Jesus Wasn’t White, But Santa Definitely Is

Santa has the complexion of an egg. He is obese, and he rarely speaks in complete sentences. Not only is Santa white, it also seems that he is from Mississippi.

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This past week, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and her guests were discussing an article by Aisha Harris in which Harris described how Santa’s consistent depiction as a white man made her feel uncomfortable and excluded as a young black girl in America.

As her panelists began to broach the topic, Kelly made what she clearly thought was an important interjection:

And by the way, for all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white. But this person is maybe just arguing that we should also have a black Santa. But, you know, Santa is what he is, and just so you know, we’re just debating this because someone wrote about it, kids.

And she went on:

Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change. You know, I mean, Jesus was a white man too. He was a historical figure; that’s a verifiable fact – as is Santa, I want you kids watching to know that.

So, according to Kelly, Santa is white, and so is Jesus. And I must say, in my opinion, she is half right, which is one more half right than she usually is.

Jesus isn’t white, but Santa definitely is.

Santa is basically a benevolent imaginary character with super powers. And if you’ve seen any superhero movies, those types of characters tend to usually be white. So his whiteness is really no surprise. But if white people want Santa, they can have him. All he ever got me for Christmas was socks and cologne. And you can only have so many bottles of Eternity.

Santa has the complexion of an egg. He is obese, and he rarely speaks in complete sentences. Not only is Santa white, it also seems that he is from Mississippi. The only times they name streets after nonwhites is when they lead civil rights movements, and even then it’s controversial. Santa has a street named after him for no good reason (remember “Santa Claus Lane”?). He is definitely white.

Santa is bit of a loner. Every year, he sits around his house making intricate gadgets with his imaginary assistants for 364 days.  Then, he only visits his actual friends for one day. He is white for sure.

Santa makes his darker, subjugated, captive workers put in all the effort while he takes all the credit.  As far as I know, those reindeer are not getting paid. Master Santa enjoys the fruits of their hard labor. And what do they get? A song. And it’s only about one of them. What an injustice!

So, Santa is unquestionably white. But what about Jesus? Kelly said that Jesus’ whiteness was a “verifiable fact.” Now, I have a bit of a personal connection here. I am a Palestinian, as was Jesus. He was born in Bethlehem, just south of Jerusalem. Jesus lived most of his life in Nazareth, which also happens to be the city of my origin. But I have never lived in Nazareth because of… well, that’s for another time.

Now it’s very possible that Megyn Kelly may have been a little confused here. If you simply type “Bethlehem” into Wikipedia, chaos ensues. There are Bethlehems all over the place. There’s one in Pennsylvania, one in New York, one in Connecticut, and one in Maryland.  And it doesn’t stop there. They even have Bethlehems in England, South Africa, Switzerland, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. This can be quite overwhelming.

If you take a quick look at a map of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, there’s a town just 9 miles up the road named Nazareth. If you didn’t know any better, you could have thought Jesus grew up in that neighborhood. But that part of eastern Pennsylvania is also just a few miles from New Jersey, and I really can’t imagine Jesus having anything remotely to do with New Jersey.

Now, even if Megyn knew that the Nazareth and Bethlehem we associate with Jesus were halfway across the world, she still could have thought he was white. After all, the United States government defines white people as “original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East.” That would make Jesus white, except for the fact that he would not be the kind of white person that Megyn Kelly meant. In other words, I don’t think Megyn Kelly would consider my dad white, or Paula Abdul white, or Ahmed Ahmed white. But Jesus would look much more like any of those people than he would like her.

So Jesus wasn’t white. He didn’t look like Brad Pitt. He looked like Tony Shalhoub. He looked less like the pilgrims, and more like the people the pilgrims stole land from. He was not a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. He was an Olive Semitic Nazarene Jew.

If Jesus were here today, he would be exactly the kind of guy that most Fox News anchors would be in favor of racially profiling. He would be on the No Fly List (my editor is making me point out that Jon Stewart made a similar joke), not that Jesus needs a plane to fly, but whatever.

And by the way Megyn, if Jesus were here today, he wouldn’t be a Tea Partier or a Republican. In fact, he wouldn’t even be a political conservative. He would believe in his own mantra of “that which you do to the least of my brethren, you do to me.” He would be upset that we spend more money on building monuments to him than we do on feeding our poor. He would be dismayed that we are supporting repressive governments to serve our interests. And he would be disappointed that we spend four times as much on our military than we do on educating our children.

After much criticism of her comments, Megyn Kelly responded with the “I was just joking” defense. “Humor is part of what we try to bring to the show. Sometimes that’s lost on the humorless,” she said of her declaration of Santa’s whiteness. But Megyn is making the same mistake many young comedians make early in their careers. See, a “joke” is a “joke” because it’s “funny.” And you don’t decide if it’s funny, your audience does.  Megyn, what you said wasn’t funny. Well, we were laughing, but it wasn’t because you were trying to be funny.

As far as Jesus goes, Kelly did admit that it had been wrong for her to proclaim Jesus’ whiteness. Jesus’ race is “far from settled,” she acknowledged. She couldn’t bring herself to say he wasn’t white.

Megyn, please listen to me. Jesus’ origins are not “far from settled.” He was not white. He was from Palestine, not North Carolina.  He was from where I am from, not where you are from. He fought against injustice and inequality. He was from my world, not yours.

White people can have the old, fat, white fantasy figure. But we’ll keep the olive-skinned, liberal, generous, charitable freedom fighter. We know much better what to do with him.

131 comments
yellowgavin
yellowgavin

What an incredibly bigoted subtitle.  It's just unbelievable that mainstream outlets spew such hatred and bigotry at whites. 

jssNY
jssNY

Jesus was Jewish, you left that out because...Well, the same reason you didn't want to get into why you didn't live in Nazareth, which today, by the way is a mostly Palestinian city, I lived in Israel and have been there, mostly all Palestinians live there, so I fail to see your point.  I understand your anger at Israel, I really do, because I disagree with them myself, and I'm Jewish and I can say that, but the fact you left out this detail tells me you are one of the "White Jews are Khazers" and despite DNA studies which contradict this and show you and I both have common ancestry, it seems to be easy to leave that out.  Second, Santa is not even a real person so this woman is clearly as brain dead as they come.  What serious journalist would even engage in such a conversation about the race of a make believe character?  It's like saying the Lucky Charms Leprechaun must only be called Irish.  Then again, it's Fox News, so what do you expect?

annadeetz
annadeetz

Well you may well be right about Megyn Kelley's subconscious definition of "white" but white as a synonym for CAUCASIAN (which is the way which most Americans are referring to when they say "white") clearly includes both swarthy Jesus the Jew, and olive skinned St. Nicholas from modern day Turkey/Greece, as well as any other olive skinned Mediterraneans be they New York Italians or San Francisco Greek or Tunisian businessmen, Egyptian Pharaohs or Jewish comediennes (Jon Stewart as you mention falls in this category as does the far more swarthy Sacha Baron Cohen. Shakespeare's Othello is also Caucasian with very dark skin being that he is a moor and described as being dark skinned. Race is about far more than the shade of skin and there is a broad swath of the world including a myriads of skin tones from pale to very dark, all of whom as racially "white" in as far as they are caucasian. Jesus and St. Nicholas among them. Personally I vote for historical accuracy in all things and certainly in the depiction of important historical figures. Jesus should look like a Jew, not a sub-saharan african with black skin and dreaded hair as I have seen him depicted, and not like a northern European with Blonde hair, lilly white skin and bright blue eyes. But regardless of how he is depicted I have to agree (for the first time EVER) with Megyn Kelley that Jesus is in fact "white" as a synonym to caucasian, verifiably.   

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

I've got the perfect solution here.  From this day forward Santa Claus is clear.

There!  Done! 


zdoc
zdoc

If anything Jesus is Caucasian (which includes people of Europe, Middle East, Egypt, etc.)... 1 of the 3 major type of race... sorry to "whites" and "olive-colored" people.... where the f you come with "olive-colored" sh*t... only libs love to color code people and categorize them... LOL

BlackJesuscom
BlackJesuscom

If my color didn't matter, why has the Truth been

denied and hidden. The Truth Will Set Us All Free!

HowardRobin
HowardRobin

Interesting article, however there are a few things that need to be examined. Considering Santa Claus isn't real, the most likely race would be Chinese, aren't most toys made in China? If, you are over sensitive and offend easily, you may want to stop reading now..... Virgin birth, so we don't know who the "baby daddy" is, however being born in that part of the world, logic would indicate darker skin. But, if Noah had an Ark, and had polar bears, kanagoos, giraffes, unicorns, etc, on board, animals not native to the middle east, how did they get there? Virgin Mary may have arrived via the same method. Noah needs to be respected for his crisis intervention skills, to keep the calm while the animals waited in line, heck, my family can't even have a Thanksgiving dinner without the police being called......

Dalivus
Dalivus

So racism is okay so long as you denigrate white people?  This article is unbelievable.  What shame, Time, for you to publish this.

NoviPublic
NoviPublic

so, to attack something that offended you on fox news, you make an article, likening negative traits with the entire white race? I am willing to bet, in your mind, this is somehow "social justice" to you? Are you kidding me? How is the time any better than fox news? Just because the progressive rule book says that its not offensive if it is the white race being insulted? 


What a joke.

Frizzle
Frizzle

According to the US Census standards, Palestinian is "white", and that's not an unusual standard. I personally am of Greek descent - regardless of how swarthy, dark-haired and olive-skinned my ancestors have, I am considered "white" just as they were. I'm sorry to burst your bubble.


As for Aisha's comments that the portrayal of Santa Claus as white makes her feel "uncomfortable", well, it sounds like she might have some issues with race that she needs to get over. There's a double standard there, for sure - when a white person says that black people make them uncomfortable, they tend to get crucified (pun intended), whereas a black person admitting to feeling uncomfortable around white people is generally treated as a sort of victim.

shishka
shishka

Ask Tony Shalhoub which ethnic category he would belong to on the US Census: White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander? Amer, looks like Megan was 100% right. And you weren't.

KiaBalm
KiaBalm

I agree. Santa Claus IS white, because white people made him up. The original St. Nick was not from the North Pole, he was not over weight, and he did not give based on kids being naughty or nice. St. Nick was from Turkey I believe, and he gave to those less fortunate. And what do people mean when they say olive skinned? I've only seen black or green olives, and I doubt Jesus was green. And if my mind hasn't failed me yet, I do believe that Egypt was the name of what we presently call the continent of Africa. The boundaries we see today that make up the continent of Africa are MANmade and mostly by those NOT of olive complexion.

BlackJesuscom
BlackJesuscom

Given the biblical, scientific, 

and geographic facts about the 

color of Jesus Christ, the media in

particular and the global Christian 

community at large still refuses to 

face the facts. If my color didn't matter, 

why has the is truth been hidden

and denied? The Truth will Set Us All Free!

A-Adam
A-Adam

The truth hurts, doesn't it?!! Love the article!

challenger_girl
challenger_girl

You are not remotely amusing. Get TF out of my country.

autumndavey
autumndavey

do you get the point that in a chinese american house,an african american house,a latino american house etc...: that your father or grandfather does not have to paint his face white to be santa?...are we clear?...thanks...

JayThomas
JayThomas

Does every Arab jerk get their own column in Time these days? I suppose it is probably a rule,  right, to be fair. While the views "are his own" the editors of Time wanted them heard and they aren't very civil (just the usual trash talk). CNN also has Arab "comedian" Dean whateverhisnameis to do the trash talking for them over there. 

What that part of the world would do is most likely behead anyone who offended their religious sensibilities. Christians are under constant attack in Egypt, Iraq and Pakistan (while disappearing in "Palestine" and Nazareth altogether).

rhglancy
rhglancy

I think the biggest question is why do non whites constantly whine and bellyache about feeling "uncomfortable" with seeing a white face? I think that says more about their own bigotry then anything else. And it's hilarious to listen to liberals talk with an absolute certainly on how Jesus would behave if he were alive today and gee whiz, he's a liberal too. And btw Amer, Jesus was a Jew and I have seen some pretty white Jews and you sir are an Arab and the last time I checked there were a whole lot of Arabs who would like to see the Jews wiped off the face of the earth.

DepotBeach
DepotBeach

I do not know or care about what race Jesus or Santa is.  I do know  Amer Zahr = very angry olive man.

mrrmr
mrrmr

"But I have never lived in Nazareth because of… well, that’s for another time."


the time for that should be now - people need to know what Israel is doing to what's left of Palestine...

JacobBenglio
JacobBenglio

@zdoc Middle Eastern men are not considered Caucasian. What are you talking about? If that was true then why are Caucasians racist towards themselves at convenience stores saying go back to where you come from!

TirrellTJayEllerbee
TirrellTJayEllerbee

@zdoc fool, read book or search the net, true Egyptians we're black.  So was Jesus.  B L A C K.  If a DNA test came back tomorrow saying Jesus was black, you'd quit being 'Christian'.  You can't stand to be the BAD GUY.

TirrellTJayEllerbee
TirrellTJayEllerbee

@BlackJesuscom  I'm with you.  The truth has set me free and reality is scarier and more evil than any horror movie I've ever seen.  Beware the synagogue of Satan, those that say they are Jews but are not.  Rev

youdumb
youdumb

@BlackJesuscom And the truth is something that cannot be argued, unlike your opinion. Enough with the platitudes, and you can use dictionary.com for that, don't deny it. 


BlackJesuscom
BlackJesuscom

@Dalivus Is it racist to show the facst that Jesus wasn't white

or is it racist to hide and deny the facts? I think you know the answer.

jssNY
jssNY

@Frizzle Jesus was a Jew, from the Middle East, given European whites tendency to point out Jews are not part of their "race" (even though many now look white due to mixing with Europeans) I suppose this is where the divide comes from.  As well, we are talking about American census standards, which often lumps people together who are utterly different.  My my grandmother fled to America in 1941, her immigration papers state her race as: Hebrew.  Just because classifications change on paper, doesn't mean lumping Middle Eastern people in with European whites, of which they do not only look different but have completely different cultures not even comparable to one another.

annadeetz
annadeetz

@KiaBalm wow....so many issues...

First olive skinned doesn't mean the color of an olive in a jar with a pimento stuffed inside, just like "peach toned" skin doesn't mean an rosy orange colored person. Olive skin is a description of a skin tone that has cooler, almost green tones/cast ranging from light to dark olive. Ask an artist or head to the make-up isle for a representation of some of the tones that skins comes in  including "olive". Next, I guess your mind has indeed failed you because Egypt is not "the name of what we presently call the continent of Africa". 

First: Egypt still exists

Second: It is a country, not a continent 

Third: The boundaries that make up the continent of Africa are not "man-made" the are physical continental boundaries with the Isthmus of Suez separating Asia from Africa and the Mediterranean sea separating Africa from Europe. They are non-contiguous land masses and therefore separate continents. 

Lastly the continental boundaries have little to do with racial grouping as Northern Africans (including Egyptians), some Indian people groups and Middle Easterners are included in the caucasian racial grouping (based on many genetic factors) despite being spread across 3 continents (if you count the Indian subcontinent as part of Asia). So all in all I think you should rethink your decision to display your indignant stance and ignorance and do some research before posting. I mean for god sake "Egypt was the name of what we presently call the continent of Africa" is one of the most ridiculous things I have read in a while.

youdumb
youdumb

@KiaBalm Well by that logic, I guess a green, yellow, and red man invented the traffic light. 

youdumb
youdumb

@A-Adam Yes, the truth does hurt. The truth is, look at an image of Santa. What color is that? Ouch. Also, look at a lot of things in your life. Ouch again. Yes, the truth does hurt. Such an old platitude. Of course you love the article because it serves your unexamined opinion. 

A-Adam
A-Adam

@challenger_girl What makes it ''your country'' and not his too?

BobFromDistrict9
BobFromDistrict9

@JayThomas 

The Christians disappearing in Palestine and Nazareth all too often blame Israeli discrimination, not Islamic discrimination. 

Christians whose families leave Israel have no right of return, does that make sense to you? 

BobFromDistrict9
BobFromDistrict9

@rhglancy

"I think the biggest question is why do non whites constantly whine and bellyache about feeling uncomfortable" with seeing a white face?"

Probably because the white face that makes them uncomfortable is yours. 

The "white" Jews you see are probably European Jews, not Middle Eastern. And yes, Arabs are white, whether you like it or not. "Caucasian" to be more scientifically precise. 

hemiola
hemiola

@rhglancy As for Jesus, does anyone seriously believe that an Aramaic-speaking, first-century Middle Eastern Jew had blue eyes, white skin and flowing blond hair?

In 2001, the BBC hired a forensic archaeologist from the University of Manchester to examine a skeleton of a first-century Middle Eastern Jew and use computer technology to create a reasonable facsimile of what he must have looked like.

Not surprisingly, the reconstruction revealed that he had a broad face and a large nose.

Meanwhile, an Old Testament scholar at Duke analyzed portraits of third-century Jews and found they had dark skins and short, curly hair. And St. Paul would agree. In First Corinthians, he says it is "disgraceful" for a man to have long hair. Although he never met Jesus, he did meet people who knew Jesus intimately, including St. Peter. Do you think he would have condemned a hairstyle that Jesus wore? The bottom line is that by saying Jesus is white, you're saying God is white. Just who is creating whom in whose image?

JayThomas
JayThomas

@DepotBeach: Amer Zahr, same genius who believed that a moment of silence for the 9-11 victims was :"misguided" (his words) and happens for the purpose of false patriotism.


I know Time is left wing, but look at the people they get to write their columns!

JayThomas
JayThomas

@mrrmr: Nazareth was a majority Christian town that is now majority Muslim because the Christians do not feel safe there anymore (like Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan and the rest of that region).

Freedom'sClarion
Freedom'sClarion

@mrrmrThere is no such thing as Palestine or Palestinians, you f-cking idiot. Read a history book. Those people are Jordanian and/or Syrian Arabs. I can tell you what Israel is doing, protecting herself from yet another round of antisemitism. How is it that Israeli Arabs have MORE freedom and MORE safety that Egyptian Arabs or Syrian Arabs or any other Arabs?


youdumb
youdumb

@BlackJesuscom @Dalivus I guess it would serve your purpose to answer your own question. Listen to me once and listen good, "BJ" - Focusing on race . . . are you listening IS RACIST!!!!!!


End of platform. I think you know the answer to that. Now find a new issue to be mad about

Dalivus
Dalivus

@JayThomas @DepotBeach Forget the whole bit about being left wing, hell I'm left wing, this guy is just full of hate... the pure, distilled racist hate like what you could expect from the Aryan Nation.  It's shameful that this piece ever saw 'print.'

BobFromDistrict9
BobFromDistrict9

@Freedom'sClarion@mrrmr 

And the Irish protestants are Scott-Irish, who are really Scots. 

And American Indians are really Asian migrants. 

I was born an raised in Chicago...so I am a Chicagoan... no, an Illiniosian... no a Midwesterner... no a northerner... no an American...

Shove it, the international standard is, the people are what they call themselves. 


Americans, according to history, are Irish, English, German, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese... etc.


We are Americans, they are Palestinians.


hemiola
hemiola

@Freedom'sClarion @mrrmr ...There is no such thing as Israel or Israelis, you f-cking idiot. Read a history book. The Jews were dispersed first by the Babylonians creating the lost 10 tribes, then dispersed by the Romans 2,000 years ago. You think that these are the 'same people' genetically, culturally, speaking Aramaic...not Yiddhish. Freedom in is the eye of the beholder....

youdumb
youdumb

@BlackJesuscom @youdumb But what do you expect from someone who goes online and calls himSELF- the Black Jesus. BJ, you're collapsing on yourself. 

projectrevo
projectrevo

@youdumb @BlackJesuscom @Dalivus  Idiot, read a dictionary, please. To talk about race in general is NOT RACIST. If you ever read a book or a dictionary EVER, then you would know that racism is basically DISCRIMINATION based on race. No discrimination here. God, the idiocy of your comment is pathetic.

annadeetz
annadeetz

@hemiola @Freedom'sClarion @mrrmr i won't get into my extremely detailed opinion on all of this but I did want to say that I think this comment is hilarious :) Very funny to reuse the other poster's words in your reply.....especially considering they were rather...well you know. Thanks for the laugh!