^Fox News’ Megyn Kelly says “just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change. Jesus was a white man, too. He was a historical figure. That’s a verifiable fact — as is Santa. I just want the kids watching to know that. My point is, how do you just revise it in the middle of the legacy of the story and change Santa from white to black?"
What? Hello? Jesus wasn’t a white man.. Jesus was an Israeli man.. A NAZARENE, to be specific. Feast your eyes upon the image of an Israeli male
Olive skin, dark hair, dark eyes, in uniform, AND holding a kitten..
Sweet baby Jesus take the wheel..NO! baby Jesus, no! you’re only a child! You can’t drive! *regains control* I digress.. the following image is of a white male
Oh wait, no.. that is just white Barack Obama lol see now this is just unfortunate
This is a white male
This is Santa Clause
Now if you will take notice of the pasty complexion of the white male, the white Santa, and the white Barack Obama, you may actually see that none of them fit my description of the very attractive Israeli man.
See, I don’t care if Santa’s black or white because hello? I’m Indian and growing up I had no reservations thinking that Santa was a rotund white man sneaking into my house through the chimney while I was asleep to leave me presents in exchange for cookies. I truly didn’t give a shit about his race. "Oh, well why isn’t Santa Indi”–No! You shut your mouth! That huge white man is flying all over the world and giving everyone shit! WHO CARES! WE’RE GETTING PRESENTS!
I feel entirely differently about Jesus though.. Jesus was not a white man nor was he a black man. HE WAS ISRAELI. I mean, I get it, old white men wrote the history books and drew the pictures of Jesus to portray themselves as equals to Jesus and then proceeded to raid nations all the while shoving religion and culture (or lack of) down uncivilized people’s throats. I totally get it. Let’s be real, had I written the history books I would have said that Jesus was an Indian woman who loved winter weather, listened to Eminem, and wore “intense” eyeliner *cough*
But it’s just not accurate! Jesus was Israeli.. which as far as I’m concerned, is far closer to being Indian than being white simply based on appearance alone. Jai Ho! Just kidding.. are white people still singing that song?
When you think of Jesus, what picture pops into your head? Most likely a very white-skinned guy with brown hair and blue eyes, right? That would be because it is the most common way that the figure Jesus has been depicted in art and media. The fact that he was from the Middle East, that he lived in Egypt for a time (and didn’t seem to noticeably stand out) and that he had parents from that area and not, let’s say Sweden, we can hazard a guess that he looked a little browner than what we are used to.
I don’t want to get into a theological discussion over some obscure passage that can be viewed as a description of his skin and eye color. All I want to point out is that he is depicted as a white guy. Almost exclusively. And there is a real reason for that. It’s the same reason why Cleopatra was always played in films by white women, and why almost all famous Egyptian characters are re-imagined as being very fair skinned.
This act of forming an image of a figure to fit social acceptance is an example of cultural appropriation. We see it in Hollywood all the time in films and T.V. series. When characters such as Jesus or Cleopatra are portrayed as poignant pieces of “our” collective history or collective imagination, they must be altered to fit the modern perception of acceptable power. And within our culture, “white” is that form of acceptable power. Therefore, Jesus and Cleopatra must be white.