At the beginning of the week, The View’s Whoopi Goldberg made a comment regarding the Holocaust claiming it was not about race which sparked outrage and got her suspended by the network executives at ABC.
As a Jew who has studied the Holocaust, I believe Whoopi Goldberg’s comment about the Holocaust was not anti-Semitic or should be considered offensive, especially since it is a historical fact that Hitler and the Nazis slaughtered more than just the Jewish people.
It was just a misinformed comment which brought forth a meaningful discussion on social media and ABC‘s The View. People shouldn’t be disproportionately punished for a well-intentioned mistake because censorship then becomes a slippery slope.
I believe it was not intentional because of the misunderstanding of what being a Jew means. Many people believe we are race, but the truth is we are not. We are an ethnicity, a culture, a religion.
Here are the facts:
The Nazis copied Jim Crow racism in America against black people and infused it into their hideous legal system used to implement societal-level racial discrimination. But they did also discriminate against other groups.
“During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted and killed other groups, including at times their children,” reads the Holocaust Encyclopedia, “because of their perceived racial and biological inferiority.” Their complete list of persecuted groups includes:
“Roma (gypsies)*, Germans with disabilities, and some of the Slavic peoples (especially Poles and Russians). Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, including Communists, Socialists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and homosexuals.”
I firmly believe that suspending Whoopi Goldberg was just a terrible decision by ABC management and should really rethink their decision especially when they had other hosts, like Meghan McCain, who constantly lied, spreading right-wing propaganda talking points and was quite rude to her cohost. With everything Meghan McCain has done, she was not suspended for any of it, and yet when Whoopi Goldberg made a mistake, she was. Why was there a different standard between the two talk show host?
I have put together a petition for ABC News so that they can see that despite the Twitter mobs, Whoopi Goldberg has lots of support and understands the genuine person that she is.
Everyone is human and can make a gaffe, and it’s something that we can all learn from. I really hope ABC News will reconsider their decision to bring back Whoopi Goldberg and encourage them to have the tough questions about race, humanity, and how we can stop the hate.
This is an opinion column.
You can follow David M. Weissman on Twitter here.
Editor’s note: * The Roma people are disparagingly called gypsies and dislike the usage of the term, but this is a complete excerpt from an authoritative source, so we reproduced it in full though making it lowercase, and added this note to highlight the proper terminology versus the pejorative term.
Opinion columnist and Army veteran. Former MAGA, now a Biden voter.