Whoopi Goldberg, host of ABC’s “The View,” has been suspended from the show for two weeks for her repeated remarks downplaying racial aspects of the Nazi-conducted Holocaust.
The President of ABC News Kim Godwin issued the announcement on late Monday
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) February 2, 2022
“Effective immediately, I am suspending Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for her wrong and hurtful comments,” Godwin wrote. “While Whoopi has apologized, I’ve asked her to take time and reflect and learn about the impact of her comments. The entire ABC News organization stands in solidarity with our Jewish colleagues, friends, family and communities.”
There had even been rumors that Goldberg might be fired.
The imbroglio started on Monday when “The View” hosts got into a mind-boggling exchange with co-hosts over the historical matter.
“The holocaust isn’t about race,” Goldberg claimed.
Sparks fly as The View panel confronts Whoopi after she says “the Holocaust isn’t about race. No. It’s not about race.”
“Well, the considered Jews a different race,” Joy Behar says.
“But it’s about white supremacy. It’s about going after Jews and Gypsies,” Ana Navarro adds. pic.twitter.com/GZwZSi2qXi
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) January 31, 2022
Goldberg was lodging criticism in response to a Tennessee school board’s decision to remove a graphic novel “Maus” from an 8th grade curriculum due to its use of profanity and nudity. Radical activists have claimed that this is “banning” a book and have attempted to connect it to critics of Critical Race Theory, which teaches that white people are guilty of oppression and ‘privileged’ based on the color of their skin.
“The McMinn County Board of Education voted to remove the graphic novel Maus from McMinn County Schools because of its unnecessary use of profanity and nudity and its depiction of violence and suicide,” the school board explained in a statement. “Taken as a whole, the Board felt this work was simply too adult-oriented for use in our schools.”
“We do not diminish the value of Maus as an impactful and meaningful piece of literature, nor do we dispute the importance of teaching our children the historical and moral lessons and realities of the Holocaust,” the board added. “To the contrary, we have asked our administrators to find other works that accomplish the same educational goals in a more age-appropriate fashion.”
“The atrocities of the Holocaust were shameful beyond description, and we all have an obligation to ensure that younger generations learn of its horrors to ensure that such an event is never repeated,” the board added.
On the subsequent show, Whoopi attempted to clean up her confusing comments about the Holocaust.
“So yesterday on our show, I misspoke, and I tweeted about it last night, but I kind of want you to hear it from me directly,” she said. “I said something that I feel a responsibility for not leaving unexamined because my words upset so many people, which was never my intention. And I understand why now, and for that I am deeply, deeply grateful because the information I got was really helpful and helped me understand some different things.”
“While discussing how a Tennessee school board unanimously voted to remove a graphic novel about the Holocaust, I said that the Holocaust wasn’t about race, and it was instead about man’s inhumanity to man. But it was indeed about race, because Hitler and the Nazis considered Jews to be an inferior race.”
“Words matter and mine are no exception. I regret my comments, as I said, and I stand corrected,” she continued. “I also stand with the Jewish people, as they know and y’all know, because I’ve always done that.”
“So because of all of this, we’ve asked Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League and author of ‘It Could Happen Here,’ to help us continue this very important conversation,” she said. “Jonathan, thank you for being here. I know a lot of people were very upset by what I said yesterday, and the things they’ve — I regret. And so I want to clear this up. Can you explain why the Holocaust was about race?”
“Well, Whoopi, there’s no question that the Holocaust was about race,” Greenblatt said. “That’s how the Nazis saw it as they perpetrated the systematic annihilation of the Jewish people across continents, across countries, with deliberate and ruthless cruelty. And literally the first page of ‘Maus,’ the book you were talking about yesterday, Whoopi, it opens with a quote from Hitler, and literally it says, ‘The Jews undoubtedly are a race, but they are not human.’ You see, Hitler’s ideology, the Third Reich was predicated on the idea that the Aryans, the Germans were a ‘master race,’ and the Jews were a subhuman race. It was a racialized anti-Semitism.”
“Okay,” she said.
“Now that might not fit exactly or feel different than the way we think about race in 21st century America, where primarily it’s about people of color, but throughout the Jewish people’s history, they have been marginalized, they have been persecuted, they have been slaughtered, in large part because many people felt they were not just a religion, but indeed a different race,” he continued. “And your platform, Whoopi, is so important, using it now to educate people to realize that anti-Semitism remains a clear and present danger.”
“Yes,” she added.
“I mean, it’s a real issue and we’ve got to confront it, and the racism at the core — I mean, keep this in mind, that the Nazis implemented their Nuremberg laws, right, which dehumanized the Jewish people, my grandfather, my ancestors lived with this in Germany, and in many ways the Jim Crow South used some of the same standards against black people that were used against Jews, except the Jews were ultimately put into cattle cars and incinerated,” he said. |”That’s why it was such a singular catastrophe and a moment of evil in human history.”
This is also a warped view of history that elides that communists have massacred tens of millions of people throughout the 21st century, including mass starvations, gulags where people were worked to death, and other atrocities that are comparable in the scale of human suffering that the Nazis committed. Hollywood has studiously avoided mentioning these cataclysms, one has to wonder if the concern that “it could happen here.”
Rabbi Yaakov Menken, incidentally, the managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), defended the Tennessee school board’s move in remarks to Fox News Digital.
“I haven’t read ‘Maus,’ but not every book is appropriate for every age group, and it’s inappropriate to claim the school board doesn’t want to provide Holocaust education because they don’t want one particular book,” Menken said.
If there’s anything we can learn from this episode, is that Whoopi Goldberg indeed has “privilege”: Many people would have been fired for the remarks. Not necessarily because of political correctness, so much as historical ignorance.