OPINION: Megyn Kelly is targeting high-profile Black women not just out of outrage, but because it makes for a profitable business model
Black women are precious gems. So, it makes sense as to why Megyn Kelly is going after high-profile crowned jewels as if she’s Thanos collecting infinity stones to glow in some of that shine.
In fairness to Marvel’s Thanos, he’s actually a compelling uber-villain whereas Kelly is just a polished Karen. She doesn’t lose it in stores demanding to call the manager. Instead, the former Fox News and NBC host has crafted trolling high-profile Black women and those of color on social media.
Some of the women who have run afoul of Kelly as she’s been on her Negro patrol are Nikole Hannah-Jones, whom she went after over The 1619 Project; Meghan Markle, who she said should stop “whining” about the treatment of Markle’s son Archie; Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry, who she suggested be removed from the Olympics due to her protests; and Naomi Osaka for snatching multiple magazine covers.
Nickole Hannah-Jones, Megyn Kelly and Naomi Osaka Getty Images)
Kelly’s greatest hits also include the insistence that a Texas Black girl wasn’t a saint after being accosted by a police officer, defending blackface, and saying that Santa is white. She also tried it with The View co-host Sunny Hostin in 2020 over the Supreme Court.
Kelly will swear that it’s all a coincidence and that her hills to die on are righteous causes, but they also happen to be anti-Black ones.
It shouldn’t have gotten under her skin that Osaka is feeling herself. Kelly put a bullseye on the tennis star because in her mind, if a woman of color expresses that her vaulted strength is wearing thin, it’s performative wailing that should be ridiculed.
When Osaka dared to have a moment of joy that has pierced the mental health struggles she’s been open about, Kelly responded with contempt–would not let her have this moment on her watch.
Osaka, Hostin, and Hannah-Jones all responded to Kelly’s smoke with some of their own.
That allowed Kelly to martyr herself as another conservative victimized by the “woke,” who simply want to protect their peace.
Kelly gets patted on the head like man’s best friend for not bending the knee. But if we’re being honest, it’s because she didn’t assume the position for her conservative overloads and kiss the ring of former President Donald Trump that she’s now so eager to please.
Kelly left Fox in 2017, joining rival NBC News to host the Megyn Kelly Today show that bumped Al Roker and Tamron Hall out of their highly-rated 9 a.m. slot. An accomplished Black woman was undervalued just so Kelly could cosplay as Oprah Winfrey in the mornings.
The experiment predictably failed and Kelly left a year later amid low ratings and a blackface scandal. Instead of accepting a limited role after a decade on NBC, Hall left the Peacock network in a move that still makes me relax, relate and release. She is now the host of The Tamron Hall Show, which won an Emmy in its first year.
Kelly got a reported $69M from NBC even though she was bad at her job. Despite the payout, her wounds still need balm. When in doubt, racism is an easy lay-up. She’s redeeming herself in the eyes of her conservative cohorts by attacking critical race theory, downplaying the Jan. 6 insurrection, which left five people dead, and picking fights with Black women.
These women she’s knocking are all making emphatic statements—occupying places of reverence in the culture as the world’s second-ranked women’s tennis player, a two-time Olympian, a scholar, and an American-born duchess who recognizes reality is far better than the fairy tale.
The grounds they’ve walked on in their journeys can’t be denied by tweets from Karens of the first order. Their skins have been thickened and conditioned at this point, but their melanin should not be an invitation to inflict cruelty in place of valid criticism.
Megyn Kelly at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit 2018 at Ritz Carlton Hotel on October 2, 2018 in Laguna Niguel, California.
Outrage is a lucrative business model. If it’s at the expense of Black folks, even better. Tomi Lahren was just Megyn’s understudy before she took shots at Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Now she, Meghan McCain, and Clayton Bigsby-personified Candace Owens are perfecting the blueprint she exploited.
It’s all the more reason why 50-year-old Kelly needs to assert her authority over her younger second comings; especially as the former lawyer just signed a deal with SiriusXM to host a daily show set to begin in September. Kudos to her for taking her podcast from her basement to the platforms of the mainstream media she champions against.
The prophet DMX once sermonized, “mind your business, lady.” Kelly isn’t able to touch and agree because going after Black women is a safety net that guarantees a built-in audience.
And yet, despite Megyn’s best efforts to kick Black women into what she believes is their place — still they rise. They stand tall, full of drip and with heads unbowed.
Megyn should try to get on their level. But that would require range.
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