The White Racial Frame in Action: Would Fox News' Megyn Kelly Get on Her Knees in Prayer Before a Black Jesus? Would She Shoot a Black Santa Claus Who Was Sliding Down Her Chimney?
Fox News and the Right-wing echo chamber preys on low information, racially resentful, white conservative voters.
[Or is it more accurate to suggest that these folks "pray to" Fox News and the Right-wing propaganda machine?]
Megyn Kelly's matter of fact assertion that Jesus and Santa Claus "must of course" both be "white" is a perfect fit for a public that believes that "there is a war on Christmas" and a black communist, socialist, fascist named Barack Obama is President of the United States. Such beliefs are the gravity holding together the intellectual constellation that is the Fox News Right-wing media universe and its public.
When you confront madness and insanity there is the risk that you too will become lost. If you have ever had a relationship with a mentally unhinged person (a boss, relative, friend, lover, or the like) with anger management issues and a persecution complex then you have an intimate understanding of how the irrational can convince the heretofore rational person that it is the latter who is crazy. Alternatively, if you work in the mental health field, some delusions are so compelling that at a certain point a clinician has to sit back and ask themselves, "do they know something I don't?"
Kelly has no such gifted insight to offer. But, she does provide an example of the oft-discussed "teachable moment".
I often use the phrase and concept "the white racial frame" when discussing White supremacy and white privilege as systems of power and knowledge that influence social institutions, politics, life chances, etc. in the United States and the West.
I try to provide examples of the white racial frame in practice when possible. Megyn Kelly's defense of the Whiteness of Santa Claus and Jesus is a perfect example of the white racial frame as a real social practice.
The white racial frame is a concept developed by noted sociologist Joe Feagin. He describes it as follows:
In the books Systemic Racism and The White Racial Frame I develop the concept of a white racial frame holistically and comprehensively. Since its development in the 17th century, this racial frame has been a “master frame,” a dominant framing that provides a generic meaning system for theracialized society that became the United States. The white racial frame provides the vantage point from which European American oppressors have long viewed North American society. In this racial framing, whites have combined racial stereotypes (the verbal-cognitive aspect), metaphors and interpretive concepts (the deeper cognitive aspect), images (the strong visual aspect), emotions (feelings), and narratives (historical myths like “manifest destiny of whites to spread across the country”), and routine inclinations to discriminatory action. This frame buttresses, and grows out of the material reality of racial oppression.
The complex of racial hierarchy, material oppression, and the rationalizing white racial frame constitute what I term systemic racism. This white racial frame includes much more than the usual somewhat weak concepts most scholars and popular analysts use in the study of US racial matters, such as stereotyping, prejudice, and bigoted discrimination.
The white racial frame has long been propagated and held by most white Americans–and even, in part, accepted by many people of color. For most whites, the racial frame is deeply held, with many stored “bits,” including stereotyped knowledge, racial images and understandings, racial emotions, and racial interpretations. Not all whites use the dominant frame to the same extent, and in everyday practice there are multiple variations. By constantly using selected bits of the dominant racial frame to interpret society, by integrating new items into it, and by applying its stereotypes, images, and interpretations in many discriminatory actions, whites imbed their racialized frame deeply in their minds.