Not only is she wrong about Jesus -- as RawStory.com points out, her "historical figure" Jesus Christ was Jewish and of Mediterranean descent, so his skin probably was a lot darker than what we see in modern art and pop culture. Furthermore, what is the big flippin' deal if someone like Harris wants to challenge the imagery associated with a whimsical, fictional cultural icon?!
This is basically about as productive as arguing about the Tooth Fairy. If one child wants to imagine her as Tinkerbell and another child thinks she looks like Doc McStuffins, what does it freakin' matter?!
So, sure, Harris was talking about all of us collectively changing how we depict Santa out in the world. The penguin idea may be a stretch, but the heart of her request is fair enough. We should have a wider variety and more open-minded interpretations/illustrations of Santa and similar figures. We are a nation of many races and religions, so no, "a white guy" shouldn't be the default for all of our cultural icons! And anyone who feels otherwise, like Megyn Kelly, could stand to cut the narrow-minded blather and remember what the holidays -- and their icons -- are really about.
Here's the FOX segment ...
Do you agree Santa can and should be whatever we want to see him as?