Why Fox listeners need their Jesus and Saint Nick to be white.
Megyn Kelly has just highlighted a rather trivial, yet somehow important issue around the holiday season. In a recent piece on Fox Noise, Kelly stated that both Saint Nicholas and Jesus were white. First, let me just say I think the latter is a more incredible statement but neither Santa or Jesus were white (historically speaking.)
Neither the man we know as Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus) or Jesus of Nazareth were of European ancestry. Jesus of Nazareth came from… Nazareth! Located in the middle east in modern day Israel. Mostly Jewish and Arab people live there. The area is not and was not known for breeding white people of Megyn Kelly’s stock. Even Saint Nicholas, the charitable giver was from modern-day Turkey. Though Nicholas is said to be Greek, he lived in a region of Turkey that is of a much more dark-skinned variety.
Right off the bat, we know that the regions the two men came from could not have produced them as white, in the Anglo-American sense. This is the crucial point I really want to get to. When Megyn Kelly and a handful of others say that Jesus was a white man, what they mean is white in their sense. The white of Anglo (European) descent and heritage.
White to Megyn Kelly, is her type of white. The white she grew up with, the white that is part of her heritage and upbringing. White and what it means to be white is a crucial aspect of identity to Megyn Kelly. Because of this, her lord and savior Jesus must also be seen in the same way. People of a certain cultural background and upbringing cannot see their greatest religious deity as someone other than them.
There is no doubt that Jesus was more likely a darker skinned, dark haired middle easterner as is common to the region he came from. The same is also true for Santa. I emphasize Jesus over Santa, because Santa is more of a trivial topic. Santa doesn’t have a world religion that causes mass controversy over freedom of expression, women’s rights, science education, and the right’s for other individuals to profess and practice their own beliefs.
When we talk about Jesus, we are talking more than just about a character from past history or mythology (however you choose to see it). Jesus has been shown over and over again as a white man by European and American tradition, because that was the image of Jesus they can relate to. In similar vein, it is why some black people believe Jesus was from Africa and hence black himself. They can relate better (to a certain degree) to that image.
As Christianity spread, and evolved from a largely Judean cult into a widespread religion across Europe, the image of Jesus evolved with it. Jesus evolved from depictions of early Eastern Orthodox art from a Jewish complexion, to a more white modern European ideal by the modern period. Jesus could not be depicted as a Jew (even though he was one) because the white Europeans could not relate to Jews.
It’s a sad concept in my opinion, but nonetheless seems to be culturally true. I’m agnostic, so personally it doesn’t bother me either way what color Jesus is depicted. Yet if we are discussing matter of fact ideas about who Jesus was, then we have to take his region into account. If one follows the historical ideal of Jesus, where he came from is very important to determine what he may have looked like. Obviously none of that is important to Megyn Kelley or Fox Noise.
What Megyn Kelly highlighted is the continuing need for the WASP culture to keep alive their ideal of Jesus. As much as they may know deep down that Jesus could not be white like them, they still have to see Jesus that way. Their inability to sympathize or understand people who are not like them forces them to see everything in a white = good world. Hate to break it to you conservatives, but Jesus wasn’t white like you. Neither was Ole Saint Nick. So Dream on Megyn Kelly, dream of your all white Christmas.