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When it’s okay to do blackface: a comprehensive guide for Megyn Kelly

When it’s okay to do blackface: a comprehensive guide for Megyn Kelly
[Photo: Mathew Schwartz/Unsplash]

Never. Blackface is never okay, Megyn.

“Back when I was a kid, that was okay–as long as you were a character,” said the daytime talk show host, who once famously insisted that fictional magic gift shaman, Santa Claus, is definitively white.

Blackface as a Halloween costume may have only been a privately frowned-upon thing when Megyn Kelly was a kid (apparently sometime during the Reconstruction era?), but here’s the thing about Things: They change. Not only do things change, but they change fast. Watch reruns of Saturday Night Live from just 10 years ago, and you’ll hear the word “tranny” thrown around left and right and the very concept of homosexuality deployed as a punchline. The thinking on blackface changed so long and conclusively ago, though, that it’s jarring to hear the White Santas Only Lady pretend there’s still a shred of ambiguity left.

Blackface is never okay. Not for Halloween. Not because your fraternity thinks black people are inherently hilarious. Not for a comedy sketch made in 2007 when you’re looking back on it in 2018.

Dress up in Michael Jackson’s red leather jacket if you must. Get a form-fitting head-to-toe Black Panther costume if you have the means. But when you put shoe polish or whatever else on your skin to approximate what you think people of color look like, you are equating blackness with Otherness. You may have Megyn Kelly’s seal of approval, but the majority of polite society has moved forward.

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