KELLY: Outraged? Well this would be funny if it were not so telling about our society. In particular, the knee-jerk instinct by so many to race bait. And to assume the worst in people, especially people employed by the very powerful Fox News Channel.
Contrary to what my critics have posited, neither my statement nor Harris’s, I’m sure, was motivated by racial fear or loathing. In fact, it was something far less sinister: a lifetime of exposure to the very same quote ‘commercials, mall casting calls, and movies’ Harris references in her piece. From ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ to the Thanksgiving Day parade to the national Christmas tree lighting, we continually see St. Nick as white man in modern-day America. Should that change? Well that debate got lost because so many couldn’t get past the fact that I acknowledged, as Harris did, that the most commonly depicted images of Santa does, in fact, have white skin.
By the way, I also did say that Jesus was white. As I’ve learned in the past two days, that is far from settled. For me, the fact that an offhand jest that 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.