Racist Megyn Kelly Really Sorry She Didn't Know She Was Racist As Hell
It's a truth universally acknowledged that Megyn Kelly is terrible, but NBC still pays her $18 million a year, in US currency, to pollute its 9 a.m. hour with her racist, rape-apologist nonsense. Tuesday, Kelly earned roughly $72,000 to wade into the annual debate regarding racially offensive Halloween costumes and wonder aloud why all these snowflakes have a problem with blackface.
"What is racist?" she asked a panel that included Jenna Bush Hager, Jacob Soboroff and Melissa Rivers.
You are, Megyn. You're racist. "Exhibit A" is your 2013 rant on black Santas, and "Exhibit B" is the rest of your life. You could win a round of Charades with the phrase "racist buffoon" by just pointing at yourself.
"You do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was okay just as long as you were dressing as a character."
OK, Michael Jackson wasn't wearing a Halloween costume for 20 years. That wasn't "whiteface." That was body dysmorphia. And lady, you were born in 1970. Al Jolson had been over for a while. Did you and your racist friends go to midnight screenings of Soul Man in costume? Was that your Rocky Horror?
"There was a controversy on 'The Real Housewives of New York' with Luann [de Lesseps], as she dressed as Diana Ross and she made her skin look darker than it really is," Kelly said. "People said that was racist! And I don't know, like, I thought, like, 'Who doesn't love Diana Ross?'"
For a start, Mary Wilson isn't a fan. If you haven't read "Dreamgirl; My Life as a Supreme," I don't know why you're on my TV talking about anything.
[Luann] wants to look like Diana Ross for one day. I don't know how that got racist on Halloween."
Have you seen Miss Diana Ross? This is one of the most glamorous performers who ever graced a stage.
This is a goofy white girl who thinks Miss Ross doesn't know how a hot comb works or have access to hairspray technology. Would de Lesseps show up for a job interview looking like this?
It's one thing if you're dressing up as Methhead Marilyn Monroe (which you should
never do -- I will hunt you down if you try), but if you think some nappy beehive wig and Donald Trump spray tanner makes you look like the same species as Diana Ross, you're not right in the head.
Kelly was rightly ridiculed online for her clueless defense of blackface, and I think enough folks at NBC gave her side-eye that she quickly sent out an apology to her colleagues, where she again repeated the libel that de Lesseps's dumbass costume was some great tribute to Miss Ross. Does she also not understand what Halloween is?
I realize now that such behavior is indeed wrong, and I am sorry. The history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep.
I've never been a "pc" kind of person — but I understand that we do need to be more sensitive in this day and age. Particularly on race and ethnicity issues which, far from being healed, have been exacerbated in our politics over the past year.
It's infuriating that Kelly romanticizes her willful ignorance as a defiant rejection of PC culture. Read a damn history book or just watch the excellent Marlon Riggs documentary Ethnic Notions. "Jim Crow," which came to refer to laws enforcing racial segregation, is named after white actor Thomas D. Rice, who wore rags and darkened his face with coal as part of a "mocking exaggerated imitation" of black people. It's a major pain point, and if Kelly actually listened to us -- not just "this past year" but, like, ever -- she'd know this and wouldn't have worn her jackass costume a week before Halloween.
Don Lemon on Chris Cuomo's CNN show last night pointed out that there were no people of color on Kelly's panel to tell her how racist she is (though that's not a job I'd want, even for $35,000 a day). He also stressed that this wasn't a "one-off." Kelly says a lot of racist stuff. I noticed that Lemon reacted to Kelly's black Santa tirade with astonished laughter. Yesterday he was somber. The joke wasn't funny anymore.
This morning, Al Roker, meanwhile, wasn't having Kelly's "apology" or any attempts from his NBC colleagues to whitewash her offensiveness as a "teachable moment." Roker rightly said that Kelly owed an apology to all black people not just the mostly white people who share a workplace with her.
Panel member Jacob Soboroff apologized on Twitter for just breathing the same air as Kelly yesterday. He described her comments as "disgraceful" and expressed regret for not speaking up "more emphatically" at the table. But honestly, he probably didn't think he'd have to explain why blackface was wrong. I mean, Harry Connick Jr. was explaining it to the entire country of Australia eight years ago; he probably thought everyone got the memo.
Kelly, holding back tears, apologized on-air this morning, again repeating the annoying explanation of how she's just an unfrozen caveman who doesn't get our modern PC ways. This time, she had a couple black people on to yell at her, like a very special episode of "Good Times." Amy Holmes and Roland Martin served as Kelly's ethnic priests as she confessed her sins and sought the sort of quick absolution that would keep her sponsors from bolting. It'll probably work but I hope it doesn't. I'm too old for her shit.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.