Megyn Kelly: Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Ever Make Blackface Comments
The NBC host Megyn Kelly has faced extreme backlash following her blackface comments that she made on air. The woman was already no stranger to controversies, and has landed herself successfully in another one. After Megyn Kelly defended the use of blackface costumes on Halloween, things aggravated for her. And following the intense social media outburst she received, Kelly had to resort to a public apology. But that hasn’t pulled her out of it all entirely. And maybe, it’s just a lesson for the rest out of us out here that blackface comments and racist remarks will never be acceptable anymore. Even if Vogue was just making a fashion statement with Kendall Jenner’s afro.
Megyn Kelly And The Blackface Comments
On her show, Megyn Kelly Today, the NBC host defended the wearing of blackface costumes. And put forward the argument that it used to be acceptable. She asked her panelists that,
But, what is racist? Because truly, you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was okay as long as you were dressing up as like a character.
These comments sparked outrage on social media. But that’s not all coming out from Megyn Kelly. She defended Diana Ross’ costume from last Halloween saying that she did not understand how that got labelled as racist. Not only did the public, but also celebrities reacted to these blackface comments. Padma Lakshmi said that caricaturing another face dehumanizes the people of color who are being killed and jailed at disproportionate rates in the country. Patton Oswalt corrected Kelly saying that he was the same age as her. And that blackface was not okay while they were growing up.
Megyn Kelly Issues Apology
The reaction that her blackface comments triggered all over, Megyn Kelly had no option but to resort to a public apology. In an internal email, Kelly recognizes that her friends and colleagues inform her that her comments were wrong. She said that their opinion has had her rethinking her own views. She added that she was only suggesting how it was all okay if done as part of the holiday costumes. But she now realizes that her behavior was wrong, and that she is sorry. Megyn Kelly further wrote that the history of blackface in their culture was abhorrent and the wounds were too deep.
Kelly further continued that she understands how they need to be more sensitive in this age and time. Especially, on the issues of race and ethnicity. She said that these issues have been over exacerbated over the years from politics rather than being healed. And that this was a time for more understanding, love, sensitivity and honor and she wanted to be a part of it.
This surely does not remain the first time that Megyn Kelly made racist comments to attract outrage. Back in 2013, she found herself in a controversy when she said that Santa was just white. And added that Jesus was a white man too. But maybe these blackface comments are the last racist remarks to come from the host. At least, that’s the hope.
The Real Deal With Blackface Comments
The concept of blackface initially originated when non-black people started using theatrical makeup in an attempt to represent the caricature of a black person. During the 19th century, this practice gained widespread popularity. And therefore, it became a factor contributing to the rise of racial stereotypes especially offensive ones like ‘happy-go-lucky darky on the plantation’ or the ‘dandified coon’.
Needless to say, blackface wasn’t much of a decent or sophisticated practice. If anything, it was a mean act that perpetuated racism everywhere. And if that hasn’t been clear already, let’s establish that racism has no place in society. It never did and it certainly never will. No matter what era or time it is, blackface will never become an acceptable practice because it is humiliating and attacking people of color. Considering the recent crime rates for people of color, it’s even more significant to abolish all related concepts.
Probably what happened with Megyn Kelly, people must have learned the lack of tolerance towards blackface comments.