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Don Roach: Megyn Kelly Needs a Serious Reality Check

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

 

I was going to let this go, but I just couldn’t. Today, I’d like to tell you a story of a news anchor – if that’s what they go by these days – and her uninformed remarks followed by her equally tone deaf clarification.

It all started with a writer who was concerned that our traditional depiction of Santa Claus as an old, bearded, white man alienated people who were not white…she didn’t mention anything about people who weren’t bearded or old to my knowledge as being potentially offended by ol’ Saint Nick as portrayed (singing) “everywhere you turn”.

Megyn Kelly

The anchor, Megyn Kelly, had a conversation about this where she emphatically stated that Santa just is white…he just is. She also mentioned that Jesus is white too. What’s interesting to me is how quickly times change. Fifty years ago if you suggested that Santa or Jesus was anything but white, you’d have faced more criticism than what Kelly faced in Jon Stewart wondering what kind of kid would be watching a Fox News program. But, times change, morals change, and in the case of Santa and Jesus historical accuracy changes.

You see, Saint Nikólaos, whom Santa Claus is based was a Greek man. Just Google “Greek Man” and you’ll find that what we know as Santa doesn’t quite fit neatly into people who come from Greece. With respect to Jesus, Kelly was even more off-base, as he was a Jew from what we today call “the Middle East”. Again, do a quick Google search and find that many depictions of Jesus simply do not meet with reality.

And still with all of this information readily available Kelly felt emboldened to say Jesus and Santa Claus were ‘white’. Stepping back a minute, does white today only refer to people coming from Western Europe? Correct me if I am wrong but I did think that people from who originate from Greece, Italy, Turkey, and even parts of Russia were considered “white”. I get the skin complexion differences, but aren’t they “white”? I do believe Kelly’s white referred to the Caucasoid version of white but I’ve just spent 350 words talking about the race of a (non) fictional character, Santa Claus.

Nonetheless, the issue is how easily Kelly referred to these characters as something they do not appear to be and that when she was called on it, she called those criticizing her “race baiters”. Problem is she invited criticism by being factually inaccurate in her depictions of Santa and Jesus. That’s not race baiting, that’s just correcting an error. And by playing the victim she did not apologize for being in error or being open to a view that was different from her own.

Folks – I don’t have time for people who make claims, have them proven false, and are unwilling to even consider the possibility that they had the issue wrong. Unfortunately, that’s what Kelly is doing here and what got lost is the conversation around non-white Santas. I’m disappointed because Kelly has a voice in the public sphere and is ignorant enough to not be aware she was wrong about Santa and Jesus and refused to make a full retraction.

None of us are perfect and I’m not expecting anyone to not make a mistake, but you learn about someone’s character when they make mistakes. Do they run and hide? Do they deny, deny? Or do they say, “Oops, my bad”? Kelly has chosen to answer in such a way that shows us that in this instance she refuses to look beyond her own tradition.

Nelson Mandela

We lost Nelson Mandela two weeks ago and it inspired a few conversations about terrorism. Mandela was on the US terror list until 2008 , well over a decade after his release from prison and his stint as South African president.

Referring to the previous news from last week, if we believed as Kelly…Mandela is a terrorist he just is. I’m just kind of joking as I have seen more than a few people call Mandela a terrorist. Mandela, at one point, did believe in the armed resistance of apartheid, Malcolm X once believed the same thing about the oppression facing blacks in this country as well. It’s easy for the oppressors to call the oppressed terrorists and I find it a bit insane that some people have chosen to smear Mandela’s legacy with such…nonsense.

Mandela was the figure who led South Africa away from Apartheid. South Africa is not perfect today, but it is in a far better position today than when Mandela was fighting for his people’s freedom.

John Depetro

Lastly, a few words on all of this Depetro bruhaha? GoLocal reported that he’s been suspended until January and if he does return to the airwaves and you don’t believe he should, tune to another radio station.

If enough people join you, you won’t have to petition his advertisers to leave him, engage in Facebook fights with him and those that do like him, and probably be more effective at getting him off the air for good.

That’s my rant for the week folks. Next week it’s Christmas, happy shopping!

Don can be reached at don@donroach.org . Don is also on twitter - @donroach34.


Related Slideshow:
New England Communities With the Most Political Clout 2013

The Sunlight Foundation, in conjunction with Azavea, released data maps this week showing political contribution dollars to federal elections dating back to 1990 -- by county.

GoLocal takes a look at the counties in New England that had the highest per-capita contributions in the 2012 election cycle -- and talked with experts about what that meant for those areas in New Engand, as well as the candidates.  

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25. Merrimack County, NH

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $9.86

Total contributions: $1,447,713

Merrimack County is named after the Merrimack River and is home to the states capital, Concord. Merrimack County has a total area of 956 square miles and a population of 146,761.

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24. Cheshire County, NH

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $9.88

Total contributions: $759,209

Cheshire is one of the five original counties in New Hampshire and was founded in 1771. The highest point in Cheshire County is located at the top of Mount Monadnock, which was made famous by the poets Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

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23. Rockingham County, NH

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $9.96

Total contributions: $2,965,530

Rockingham has 37 communities and has a population of 297,820. Rockingham County also was home to the famous poet, Robert Frost

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22. Belknap County, NH

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $10.02

Total contributions: $604,512

Belknap County is one of the ten counties in New Hampshire and has a population of 60,327. It is located in the center of New Hampshire and the largest city is Laconia.

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21. Hampshire County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $10.41

Total contributions: $1,664,077

Hampshire County has a total area of 545 square miles and is located in the middle of Massachusetts. Hampshire County is also the only county to be surrounded in all directions by other Massachusetts counties.

 

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20. Barnstable County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $10.90

Total contributions: $2,348,541

Barnstable County was founded in 1685 and has three national protected areas. Cape Cod National Seashore is the most famous protected area within Barnstable County and brings in a high amount of tourists every year.

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19. Berkshire County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $12.49

Total contributions: $1,624,400

Berkshire County is located on the western side of Massachusetts and borders three different neighboring states. Originally the Mahican Native American Tribe inhabited Berkshire County up until the English settlers arrived and bought the land in 1724. 

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18. Essex County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $13.22

Total contributions: $9,991,201

Essex is located in the northeastern part of Massachusetts and contains towns such as Salem, Lynn, and Andover. Essex was founded in 1643 and because of Essex historical background, the whole county has been designated as the Essex National Heritage Area.

 

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17. Chittendon County, VT

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $13.86

Total contributions: $2,196,107

Chittenden has a population of 158,504, making it Vermont’s most populated county. Chittenden’s largest city is Burlington, which has about one third of Vermont’s total population.

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16. Lamoille County, VT

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $14.82

Total contributions: $369,854

Lamoille County was founded in 1835 and has a population of 24,958. The county has 464 square miles, of which 461 of them are land.

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15. Addison County, VT

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $15.49

Total contributions: $569,299

Located on the west side of Vermont, Addison County has a total area of 808 square miles. Addison's largest town is Middlebury, where the Community College of Vermont and Middlebury College are located.

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14. Newport County, RI

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $16.02

Total contributions: $1,214,26

Newport County is one of the five Rhode Island Counties and was founded in 1703. Just like Connecticut, none of Rhode Island counties have an any governmental functions.

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13. Cumberland County, ME

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $18.33

Total contributions: $5,205,507

Cumberland County has a population of 283,921 and is Maine’s most populated county. The county was named after the William, Duke of Cumberland, a son of King George II.

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12. Windsor County, VT

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $20.57

Total contributions: $1,156,149

Windsor County is the largest county in Vermont and consists of 971 square miles of land and 5 square miles of water.

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11. Bristol County, RI

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $20.91

Total contributions: $1,027,472

Bristol County has a population of 49,144 and is the third smallest county in the United States. Bristol County was originally apart of Massachusetts, but was transferred to Rhode Island in 1746.

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10. Grafton County, NH

Contributions, per capita, 2012 :$20.95

Total contributions: $1,868,739

With a population of 89,181, Grafton County is the second largest county in New Hampshire. Home of New Hampshire’s only national forest, White Mountain National Forest takes up about half of Grafton’s total area 

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9. Carrol County, NH

Contributions, per capita, 2012: 2012: $22.81

Total contributions: $1,012,10

Created in 1840, Carroll County has a population of 47,567. Carroll County was also named after Charles Carroll, the last surviving signer of the United States Declaration of Independence.

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8. LItchfield County, CT

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $22.86

Total contributions: $4,286,143

Although it is Connecticut’s largest county, Litchfield has the lowest population density in all of Connecticut. Since 1960 all Connecticut counties have no county government.

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7. Middlesex County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $32.81

Total contributions: $50,432,154

Middlesex County has a population of 1,503,085 and has been ranked as the most populous county in New England.  The county government was abolished in 1997, but the county boundaries still exists for court jurisdictions and other administrative purposes.

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6. Nantucket County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $33.41

Total contributions: $344,021

Nantucket County consists of a couple of small islands and is a major tourist destination in Massachusetts. Normally Nantucket has a population of 10,298, but during the summer months the population can reach up to 50,000.

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5. Norfolk County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $35.87

Total contributions: $24,459,854

Named after a county from England, Norfolk County is the wealthiest county in Massachusetts. As of 2011, Norfolk was ranked the 32nd highest income county in the United States. 

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4. Dukes County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $36.32

Total contributions: $618,960

Consisting of Martha’s Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands, Dukes County is one of Massachusetts’ top vacation spots. Originally Dukes County was apart New York, however it was transferred to Massachusetts on October 7, 1691.

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3. Suffolk County, MA

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $40.73

Total contributions: $30,323,537

Suffolk County has a population of 744,426 and contains Massachusetts’s largest city, Boston. Although Suffolk’s county government was abolished in the late 1900’s, it still remains as a geographic area.

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2. Knox County, ME

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $45.89

Total contributions: $1,820,410

Knox County was established on April 1st, 1860 and was named after American Revolutionary War General Henry Knox.  The county has a population of 39,668 and is the home of the Union Fair.

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1. Fairfield County, CT

Contributions, per capita, 2012: $55.65.  

Total contributions: $51,970,701 

In a population of 933,835, Fairfield County is the most densely populated county in Connecticut, and contains four of the state's largest cities -- Bridgeport, Stamford, Norwalk and Danbury.

 
 

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Comments:

donatello gori

Um, Don, I did a quick Google search and Greece is part of Europe. Europeans are considered "white" when determining race. Therefore, Santa is a white dude.

Killary Klinton

Love your articles Donn but this one does kind of borders on irrelevant.

The typical Santa Claus is continually depicted as fat, in a red suit and "white" but who cares?

Nelson Mandela was a domestic terrorist and put in jail for this reason. Hate to burst the bubble but he and his wife were terrorists. Nothing at all like Gandhi so why people in the media refuse to acknowledge this fact amazes me.

As for the radio guy, who cares? If the listeners stop listening, the sponsors stop sponsoring and they go out of business, well, that's the free market in action. If he is booted out of a job for "talking" on a "talk radio program" then we should also boot Obama out of office for constantly LYING to the American people.

KK

Remember when B.H. Obama habitually lied and told the American people "If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it. PERIOD."

IMPEACH

Donn Roach

KK - Fair point. for some reason this issue (Kelly) irked me more than it perhaps should have.

Art West

Killary, agreed. Humans create myths to suit their own beliefs. As for Mandela, I'd rather know the whole truth about the man rather than turning him into another Santa Claus.

Walter Miller

Read many of your articles and find them generally well thought out and reasonable. In this case I fear you may be falling into the ongoing "race trap" that seems to permeate our society.

I won't debate the origin of Saint Nick but it has been generally accepted that he originated in Germany or some other Western European country. He made his way to America's shore along with millions of immigrants. No harm no foul.

The irony here is not the impact his color has on children who most would agree are wonderfully and innocently color blind. It's the adults that create issues where none may exist.

Hopefully, like many other non-stories, this will find it's way into irrelevancy where it justly belongs. Ho ho ho.

Michael Trenn

Personally, I cannot wait until Fox News and the Progressive Community start to debate about the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin. I think it is 4,004. No more, no fewer.

Michael Trenn

Mr. Miller: Great Comment. Ho Ho Ho, back at ya.

Jim D

I'm very upset that as an Irish-American I have been excluded by Kwanza, that my daughters cannot enter the Miss Black USA contest etc

The bottom line is that white Americans can't have anything just for white Americans without being called racist but minorities do that same thing all day long.

Minorities are the most racist people in the US.

mark malachi

Santa Claus is a fantasy figure.
He can be any color any one imagines him to be.
There are no absolutes in fantasy.
Kelly's pronouncement that Santa is white is just one more ignorant statement from an individual who has made her share of such statements.
Or maybe she was just having 'a blonde ' moment.




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