this writing, Megyn Kelly is off the air at NBC. After her horridly
vapid statement saying she didn't see anything wrong with blackface,
she apologized the next day and even invited journalist Roland Martin
on to take her to school. Roland did a brilliant job in explaining
the history of blackface and the way it demeans African American
people, and it was great that he had the opportunity to educate, not
only his odious host but also the millions who watch Megyn Kelly
daily. So Kelly tearfully apologized, and she listened to Roland and
television commentator Amy Holmes as they talked about race. But
does Kelly "get" why her remarks were so objectionable.
says she does, but I'm not so sure. She prefaced her apology by
saying that she was not a "pc kind of person." I'm not
sure what that means, and what is wrong with being "politically
correct" if it means being perfectly civil, informed, and
mindful of others. If African American people say that blackface is
offensive, it's not a big deal, Megyn. It's offensive. Whether you
know the history or not, if members of a group say something is
wrong, why not accept it? Or does your white skin privilege allow
you to determine what is offensive and what is not?
is not the first time Ms. Kelly has put her foot into racial
quicksand. Confident in her Aryan-ness, she proclaimed that Santa
Clause is white, and so is Jesus. To declare Jesus white, given his
geographical roots on the African continent or in the Middle East, is
to embrace a special kind of both spatial and historical ignorance.
But if you are vested in the world being a narrow white occasion,
then you are free to spew racist myths, or shall we say, "fake
news." On the Santa tip, since Santa is not a real person, but
a fairy tale figment of someone's imagination Santa's race is subject
to the imagination. Kelly seemed to have a problem with a Black
Santa. Why? Does a Black Santa offend her lily-white sensibilities?
Is she so seeped in whiteness that she can't think outside the box?
And did NBC throw the talented Tamron Hall under the bus for that?
Speaks to their own racial bias and sense of white superiority!
is tragic to consider that Megyn Kelly has three young children who
are undoubtedly being influenced by her warped racial views. But NBC
may, perhaps, be reconsidering their relationship with Kelly. It
would be no great loss if she were bounced off the air, though there
are some who think she has learned her lesson sufficiently to
continue her career. What if, instead of losing her job, she was
involved in a "black immersion" experience? What if she
had to spend a month in a dormitory at Bennett or Spellman College,
spending time with the young Black women she seems not to have taken
into consideration heretofore? What if her conversation with Roland
Martin could be the first of many, and she was directed to spend time
with Essence Editor Emerita Susan Taylor, with NNPA Chair Dorothy
Leavell, with Jada Pinkett Smith, with Rev. Jesse Jackson, and with
others. Might that make a difference for the ill-educated Megyn
Kelly? Or maybe she should just read a book or two.
years after the Kerner Commission report it is clear that there are
still two Americas, one Black, and one white. Two Americas, with two
different realities, and few bridges to understanding. This is why,
even in all-white communities, Black history must be taught. This is
why our textbooks ought to speak, realistically about enslavement,
Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and lynching. This is why we need to bust
the myth that lynchings were about sex – Black men lusting
after white women. Actually, too many lynchings were about economic
envy – white men lusting after Black people's property. After
white vandals destroyed the Greenwood section of Tulsa, Oklahoma, one
report actually described the cause of the devastation as "Too
Many N---rs Having Too Much Money."
Kelly is not the only white person who is ignorant of American
history (because the history of Black people really is American
history). White ignorance is one of the reasons I look askance at
some aspects of the #MeToo movement. White ignorance is a choice,
especially among adults who can educate themselves and expose
themselves to the totality of history. Megyn Kelly chose to expose
herself to Roland Martin and Amy Holmes. Too bad she shot off her
uninformed mouth before she got educated! Perhaps she will now
remove the term "p.c." from her vocabulary unless she
happens to mean perfectly civil.