Whoopi Goldberg is symptom of America gone wrong on race - editorial

What Goldberg suffers from is a warped view of race that is heavily influenced by the woke culture that has taken over normal discourse in the United States and other Western countries.

 Whoopi Goldberg at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala on September 13, 2021.   (photo credit: REUTERS/MARIO ANZUONI)
Whoopi Goldberg at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala on September 13, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MARIO ANZUONI)

One of the main lessons from the Whoopi Goldberg affair is that just because someone is a successful actor or TV talk show host doesn’t really mean they know anything about history.

The other lesson is that what is happening today in America should concern the entire world, and especially the Jewish people.

As probably most Jews around the world know by now, the award-winning Goldberg said on talk show The View that the Holocaust was “not about race,” but was instead, about “man’s inhumanity to man” and that it involved “two white groups of people.”

The comments went viral and stirred uproar. Goldberg apologized and was suspended by ABC for two weeks “to take time to reflect and learn about the impact of her comments,” according to ABC News President Kim Godwin.

Goldberg is famously wrong on several counts. First, the Holocaust was about race. Hitler viewed the Jews as an inferior race to the so-called pure German Aryan nation and sought to have them exterminated.

''Der ewige Jude'' - ''Theeternal Jew'' movie poster  (credit: WIKIPEDIA)''Der ewige Jude'' - ''Theeternal Jew'' movie poster (credit: WIKIPEDIA)

Nazi propaganda spoke of ways to identify Jews, using physical traits that a real German could supposedly use to single out a Jew.

Her other mistake was assuming that Jews are “white people.” As anyone who lives in Israel – a country of over seven million Jews – knows, the Jewish people have been born in a variety of colors. There are white Jews of Ashkenazi-European descent, there are Black Jews of Ethiopian and African descent and there are Mizrachi Jews of Sephardic-Middle Eastern descent.

Categorizing Jews as having a uniform color and ignoring the existence of other complexions among them is itself racism, but we can leave that issue for another time.

We don’t think that Goldberg is an antisemite like the Nazis in Germany, or the far-right groups that famously marched in Charlottesville. She is also not a Holocaust denier like ultra-nationalists in the US or Europe.

But like many people in America today, Goldberg is trying to fit Jews into convenient categories of race.

“It’s an ideology that tries to turn Jews into White people, that tries to erase Jewish vulnerability and oppression, to squeeze Jews who have light skin into modern American categories of race and ethnicity, and which also myopically categorizes the hatred against them into American considerations of what racism looks like,” Daniella Greenbaum, a former producer on The View, wrote eloquently in The Washington Post.

As Greenbaum points out, what Goldberg suffers from is a warped view of race that is heavily influenced by the woke culture that has taken over normal discourse in the United States and other Western countries.

Take, as an example, what happened to Prof. Ilya Shapiro at Georgetown. After President Joe Biden said that he would nominate a black woman to replace Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Shapiro tweeted that Sri Srinivasan, the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, appointed by Barack Obama, would be a better pick.

He added that Srinivasan is a “solid progressive.” He then added: “But alas doesn’t fit into latest intersectionality hierarchy so we’ll get lesser, black woman.”

Shapiro recognized the danger the tweet exposed him to and he deleted it and apologized. Nevertheless, Georgetown put him on leave from his new role as executive director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution, part of the law school.

Is Shapiro a racist? That would be a hard argument to make considering that Srinivasan, the candidate he proposed, is an Indian-born American who has long been considered a candidate for the Supreme Court.

His crime? Questioning the appointment of a person when their qualifications are first and foremost their gender and color.

Shapiro could have tweeted in more eloquent terms, but what he wrote does not make him a racist.

But tweets like that in America today are not allowed and neither are Goldberg’s comments.

By belittling the Holocaust, what Goldberg has done is try to create a clear divide between white people and black people. If you are white, you are privileged. If you are black, you are not.

Goldberg’s utterance was liable to redesign history and the state of discourse in America and this is very worrisome.