Nobody Tell Megyn Kelly that Jews Didn’t Used to Be “White”

Yes, we all know that Megyn Kelly is dreaming of a white Christmas, with a white Santa and a white Jesus. And yes, she’s collecting the mockery she deserves.

But look on the bright side. Kelly’s puzzlement is based on her unthinking assumption that Jews are white people. That seems uncontroversial today, but the Megyn Kellys of a century ago regarded Jews as a racially different group, along with Italians and Slavs, in arguing for the immigration laws the Megyn Kellys of today still defend, though the targets of ethnic exclusion have shifted. And two generations earlier than that, the Know-Nothings would have raised serious questions about Kelly’s own whiteness.

So be cheerful. The arc of history does indeed bend toward justice; it’s just that on Fox News it has a larger radius of curvature.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

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Mark Kleiman

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.