MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry on Saturday didn’t directly address Fox News’ Megyn Kelly and her “Santa is just white” comment that caused such a stir this week — instead she read an open letter to St. Nick himself.
“I know it’s a busy time of year,” she read, “but we need to settle a little debate that’s emerged in American media asking, ‘Are you white? Are you black? When you come in from the North Pole, do you have a legal visa or are you undocumented?’”
It all started when Kelly held a discussion on her program in which she said, “For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white,” which (along with her statement that Jesus was white) ruffled plenty of feathers.
Kelly addressed the issue during her show Friday night: “For me, the fact that an offhand jest I made during a segment about whether Santa should be replaced by a penguin has now become a national firestorm says two things: Race is still an incredibly volatile issue in this country, and Fox News and yours truly are big targets for many people.”
Harris-Perry took up the issue with St. Nick: “Can you find a kid if he lives in an apartment building not a house without a chimney? Can you find her in a homeless shelter? Why do you leave so many more toys under the big trees in the wealthy neighborhood and so few under the trees in the poor communities? Are the kids with unemployed parents on the naughty list?”
“If we cannot imagine you as racially different from ourselves, it’s because our minds are stunted by a history that still can’t fathom benevolence, and kindness, and intimacy in the bodies of those who are not like us,” Harris-Perry continued. “If we still doubt that you can embody every possibility of racial being, it is because we do not yet believe that every racial body is capable of making our sugar-plum dreams come true.”
“If we can’t imagine Santa across the racial divide, no wonder we have trouble creating an America without a racial divide,” she said.
Harris-Perry concluded by asking Santa to leave more “tolerance in our Christmas stockings” this year and “help us to be slower to judge…because if we as a nation can become polarized over you, we’re gonna need a lot more than candy canes this time of year.”
Here’s the clip from MSNBC: