Megyn Kelly and the arc of history

Yes, Megyn Kelly is dreaming of a white Christmas. But she assumes that Jews are white. Who knew?

Yes, we all know that Megyn Kelly is dreaming of a white Christmas, with a white Santa and a white Jesus. And yes, she’s collecting the mockery she deserves.

But look on the bright side. Kelly’s puzzlement is based on her unthinking assumption that Jews are white people. That seems uncontroversial today, but the Megyn Kellys of a century ago regarded Jews as a racially different group, along with Italians and Slavs, in arguing for the immigration laws the Megyn Kellys of today still defend, though the targets of ethnic exclusion have shifted. And two generations earlier than that, the Know-Nothings would have raised serious questions about Kelly’s own whiteness.

So be cheerful. The arc of history does indeed bend toward justice; it’s just that on Fox News it has a larger radius of curvature.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

27 thoughts on “Megyn Kelly and the arc of history”

  1. I don’t know whether Kelly’s puzzlement is based on her unthinking assumption that Jews are white people. It might be based on her unthinking assumption that Jesus has long blonde hair, as in all the pictures she’s seen of him. This is not to say that she doesn’t know that Jesus was Jewish. She just may not think about it. As Fitzgerald said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” In any event, some Jews have long blonde hair. Jesus might have had a non-Jewish ancestor.

    1. Is there any evidence that the being to whom the tetragrammaton refers is itself Jewish rather than being “merely” the Jews’ object of worship? If not, then this is probably the Jewish ancestor you have in mind. It would also explain how blondness, normally a recessive trait, can overwhelm the normally dominant (curly?) brunette ancestry that would have otherwise been inherited (and expressed) from the maternal Jewish ancestry.

      1. Is there any evidence anyone knows what Jesus looked like (assuming he existed in any form similar to that portrayed in the canonical gospels)?

    2. I don’t think Kelly is puzzled about this at all. It’s likely that her state of mind contains two parts: deliberately trying to get liberals outraged and a smug satisfaction at her ability to play the rubes. The chances are pretty low that she actually thinks that Santa and Jesus must be white.

    3. Yes. See Edward J Blum and Paul Harvey, The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America (University of North Carolina Press, 2012). From an NPR gloss:

      “Up until the late 1800s, Blum says Americans were comfortable with Jesus’ Semitic roots and depicted him with brown eyes. But as waves of Catholic and Jewish immigrants came to the United States, some Americans ‘became concerned that it was changing the face of America too much, changing it racially, changing it religiously.’ In the early 20th century, there was an attempt to distinguish Jesus from his Semitic background. Religious writers and artists who were advocating for immigration restrictions began to depict Jesus with blond hair and blue eyes.”

  2. When asked my race on one of those annoying forms that do so, I check “other”. If the form wants more specificity, I fill in “Semitic.” Who wants to be considered a white person? “Megyn Kelly”, you may say. That only proves the point.

    1. If Jesus had been asked, and chosen to answer, “Semitic” would have been a good answer. “White” would have been a lie, and not a little white one, since there were no Germanic, Nordic, or Gaelic “whites” anywhere in his ancestry.

    2. Dunno about you, but in my case (Russian, Litvak, and Galician Jewish) I doubt that “Semitic” is really accurate. “Ashkenazi” does the trick, though.

      As to sex, does the DMV accept “Whenever possible”?

      1. I’m Polish, Russian and Galician myself. The Russo-Galician side looked down on the low-class Yiddish of the Polish side, but all agreed that the Litvakers were nuts.

        I’m not sure that “Semitic” is inaccurate, as a matter of physical anthropology. The relatively-pallid East European Jews share a startling amount of genetic continuity with their swarthier Sephardi cousins. Their pallor probably owes more to phenotypic natural selection for Vitamin D production than any Cossacks in the woodpile. Which implies that there are a few genes for pallor among Sephardis as well. Which further implies that Yeshky may have been a blondie.

        Heck, the Hellenes were fairly pallid (after all, what does “Xanthippe” mean?)

        1. I confess, I have little idea of what Nazareans (?) looked like “back in the day.” Otoh, I never heard or don’t recall anyone saying that Jesus looked out of the ordinary. Granted the Gospels were a while later, but still.

  3. Are you familiar with my book, Christ Was Not a Jew? In it, I reproduce famous paintings of Christ, and point out that not one of them shows Jewish jaws or teeth. I had to publish the book myself. But what can you expect when the publishing industry is run by Jews?

  4. “The propriety, and even the necessity of adopting such measures is now conceded by men of all shades of opinion concerning the larger subject.”

    If not men of all shades.

  5. The best response to Kelly I saw was not Stewart or Colbert, but some anonymous tweeter who posted a photo of a chocolate Santa with some of the foil pulled down, captioned: “How do you explain this, Megyn Kelly?”

  6. I love the Republican Candidate Song (words by me)

    I’m dreaming of a White Christian, just like the ones we used to know
    One whose wife’s teeth glisten, whose children listen to hear, sound bites that they know
    I’m dreaming of a White Christian, with every campaign check I write.
    May your days be extremely right, and may all your candidates be White.

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