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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.

Confirmed Cases: 29684

Reported Deaths: 1103
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds238239
DeSoto148616
Madison126734
Jones110449
Neshoba98171
Lauderdale90079
Rankin88812
Forrest85142
Harrison84210
Scott76215
Copiah59216
Jackson58416
Leake57019
Holmes54441
Wayne53513
Lee53218
Oktibbeha53226
Washington5319
Warren49618
Yazoo4936
Leflore48049
Lowndes47212
Lincoln44334
Lamar4407
Grenada4325
Pike40712
Monroe38830
Lafayette3774
Attala35823
Sunflower3467
Newton3389
Covington3345
Panola3256
Bolivar32114
Adams29318
Simpson2833
Pontotoc2736
Marion27011
Tate2709
Chickasaw26918
Claiborne25610
Jasper2566
Winston2546
Noxubee2538
Pearl River24832
Clay24710
Marshall2173
Smith21611
Clarke20524
Coahoma1916
Union1919
Walthall1804
Kemper17714
Lawrence1701
Yalobusha1677
Carroll16411
Itawamba1348
Humphreys1329
Calhoun1284
Tippah12811
Hancock12613
Webster12610
Montgomery1242
Tallahatchie1224
Jefferson Davis1094
Prentiss1023
Greene1018
Jefferson993
Tunica933
Wilkinson929
Amite892
George783
Tishomingo741
Quitman730
Choctaw724
Perry654
Alcorn631
Stone571
Franklin412
Sharkey340
Benton300
Issaquena91
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4802152
Montgomery3947103
Mobile3904134
Tuscaloosa218842
Marshall168010
Lee130237
Madison12717
Shelby117623
Morgan10475
Walker90524
Franklin87814
Dallas8689
Elmore86414
Baldwin8289
Etowah70713
DeKalb6945
Butler62328
Chambers61227
Tallapoosa58369
Autauga56012
Russell5190
Unassigned50323
Lauderdale4736
Limestone4660
Lowndes46321
Houston4614
Cullman4354
Pike4175
Colbert3836
Coffee3702
Bullock3679
St. Clair3472
Barbour3452
Covington3437
Escambia3326
Calhoun3225
Hale30621
Marengo30011
Talladega3007
Wilcox2898
Sumter28412
Clarke2726
Dale2680
Jackson2632
Winston2463
Monroe2312
Chilton2282
Blount2261
Pickens2226
Marion21413
Randolph2019
Conecuh1977
Choctaw19512
Bibb1861
Greene1838
Macon1819
Perry1621
Henry1313
Crenshaw1253
Lawrence1050
Washington1047
Cherokee857
Geneva780
Lamar751
Fayette671
Clay622
Coosa581
Cleburne361
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