If there is one thing you can be thankful for this holiday season, it’s that you are (probably) not Harris Faulkner, an African-American Fox News host who has to put up with her co-workers turning her into a stereotype on live tv. If you are Harris Faulker, I admire your restraint with said co-workers.
On Fox News’ annual Thanksgiving-inspired live show/trainwreck, Faulker, along with her daughter, was invited on to teach Fox and Friends‘ Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck how to make a few holiday dishes. In a surprise to absolutely no one, it didn’t take long before Kilmeade managed to make an insulting comment about his black co-host.
While Faulker patiently explained to the all-white Fox and Friends team how to prepare a peach cobbler, Kilmeade wondered aloud whether Faulker “makes Kool-Aid” for the holidays as well. At first Faulker doesn’t hear him – or maybe just couldn’t believe it.
“Do I do what?” She asks.
“Make Kool-Aid,” Kilmeade asks again.
Faulker stares at him in stunned silence for a beat before responding, “I don’t make Kool-Aid, but I made an adult beverage for us.”
Watch the clip via Raw Story below:
Fox News, of course, isn’t known for its racial sensitivity. It routinely panders to its very white, very old crowd by promoting stereotypes that for many might seem out of a different era. However, the holidays always bring out the very worst. Famously, it was Fox News’s Megyn Kelly who unilaterally concluded that both Jesus (an Middle Eastern Jew) and Santa Claus (a fictional character) were “white.”
“Jesus was a white man, too. It’s like we have, he’s a historical figure that’s a verifiable fact, as is Santa, I just want kids to know that. How do you revise it in the middle of the legacy in the story and change Santa from white to black?”
Kilmeade is also no stranger to uttering racist nonsense while smiling directly into a camera. In 2009, he remarked that Scandanavian people were healthier than people from other regions because they have “pure genes.” Americans, he lamented, “keep marrying other species and other ethnicities…” For these comments, Kilmeade not only didn’t lose his job, he remained an untouchable mainstay on Fox’s most popular morning show.
So while Fox’s nearly unending racist remarks are often played off as humorous “gaffes” (Kilmeade is often portrayed as exceedingly stupid, which only helps him appear “lovably dense,” not malicious), the network’s troubling pandering to racist tropes does influence many Americans’ views of people of color and other minority groups.
This Thanksgiving, conservative America got one more example of how to let stereotypes and not, say, common sense and decency, inform how they talk to people of color. For Faulker, it’s probably yet another reminder that the network which employs here isn’t exactly welcoming to her, either.
Feature image via YouTube screenshot