It is a pattern, and not an unfamiliar one. It’s the kind of remark that comes from people who don’t see themselves as racist. They just see themselves as, you know, normal. Regular. The default.
They grew up in a world where these normal, regular, default things were — well, they were just the way things were. (“Santa just is white,” Kelly said in 2013, as if saying the sun rose in the east.) And they don’t get why people are so upset and sensitive now about what they see as harmless.
It is, at heart, the reaction of people who didn’t have to think much about sharing the world with people different from them. They were never asked to learn much about those other people, or consider how their actions and speech and “harmless” entertainment might exclude or hurt them. Now people like Kelly are being asked to learn. And they’re puzzled, or irritated, or downright angry about it.
Sometimes this feeling manifests itself in an offhand remark about Halloween. Sometimes it’s “Why should I have to say, ‘Happy holidays?’ ” Sometimes it’s tiki torches and “You will not replace us.” The degree is different. But it all comes back to: My thing used to be the main thing, the automatic thing, and now it’s not, and I don’t like it.
"Reality is an afterimage of what we've heard about a previous reality that we never witnessed." —Metahaven, Zeitgeist as Duration (Real Review #5)