Shame on NBC for Firing Megyn Kelly
Photo: Chad Batka/The New York Times
In a panel discussion on her NBC morning show, Megyn Kelly said that dressing in “blackface” was allowed when she was a kid as long as that person was dressing in a character. She also pointed out a story where an individual darkened their skin to look like Diana Ross for Halloween— obviously in admiration.
These harmless statements got Kelly fired from NBC and her show was immediately pulled off the air. This is a ridiculous overreaction, as Megyn Kelly was not ever advocating for or permitting the use of “blackface”, a historical form of theatrical mockery towards black people by white people who would paint their faces in the caricature of a black person.
Kelly did release a heartfelt apology, and stated that there is no justification for blackface to be used in any costume, given its history. Many also give Kelly the benefit of the doubt, in that she conflated the word “blackface” with someone of a lighter skin complexion simply painting their skin darker in admiration of a black person. There is a huge difference— a difference that is largely ignored by those who advocated for her firing.
Contrary to the belief of a few, Megyn Kelly is not a racist. It is a given that anyone who participates in such a racist act is doing something disgraceful and contemptible, but taking Kelly’s misuse of the word ‘blackface’ to try and justify her firing is absurd.
We as a society are all hyper-focused on made up terms such as “cultural appropriation”, which wrongly condemns anyone, especially white people, for wearing something that is known to be worn by people of another culture or skin color.
It is a nonsensical and ridiculous term, and as Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson puts it: “the idea of manifesting in your own behavior some element of another culture— the idea that that’s somehow immoral is insane. It’s actually one of the bases of peace.”
The various cultures have so much to offer others in the world, and we should be proud to share and wear items these cultures have created. We shouldn’t be condemning these acts as “racist”. We should be doing the exact opposite. It is an act of admiration to wear items from other cultures, as it shows some sort of an acceptance for their customs and what they have created historically.
If someone wants to darken their skin for Halloween in admiration of a black person, we need to first of all look at the content of their character and the context in which it's being done. If they are coming from a place of good— we should absolutely allow such acts.
Yes, we should take into account how black people feel about such actions, but completely banning an act without looking at the context is absurd. We as a society are too politically correct, and it’s creating more fear between people of different cultures and races, instead of bringing us together— as we are obviously all equal.
This whole controversy also points to NBC’s actual motives. There is no way a level-headed company would fire someone over this. NBC most likely wanted Kelly gone before this even happened, and used this as the perfect excuse to fire her. There are reports from individuals at NBC confirming this suspicion.
We as a society need to determine which acts are morally acceptable and which are not when it comes to race, or else we will make foolish interpretations and create ridiculous doctrine to dictate what we can or cannot say or do.
Below is Megyn Kelly’s apology:
Keyden Smith-Herold is the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Analytical, (dailyanalytical.com) a brand new publication.