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Megyn Kelly's 'blackface' comments show her true face

Sometimes "I'm sorry" just doesn't cut it -- a hard lesson that NBC Today show host Megyn Kelly now understa...

Posted: Oct 26, 2018 5:53 AM
Updated: Oct 26, 2018 5:53 AM

Sometimes "I'm sorry" just doesn't cut it -- a hard lesson that NBC Today show host Megyn Kelly now understands. Reportedly, Kelly's morning show "Megyn Kelly Today" may be cancelled, according to CNN sources and Variety reports.

Kelly, who never really seemed like a good fit for the NBC morning show, overplayed her popularity earlier this week when she passionately defended people who don blackface costumes for Halloween -- a thing that most Americans understand is definitely not okay, unless their intention is to offend.

Apologies

Celebrities

Comcast Corp

Companies

Discrimination

Halloween

Holidays and observances

Megyn Kelly

NBC

NBCUniversal

Racism and racial discrimination

Societal issues

Society

"But what is racist?" Kelly asked on her show. "Because you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character."

The backlash was swift. Kelly was roasted across social media and more importantly her colleagues and bosses were appalled by her comments. NBC executives forced Kelly to apologize first, internally to her colleagues, and then to the viewers.

But Halloween is tricky and the blackface flap didn't die down.

Ironically, for me, the most revealing part of Kelly's explosive comments was their illumination of her true face as an out-of-the-closet racist, in my opinion.

I didn't buy Kelly's innocent act of contrition. Maybe I've just become desensitized to these knee-jerk, teleprompter apologies for public misdeeds. Maybe we all have. Maybe we should.

But Kelly shouldn't be surprised that her racist statements met resistance. And she shouldn't be surprised that NBC, like so many other employers who have taken action against talent for incidents of racism, has apparently decided that her brand of bigotry is simply not worth the risk anymore. Even her NBC colleague Al Roker, who said Wednesday, "The fact is, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country."

This is not Megyn's first go around with racially-tinged talk. We know her history; we've watched her on Fox, stirring up political divisiveness and animosity. We listened to you spout white privilege with your snarky comments: "Jesus was a white man ... as is Santa." That's just a historical fact, you claimed. Though a quick check of the Bible doesn't back up your statements. You also said the young girl in Texas shown being manhandled by a cop in a viral video "was no saint," and criticized others, like Stephen A. Smith and then-Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, for apologizing for their own racially insensitive comments.

Despite her history, I was initially willing to cut Kelly some slack. When she landed her $69 million deal and moved to NBC from Fox under a cloud of controversy over her divisiveness, many, myself included, resented that Kelly bumped out fan favorites (and two black journalists I admire greatly) Al Roker and Tamron Hall. But I told my peers to give her a chance.

Kelly had impressed me at the presidential debates back in 2016. She was strong and came across as a solid journalist who'd done her research. She stood up to then-candidate Trump's misogynist bullying. I respected her for that even if I didn't agree with her politics.

But she failed to live up to that respect. Like many people recently, Kelly fell into the trap ensnaring a lot of undercover bigots in America today.

We all know them by now thanks to social media, which has shamed these over-zealous white people for falsely accusing innocent blacks of wrongdoing.

We know them as "Permit Patty," a.k.a. Alison Ettel in San Francisco, who called police in July on an 8-year-old girl who was selling water bottles as part of a school fundraiser, or New York's "Cornerstore Caroline," a.k.a. Teresa Klein, who recently accused a 9-year-old boy of sexual assault and called the police. Ettel later resigned from her job, and in Klein's case, the store's video later showed the boy's backpack had accidentally grazed her.

Mowing lawns, taking a nap in a dorm, sitting in Starbucks, trying to enter your apartment after a long day at work -- it's alarming the rate at which whites have used police to try and intimidate black people for simply being in their space. It's no wonder Kelly feels empowered to reveal her racist opinions on national television.

Sadly, these offenses are felt almost daily for black folks, even me. My former business partner and neighbor recently felt free to throw out the N-word with his friends while we were at work. Then he laughed about it when a guy standing nearby pointed out that I was in earshot. Like Megyn Kelly, he too later apologized. But I had already seen his true face.

I get that underground racists feel emboldened by a President who declares on national TV, "Absolutely I am a nationalist." They think they can now push the boundaries of what it means to be a racist. They think they can redefine the meaning of racism by arguing that they don't believe in being PC -- which to me means that they want to be free to deny the humanity and equality of others who are not like them.

What they don't get is that we will not allow the clocks to be turned back to a time when the only thing right was white.

Too much blood has been shed in the fight for equality. It's a new day. And this time, the voices for equality are amplified. More Americans across every demographic believe in their own inalienable right to justice and equality.

We don't believe in political correctness, either. Not the type that says we have to be silent and do nothing in the face of your hatred. No. We are fighting back. We are organizing, using social media to ostracize blatant acts of racism. And we will hold accountable anyone who uses hate to try and demean us and deny our equality.

Megyn and her ilk may follow the bitter road that leads out of Washington. But beware: we are coming for you. Armed with new allies, more political awareness, technology and our growing financial power. We won't go backward.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 484675

Reported Deaths: 9480
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33151493
Hinds31184589
DeSoto30803365
Jackson23735349
Rankin21390373
Lee14963221
Madison14206272
Jones13430227
Forrest13199241
Lauderdale11623307
Lowndes10501176
Lamar10258130
Pearl River9151221
Lafayette8268137
Hancock7534113
Washington7144152
Oktibbeha6989124
Monroe6533167
Neshoba6489201
Warren6486166
Pontotoc632993
Panola6278127
Marshall6165126
Bolivar6129145
Union576089
Pike5626138
Alcorn540590
Lincoln5310132
George473572
Scott461596
Leflore4495140
Tippah448180
Prentiss447979
Itawamba4457100
Adams4429117
Tate4420103
Wayne434667
Simpson4339114
Copiah432988
Yazoo423686
Covington417192
Sunflower4155104
Marion4111104
Coahoma3986100
Leake398286
Newton372375
Grenada3565104
Stone351360
Tishomingo338389
Attala325987
Jasper316062
Winston305691
Clay297374
Chickasaw287866
Clarke283290
Calhoun267741
Holmes262887
Smith252249
Yalobusha224347
Tallahatchie221150
Walthall211758
Greene209945
Lawrence207034
Perry201054
Amite199452
Webster196942
Noxubee179339
Montgomery172954
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162537
Tunica154235
Benton143035
Kemper138840
Choctaw128826
Claiborne127134
Humphreys127038
Franklin116928
Quitman104227
Wilkinson102036
Jefferson91533
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 790648

Reported Deaths: 14025
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1117431765
Mobile709021237
Madison50032633
Shelby36350315
Baldwin36278495
Tuscaloosa34034548
Montgomery33229678
Lee22712220
Calhoun21297410
Morgan19852335
Etowah19341462
Marshall17716274
Houston16862386
St. Clair15479305
Cullman14659258
Limestone14609188
Elmore14507264
Lauderdale13557281
Talladega13015236
DeKalb12214237
Walker10604330
Blount9735157
Autauga9691137
Jackson9400158
Coffee8934175
Dale8631173
Colbert8545184
Tallapoosa6688181
Escambia6599121
Covington6466167
Chilton6395144
Russell608755
Franklin5805101
Chambers5425134
Marion4818120
Dallas4713189
Clarke464079
Pike463297
Geneva4433117
Winston427395
Lawrence4124108
Bibb410281
Barbour347470
Marengo326485
Monroe320253
Butler318490
Randolph306656
Pickens306474
Henry302658
Hale293085
Cherokee290855
Fayette280373
Washington245548
Crenshaw238770
Cleburne236751
Clay229265
Macon220658
Lamar200443
Conecuh182046
Coosa170835
Lowndes170858
Wilcox159736
Bullock149543
Perry136537
Sumter124736
Greene121443
Choctaw73427
Out of AL00
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Tupelo
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Hi: 87° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 79°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 85° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 83°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
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Feels Like: 75°
Starkville
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Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 75°
Little bits and pieces of low pressure move back into our area over the next several days. This will bring back into our weather forecast some more chances for some isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms.
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