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What's Race Got to Do With It?
Townhall.com ^ | April 4, 2014 | Linda Chavez

Posted on 04/04/2014 12:17:34 PM PDT by Kaslin

I like Megyn Kelly. The Fox News anchor is smart, lively and gorgeous. But she's managed to walk right into a controversy over race and ethnicity, and it's not the first time. These are treacherous waters for anyone in media -- but especially so for media personalities who are perceived as conservative. (Full disclosure: I am also a Fox News commentator.)

The current brouhaha involves Kelly's decision on Wednesday during her eponymous show not to name the shooter in the deadly attack at Ft. Hood. Here's what she said: "Authorities are identifying the shooter. If you are interested, you can get his name on other shows, like the one that preceded this one, and online, but we have decided not to name these mass killers as a policy here on 'The Kelly File.'"

So far, so good. While many might disagree with her decision, it seems motivated by a desire not to give mass killers the notoriety many of them desire. In this particular case, Kelly may be off target -- the shooter was a soldier being treated for mental health issues -- but the principle at stake is unobjectionable.

If Kelly had left it there, the controversy would be solely about whether naming mass killers is good or bad policy. Unfortunately, later in her show, she decided to comment on the shooter's ethnicity. "The nationality of the shooter, it sounds Hispanic, Latino, but you can look up his name online," she said.

Now, I have no problem with identifying race when it is relevant. If a suspect in a shooting is on the loose, it seems eminently sensible to describe what he or she looks like, including skin color. But in this case, Kelly's use of the shooter's ethnicity was superfluous. He'd already killed himself, as well as three others.

The problem for Kelly is compounded by an earlier controversy over her assertion that both Santa Claus and Jesus were white men. She's right, depending on how you define "white." St. Nicholas, after whom Santa Claus is modeled, was a 3rd-century bishop from a town that is now part of Turkey but was Greek at the time. Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew living in what is now Israel and likely looked more like El Greco's depiction of a dark-haired, dark-skinned Semite than Holbein's fair-haired Northern European.

To be fair, Kelly's comment on Santa Claus and Jesus was in response to an article in Slate that argued for Santa Claus to be turned into a penguin. The author, Aisha Harris, argued that in today's increasingly multiracial, multiethnic America, we should get rid of "Santa-as-fat-old-white-man," a sentiment that clearly struck Kelly as offensive.

She would have been better off at the time making the point that race is irrelevant -- or should be -- to both figures. And it is clearly irrelevant to the Ft. Hood shooting. Conservatives have to be especially careful in this regard.

I don't know what was going through Kelly's mind when she decided to raise the ethnicity issue -- but if she'd thought it through, I doubt the words would have come out of her mouth, which is one of the great dangers with live television.

One of the best ways I know to stop from uttering something that is likely to sound prejudiced is to imagine the words coming from someone who doesn't share your ethnicity -- even better, someone whose views you usually don't agree with -- and substituting your own ethnic or racial group for the one being talked about.

If Al Sharpton had said he wasn't going to name the shooter but the name sounded white, you can bet Kelly would have jumped all over the comment.

The Ft. Hood shooting was tragic. It does not appear from early reports that the shooter, Ivan Lopez, was motivated by anything other than mental illness. He served a short tour in Iraq and returned home depressed, anxious and possibly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, for which he was prescribed several medications. His superiors regarded him as an exemplary soldier; he was married and a father of four.

Because he took his own life (as well as cruelly killing three others and wounding another 16), we'll probably never know why he turned from a good soldier into a murderer. But one thing we can say for sure: The fact that he was Puerto Rican had nothing to do with it.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: megynkelly; race

1 posted on 04/04/2014 12:17:34 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

I’m now genuinely tired of talking about race and sexuality.


2 posted on 04/04/2014 12:20:37 PM PDT by cincinnati65
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To: Kaslin
"The fact that he was Puerto Rican had nothing to do with it."

But....he didn't 'look' Puerto Rican.

3 posted on 04/04/2014 12:22:50 PM PDT by LibFreeUSA
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To: Kaslin
Conservatives have to be especially careful in this regard.

Why? We will be branded as racist in any event, even by semi-conservative FOX News contributors.

Libs can spew any vile diatribe about any filthy, racist, homophobic TEA bagger, and it's OK, but let a semi-neutral talking head like Kelly, say anything, no matter how innocuous, and she has an entire column written about it {by a friend?}.

4 posted on 04/04/2014 12:25:20 PM PDT by USS Alaska (Exterminate the terrorist savages, everywhere.)
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To: Kaslin
But one thing we can say for sure: The fact that he was Puerto Rican had nothing to do with it.

How exactly can we say that for sure?

Maybe he thought he was strking a blow for oppressed Puerto Ricans everywhere.

5 posted on 04/04/2014 12:25:51 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Kaslin
But one thing we can say for sure: The fact that he was Puerto Rican had nothing to do with it.

How exactly can we say that for sure?

Maybe he thought he was strking a blow for oppressed Puerto Ricans everywhere.

6 posted on 04/04/2014 12:25:52 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: LibFreeUSA
But....he didn't 'look' Puerto Rican.

A "white Hispanic?"

7 posted on 04/04/2014 12:28:10 PM PDT by Steely Tom (How do you feel about robbing Peter's robot?)
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To: Kaslin
I blasted Megy pretty good yesterday over her refusal to name to shooter. But it had NOTHING to do with his race. She claimed she doesn't name the killers in order to not give them the recognition or fame. So. This article is based on a false premise.

 

Megyn Kelly Won’t Name Ft. Hood Shooter On Her Fox News Show (Video)
Opposing Views ^ | 04/03/2014 | Sarah Fruchtnicht
 

Posted on Thursday, April 03, 2014 10:25:09 AM by Responsibility2nd

8 posted on 04/04/2014 12:28:17 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: cincinnati65

It’s OK - hiding the ethnicity is worse. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and get real. One hispanic killer isn’t going to make everyone think ALL hispanice are killers. Give us a little credit here.

The advantage of telling the truth is we’ll start to trust our ‘news’ outlets again. Really, we can handle the truth... If the next 5 killers are hispanics we might need to have one of those ‘hard conversations’ about what’s going on...

It’s OK for people to connect dots - IF there’s enough dots... if there’s not, plenty of people will be rolling their eyes at REAL racism. Not the musing of guilty while liberal elites like the person who wrote this... where the ‘little people’ are too biased to handle the truth.

Really, this whole piece was insulting.


9 posted on 04/04/2014 12:29:23 PM PDT by GOPJ (For your psycho gunman, a military base is basically a grade-school in uniform. - Mark Steyn)
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To: Kaslin

What’s race got to do with it? I’m not sure, since “Hispanic” is not a race. But as for identifying the name as Hispanic, it’s clearly a matter of what it’s not, a Muslim name, which is what people wanted to know. Anyone with a IQ above room temperature who’s not obsessed with political correctness would understand that, Linda.


10 posted on 04/04/2014 12:34:40 PM PDT by Hugin
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To: Sherman Logan
What gets me is that the article makes no mention that he was first denied to go to his mother's funeral

Source

11 posted on 04/04/2014 12:34:58 PM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

ethnicity has become FAR too much of any story, a black man did this, a white woman shoplifted, a hispanic smoked a joint....who cares, and why have people become so enamored with race. At the drop of a hat, people will accuse others of being racist.....well, we are all racist to one extent or another but to accuse virtually every move a person makes as being racist is nonsense. I don’t like Obama because of his policies and methods....I wouldn’t like him if he was white, yellow, red, or whatever!


12 posted on 04/04/2014 12:38:12 PM PDT by terycarl (common sense prevails over all else)
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To: Kaslin

This is why “we can’t have an honest conversation” about ANYTHING! The PC police go bonkers if anyone talks about any demographic group that our government and liberals have defined.


13 posted on 04/04/2014 12:44:34 PM PDT by Tenacious 1 (My whimsical litany of satyric prose and avarice pontification of wisdom demonstrates my concinnity.)
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To: Kaslin
“Conservatives have to be especially careful in this regard”

I am tired of being told that I constantly have to walk on eggshells and bend over backwards to avoid saying anything that may ever be interpreted as not politically correct. I am tired of people who are so anxious to be able to present themselves as victims that they twist everything around and try to present it as racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. and supposedly the burden is on the honest person to defend himself or herself.

All this political correctness and victimhood is just a dishonest attempt to bully good people and make them afraid to speak the truth.

We should not worry about being "especially careful". We should confront these lying professional victims forcefully whenever they accuse us of being racist or whatever else they can dream up.

14 posted on 04/04/2014 12:54:26 PM PDT by detective
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To: Kaslin

That would make him “Puerto RicanDASHAmerican”, right?


15 posted on 04/04/2014 1:10:41 PM PDT by moovova
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To: Kaslin

Lighten up Francis.


16 posted on 04/04/2014 1:19:09 PM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: Kaslin

He wasn’t denied...but he was given only 24 hours...then it was extended to 2 days...and yes it was in Puerto Rico...All according to source you posted.


17 posted on 04/04/2014 1:27:44 PM PDT by goodnesswins (R.I.P. Doherty, Smith, Stevens, Woods.)
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To: terycarl
...Obama....I wouldn’t like him if he was white, yellow, red, or whatever!

He IS red, to the core!

18 posted on 04/04/2014 1:28:35 PM PDT by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed & water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: terycarl
who cares, and why have people become so enamored with race.

Because the left-stream media has become complicit in covering up the fact that blacks are disproportionately far more likely to be responsible for violent crime in this country, and black on white attacks are commonplace, whereas white on black crime is very rare. Yet these same libs complaint that we need "an honest conversation about race", by which they mean whites don't feel sufficiently guilty.

19 posted on 04/04/2014 1:36:31 PM PDT by Hugin
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To: moovova

No.

It would make him American.

People from Puerto Rico are American citizens by birth.


20 posted on 04/04/2014 1:43:21 PM PDT by WayneS (Help Control Politician Overpopulation - Spay or Neuter Your Senator or Congressman Today!)
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To: WayneS
I'm sorry: People from Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens by birth...
21 posted on 04/04/2014 1:46:27 PM PDT by WayneS (Help Control Politician Overpopulation - Spay or Neuter Your Senator or Congressman Today!)
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To: Kaslin
Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew living in what is now Israel and likely looked more like El Greco's depiction of a dark-haired, dark-skinned Semite than Holbein's fair-haired Northern European.

*************************

Linda Chavez, we don't know that. Imho, Linda is really reaching for an excuse to criticize Megan.

22 posted on 04/04/2014 1:46:45 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: terycarl
ethnicity has become FAR too much of any story, a black man did this, a white woman shoplifted, a hispanic smoked a joint....

That isn't true at all, if what you described was true then people wouldn't mind, it is the deliberate decision that the media made about 40 or 45 years ago to quite describing black criminals, that created this weird racial situation today of having "white" criminals, and criminals with no racial description.

Today, if we read an article about a crime and race isn't mentioned, then we can assume that he, or they, are almost certainly black.

23 posted on 04/04/2014 1:51:04 PM PDT by ansel12 ((Libertarianism offers the transitory concepts and dialogue to move from conservatism, to liberalism)
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To: trisham; MinuteGal

“Imho, Linda is really reaching for an excuse to criticize Megan.”

Bingo, professional and perhaps personal (looks-wise) jealousy on Linda Chavez’ part. Her argument is specious and inconsequential.


24 posted on 04/04/2014 1:55:46 PM PDT by flaglady47 (Oppressors can tyranize only w/a standing army-enslaved press-disarmed populace)
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To: Hugin

Re: “But as for identifying the name as Hispanic, it’s clearly a matter of what it’s not, a Muslim name.”

Thanks for identifying the context around the Hispanic comment.

I noticed immediately that Linda Chavez made no explanation as to why Megan Kelly brought up the ethnic issue.

I think Chavez is more concerned about ethnicity - her own ethnicity - than any Caucasian who reads her essay.

One of the completely REAL benefits of “White Privilege” is that I never think about my skin color or ethnicity.

I do sympathize with Chavez, however.

The only reason she has an income at Fox News is because she is a “Hispanic” Conservative.

If she was a white Conservative, like me, she’d be writing unpaid commentary at Free Republic like I do.


25 posted on 04/04/2014 2:34:12 PM PDT by zeestephen
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To: Steely Tom

My husband is Hispanic. His race is white.
According to Wikiipedia, “As of 2010, 50.5 million or 16.3% of Americans identified as Hispanic or Latino.[1] Of those, 26.7 million, or 53%, also identified as White”.


26 posted on 04/04/2014 2:49:09 PM PDT by FoundinTexas
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To: cincinnati65
I’m now genuinely tired of talking about race and sexuality.

Just now? I don't know how old you are. I'm 63, and have been "tired" for many years.

FMCDH(BITS)

27 posted on 04/04/2014 3:39:14 PM PDT by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: zeestephen

“I think Chavez is more concerned about ethnicity - her own ethnicity - than any Caucasian who reads her essay.”

Ding, Ding, Ding, we have a winner!

100% exactly correct.

It was a knee jerk reaction to ANYTHING that might be latinophobic. I have mostly liked Linda Chavez, but she is being a little too overprotective of her “ethnicity”. A PC word if I ever heard one. Before PC, I don’t think I ever used or heard the word “ethnicity.


28 posted on 04/04/2014 7:01:53 PM PDT by faucetman ( Just the facts, ma'am, Just the facts)
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