By Nerissa Young
I felt foolish walking through the middle of campus while carrying a trash can. Then I saw the white-bearded guy in an elf costume that featured leggings, shoes that curl up at the toes and a jingling bell dangling from his stocking cap.
“Hey elf!” I yelled. He looked up.
“I felt pretty self-conscious carrying this trash can across campus — until I saw you,” I said.
“It’s the worst gig I’ve ever had in my life,” he answered as the bell from his cap jingled an accompaniment.
‘Tis the season for foolishness, it seems, when a bit of the dipsy doodle — as Otis Campbell from “The Andy Griffith Show” described it — hits all of us.
Perhaps the dipsy doodliest this season comes from Fox news host Megyn Kelly, who proclaimed once and for all, now and forever, to infinity and beyond that Santa and Jesus are white, always have been, always will be.
Now that that’s settled, we can get back to world hunger, human trafficking, malaria and all those other little pesky problems that seem to take a backseat when Miley Cyrus debuts another skimpy outfit.
Kelly’s pronouncement leaves one to believe that Fox sponsored a job booth at an Aryan Nation gathering. She’s about as white and blond as they come. Or maybe Rupert Murdoch plucked her from a store window display.
Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with white blondes. As one, I’m kind of partial to them myself.
What rankles my sensitivity is a notion that if she is white, the whole world must be, too.
Kelly’s comments came during discussion about a black woman who wrote that she felt disadvantaged because Santa was always white. She wanted a black Santa.
I’ve seen pictorial representations of black Santas. According to tradition, he loves all good little boys and girls whoever and wherever they are so Santa could be any race or ethnic group.
Yet, tradition and history are on Kelly’s side. Most of what we think of regarding Santa Claus, Father Christmas, St. Nicholas, Pere Noel comes from western Europe. That’s where Santa got his start, so to speak, and those countries were historically settled by pretty pale people.
But since I’ve never seen the real Santa, I can’t say definitively that he is Caucasian. I always make sure I’m tucked into bed before he arrives so I’ll get my presents.
In the spirit of peace and good will to men and blond women, I’ll give Kelly her white Santa with the above disclaimers.
However, I beg to differ on her unequivocal assumption that Jesus is white. Note the present-tense verb. As a good little girl, I believe he is still alive though no longer walking on earth in human form.
He was born to a Jewish girl. That’s why I doubt he was white on earth. The Bible says he had no comely form nor was especially noteworthy in his looks. If he was the lone white guy in a country full of Jewish people, he would have stood out. In his role as judge of the universe, the Bible says he is radiant white from his glory, not his skin tone.
A lot of Nativity sets show Mary as a white girl. In some she’s a blonde. The Jews have a term for that — shiksa.
Kelly probably believes Jesus looks like his daddy, which would make God white. If God isn’t white, some segregationalists will no doubt ask St. Peter to stamp their eternal passports for hell.
The bottom line is it doesn’t matter whether Santa and Jesus are white so long as they just ARE. I am a little worried about Kelly, though. Next thing you know, she’ll be telling us that Rudolph’s red nose is really — wait for it — white.
— Young is a Register-Herald columnist.
© 2013 by Nerissa Young