This Is Your Megyn Kelly On Blackface

Truly political correctness has gone amok!

says Megyn Kelly, political savant terrible hosting NBC’s Today show. What is the great calamity this time? Well, universities’ fascist policing of student behavior, of course!

Okay, but what, precisely, today, is so much more fascist than universities’ behavior on other days? Megyn Kelly lets us know:

There are strict rules on what you may and may not wear issued by someone who thinks they’re the boss of you.

Oh, joy, this sounds fun! What are the rules? Who are the horrible victims here? Could it be white people? Why, yes! Yes it could!

This year the costume police are cracking down like never before. Take a look at what some now say is an offensive costume.

Here she displays a picture of a cowboy costume, a terrible example of how white freedom is being restricted in the USA at … which university exactly? Ah, now she tells us: the “ban” was issued by the Student Union of Kent University. Wait, what? Isn’t that in, like, Kent? Like, in Canterbury where the very British-ish “Archbishop of Canterbury” does whatever Archbishopy things really need doing? It must be a pretty nasty ban if that school in a city so fucking English its suburbs include Upper Harbledown*1 is going to steal freedoms from good ol’ US Americans!

But, oops! What she doesn’t note precisely is that it’s not a ban. The student union has forwarded the idea that there should someday be a ban, issued by the Kent administration who actually has the power to enforce student codes of conduct, and has compiled a list of ideas for what such a ban might include. Cultural stereotypes derived from still-active cultures are suggested for the ban, noting that costumes based on such stereotypes have often been embarrassing or humiliating for those from the culture being stereotyped. In order not to privilege some cultures over others, cowboy is suggested with no more or less emphasis than red Indian. The Kent University Student Union is trying its best here to be even handed and anti-racist, protecting whites as well as people of color. The point, however, is entirely lost on Kelly, lost as thoroughly as the point that the KUSU produced only a list of suggestions. No one at KU has yet enacted any actual ban, much less one which would affect anyone in Kelly’s audience.

But missing the point is as much a part of Kelly’s modus operandi as it is part of Tucker Carlson’s. To help ensure she missed the point a little bit harder, she decided to insist that she could fathom no reason at all why the KU community might be interested in creating a standard where students are

not allowed to dress like Harvey Weinstein.

That’s right: the KUSU suggested that any proposed costume ban include a ban on famous sexual predators, including Jimmy Saville and Harvey Weinstein, and Kelly literally could not fathom why anyone would find such costumes offensive. (This was true even though literally every other member of Kelly’s hand-picked FREEZEPEACH panel found that one understandable.)

But oh, it gets so much … better? worse? I don’t even know:

But what is racist? [crosstalk] You do get in trouble if you’re 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 okay as long as you were dressing up as like a character.

Not surprisingly, Kelly gets no pushback at all on this from her 3 white panelists. What I’m surprised at is that no one said that when they’re grandparents were kids it was okay to kidnap random local Black folks and hang them from nearby trees while all the good white folks have a picnic and watch their victims die. The argument from “someone somewhere used to think this was okay” is a pathetically stupid argument.

But, like the idea that white people have great explanations for why suggestions = bans and why Blackface = hella anti-racist because who doesn’t love Diana Ross, the version of that idea that manifests when our nations current crop of privileged white people insist that what they used to do should forever and always be seen as good fun is taken most seriously.

It’s no wonder Kelly loves Kavanaugh, but I hope she catches a lot of hell for this over the coming days. If you can’t see the racism in Blackface, then maybe you shouldn’t organize a television show where you pick only white guests to tell the world about the propriety of Halloween blackface.

But what is racist?

Puh-leeze. If I want to watch someone JAQing off, I don’t need NBC.

*1: Fucking Upper Harbledown? That’s gotta be a joke. Seriously, I wanna know: is someone punking GoogleMaps or is GoogleMaps punking me?


  1. ridana says

    Not sure if serious even though you say “seriously,” but yes, Upper Harbledown is a real place.
    From Wiki:

    Toponymists have determined that the village name means “Herebeald’s hill”.

    A popular story is that the place was dubbed “hobble down”, after Henry II of England walked barefoot through Harbledown on a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral, in repentance for his mistaken involvement in the murder of Thomas Becket.

    Another suggestion is that since the name has been recorded as Herbaldoun, it is possible that the name is related to the herbs growing in the hills.

    I’m inclined to go with the toponymists. And if calling a hill a “down” distresses you, know that it derives from the Old English word dūn, meaning a hill or dune. But how they got from Herebeald to Harble remains a mystery to me.

    And yeah, if Megyn Kelly ever stops being an ass, I’d take it as one of the signs of the Apocalypse, like the sun not rising or something.

  2. Curt Sampson says

    Britain is the true home of funny English-language placenames. “Frognal.” “Barking.” “Tooting Bec.” “Fairlop.” “Wapping.” “Pudding Mill Lane.” And those are just off the London Underground map.

  3. says

    Well, no. I wasn’t serious in asking if it was a real place. I do admit that there’s all kinds of evidence the place exists, even if I’ve never been there.

    Mostly I just think that “Upper … Down” is so ridiculously, hilariously English I can’t stand it. Then throw in a name that sounds like something the Hamburgler came up on the spot to give the cops instead of his real name and you get “Upper Harbledown”.

    That’s just what you call objectively funny. This is the kind of name that JK Rowling likes to spoof in her books.

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