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‘Blackface’ backlash: NBC’s Megyn Kelly is no match for ruthless liberal outrage

Simon Rite
Simon Rite
is a writer based in London for RT, in charge of several projects including the political satire group #ICYMI. Follow him on Twitter @SiWrites
‘Blackface’ backlash: NBC’s Megyn Kelly is no match for ruthless liberal outrage
When NBC’s Megyn Kelly started the discussion about what is appropriate and politically correct behavior at Halloween, she had no idea the segment on her morning show would provide such a conclusive answer.

Kelly was talking about what costumes are acceptable during the Halloween holiday and found herself pondering, on live TV, why a white person wearing a ‘blackface’ would be regarded as racist.

As she is now finding out, liberal outrage is ruthless and she’s almost certain to lose her show as a result of the backlash that followed. A few seconds of unrehearsed, naive speech and a stupid mistake is all that is needed for careers to be ended.

Kelly started her ill-fated statement with the question “But what is racist?”, which is the kind of rhetorical question no one as blonde and white as Megyn Kelly should be asking in public in the current climate of permanent liberal outrage without a klaxon horn going off.  Nothing good can come from continuing to speak after you’ve posed the question “But what is racist?”.

However, she did continue, and unwittingly managed to answer her own question by saying: “You do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was OK as long as you were dressing up as a character.”

It would be interesting to know exactly what character she had in mind.

It’s possible that Kelly could have gotten away with that while working with her previous gang over at Fox News, but this is NBC, and this is the left wing, and some questions are best left unasked.

Even someone who is paid $69 million dollars to put on a light and breezy morning chat show, and is one of the most powerful women on TV, is no match for the outrage that follows if the rules of woke are broken.

When you watch the footage of Kelly talking about ‘blackface’, you can see that at the time, it doesn’t really occur to her or anyone in the studio that she has made such a massive faux pas, there is no realization that she has fallen foul of the laws of political correctness. True outrage can only be birthed in the cauldron of social media, which is where the backlash really gathered pace. In the studio, they think they’re having a reasonable conversation.

But with the evolution of this backlash, it has been possible to actually watch political correctness eat itself.  A journalist attempts to explore the limits of acceptable behavior, only to find out that even posing a question breaches the rules.

There is no getting past the fact that Kelly seems to have a ropey relationship with the history of race relations in her country. The thoughts she expressed were at best naive and ignorant, and at worst deeply offensive, people’s view on that will be shaped by their beliefs.

What is clear in the aftermath though, is that the majority of commentators have realized it’s much safer to be on the side of the outraged mob, than standing by the one they’re targeting.

Kelly made a tearful apology saying: “I have never been a 'PC' kind of person, but I do understand the value in being sensitive to our history, particularly on race and ethnicity.”

She said, “yesterday I learned”. She sure did.

Don’t feel too sorry for her though, reports are she’ll have her contract paid up in full, so she can take some time out, meet some liberals, and work out exactly what she can and can’t ask.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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