Opinion: What Megyn Kelly’s comments show us

Posted on Oct 31 2018 - 5:50am by Alexus Smith

What is racist? It is an irrelevant topic, right? I mean, if you are a widely known TV personality, you have all rights to voice whatever you desire when you see fit. After all, you are important enough to be idolized by millions across the nation. Freedom of speech makes it possible for you to voice whatever opinion you want in this country, but does that give you a right to sport such a demeanor toward a rather grim topic that haunts Americans’ everyday lives?

Last week, for those who weren’t tuning in to “Megyn Kelly Today,” Kelly started with her usual introduction. But no one was prepared for how this normal episode would take a turn that reflects just how some wounds are still too fresh to be spoken upon. Her actions are still something that we must learn from, and they indicate how crucial it is that we ensure that we learn that America is still suffering from problems sparking from race relations.

“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,” Kelly said about blackface. “Back when I was a kid, that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as a character.”

Again, I ask you, what is racist? Megyn Kelly showed signs of almost being blindsided by the fact that, just earlier this year, Roseanne Barr was fired for similar actions. This should have been a warning to not dare to cross the line into this treacherous territory. It was to be equally expected that she, too, would be cancelled if she dared to say such, and yet she did not seem to remember or note that.

The final question I pose to all is this: When is it alright to speak on such a topic? Most would say that Megyn Kelly was in the right to speak on the topic, as it is her given right as an American. We cannot censor her because that would invalidate her rights. Yet, to those who have lived through the era of blackface, they would see this as being highly offensive and downright ignorant for anyone to say. With her position and subsequent influence she has over others, whether she knows it or not, Megyn Kelly has degraded the African-American race simply by saying that it was “OK” to wear such a costume.

As a nation, we must make sure we look to the future in order to achieve more than having to purposely or accidentally open wounds that make older generations worry about the younger generations. We must ensure that situations like this teach youth the value of morality and how certain remarks take a bite out of some individuals. We need to remember that if we must ask ourselves if something is OK, then it is more likely than not that it is wrong to do. So, I’ll ask again, in closing: What is racist?

Alexus Smith is a freshman political science major from Jackson, Mississippi.