Fox News is no stranger to doing holiday segments, like any other network, and today, on Fox & Friends, Outnumbered host Harris Faulkner made peach cobbler for her co-hosts on television. She was brought up short, however, when Brian Kilmeade’s racism and white privilege went on full display after she said she likes to make peach cobbler, with fresh strawberries, in the summer:
Kilmeade: Do you make Kool-Aid?
Faulkner: Uh, do I do what?
Kilmeade: Make Kool-Aid.
Faulkner: Uh, no. I– I don’t make Kool-Aid.
Why is this a problem? Faulkner is black, and there’s a nasty racial stereotype out there about black people and Kool-Aid. It’s not necessarily on the same level as fried chicken and watermelon, but it is still a negative stereotype. Azizi Powell, writing on Pancocojams, explains:
Referring to Kool-Aid as the Black person’s drink is a short handed way of saying that all Black people are poor. That statement is stereotypical. First of all, there are more poor White people in the USA (since it’s probable that those making that statement erroneously equate the referent ‘Black people’ with African Americans). Furthermore, all Black people in the United States aren’t poor. Some of us (but unfortunately not me) are quite wealthy.
Now, since Faulkner was talking about making peach cobbler in the summertime, it might seem like Kilmeade was simply asking what he thought was an innocent question. Lots of people make Kool-Aid during the summer. Faulkner may or may not be different.
However, one of the ways in which white privilege works is by allowing us white people to be blissfully unaware of racial stereotypes, including how ignorantly perpetuating them harms people of color. One can claim ignorance, but that doesn’t make it any less harmful, and Faulkner’s answer suggests that the question flustered her, which could easily be because she’s aware of the stereotype and it upset her.
Watch for yourself, below:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8nqdbCBBgc?rel=0&w=560&h=315]
Featured image via screen capture from embedded video