Monday, December 16, 2013

Fox News and the color of Santa and Jesus

I will admit, I enjoy watching Fox News. They provide "fair and balance" news that usually leans more to the right. Their reporting are at times off the cuff, with little to no research, which makes it more entertaining. For example, last year, Fox News highlighted their Santa, actor Sal Lizard, aka Vampire Santa, MILF lover, and Trekkie.

We all know the "War on Christmas" started with Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly and other conservatives after they felt Christmas was being censored by the media and government. Since then, every December we find ourselves in the imaginary War on Christmas, which Fox News covers so well.

This year Megyn Kelly, Jedediah Bila, and Monica Crowley took offense and commented on a tongue-in-cheek article written by Slate culture blogger Alisha Harris where she suggests Santa Claus ought to be a penguin.

In the article, Alisha reflects on her youth and her personal confliction of whether Santa was white or black; Alisha Harris is black. When she sought an answer from her dad, he responded that "Santa was every color" -- an answer I and probably many other dads would give to their inquisitive child.

As a resolution to this confliction, she suggests in the article that Santa ought to be a penguin. She argues that "making Santa Claus an animal rather than an old white male could spare millions of nonwhite kids the insecurity and shame..." You can read her complete article HERE.

The discussion started with Megyn Kelly stating, "For all you kids watching at home, Santa is white," just in case white, black, Asian, or Hispanic kids were watching Fox News instead of Nick Jr., Disney, or Cartoon Network.

To be honest, I don't take offense with Kelly's statement regarding Santa's skin color. Growing up in a Mexican American culture, we accepted Santa Claus as white. We also accepted Pancho Clos, Santa Claus' brother, and even los Reyes Magos. To us it meant more presents.

Similarly, after reading Alisha Harris' article, I take no offense with her suggesting Santa Claus be a penguin.  I get the joke -- it would be absolutely impossible to change the standard image of Santa Claus. I also get that Fox News needs to add fuel to the War on Christmas fire to keep it going, and this article was perfect tinder.

I do, however, disagree with Kelly's statement that "Jesus was a white man too...he was a historical figure and that's a verifiable fact..."

"Jesus" was white, according to King David's Psalms and Jeremiah's Lamentations in the Old Testament. King David was about 1,000 years before Jesus' birth. Jeremiah came 400 years before Jesus.

His skin color is not a "verifiable fact." In fact, historical and biblical scholars are still debating Jesus' skin color.

One should consider, however, that Jews, during Jesus' time, were dark complected. Many professions during that time included farmers, merchants, fishermen, and carpenters, like Jesus. Carpentry and masonry were done outdoors. And since Jesus traveled from Nazareth to Cana to Sea of Galilee to Golgotha preaching and performing miracles on the way, one should be open to be idea that Jesus was probably not white.


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