Whoopi Goldberg made headlines Monday — and not for good reason — when she claimed on “The View” that the Holocaust was “not about race.”
The lead co-host of the ABC talk show apologized just hours later after facing near-immediate backlash for her comments Monday morning.
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“On today’s show, I said the Holocaust ‘is not about race, but about man’s inhumanity to man,’” she wrote in a statement shared to Twitter. “I should have said it is about both. As Jonathan Greenblatt from the Anti-Defamation League shared, ‘The Holocaust was about the Nazi’s [sic] systematic annihilation of the Jewish people — who they deemed to be an inferior race.’ I stand corrected.”
“The Jewish people around the world have always had my support and that will never waiver [sic],” the talk show host added. “I’m sorry for the hurt I have caused.”
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt acknowledged Goldberg’s apology with a statement of his own, thanking the celebrity “for correcting your prior statement and acknowledging the Holocaust for what it is.”
“As antisemitism surges to historic levels,” he continued, “I hope we can work together to combat ignorance of that horrific crime and the hate that threatens all.”
Earlier in the day, he rebuked Goldberg for her comments on “The View.” He wrote that the Holocaust was, in fact, about a group of people — the Nazis — seeing Jewish people as “an inferior race,” adding that any “distortion” of the Holocaust “is dangerous.”
Conservative author Ben Shapiro, a practicing Orthodox Jew, also condemned Goldberg for her “insidious” claims about the Holocaust and Nazism.
“The intersectional argument is that Jews are white people, and that Jews are disproportionately successful thanks to ‘white supremacy,’” he explained. “Because racism is ‘animus plus power,’ the Jews are powerful because they are white, anti-Semitism from non-white supremacists isn’t bigotry.”
“The attempt to abstract the causes of the Holocaust from Jew-hatred to ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ is actually a way of obscuring and covering for anti-Semitism,” Shapiro added.
What originally happened?
Greenblatt and Shapiro are just two of many who reacted negatively to the segment.
Even Goldberg’s fellow co-hosts were turned off by her remarks, which came during a televised discussion about a Tennessee school board that made headlines recently for removing from schools the Holocaust-themed graphic novel “Maus,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning book in which different people groups are represented as different animals. The novel, by Art Spiegelman, is designed to educate kids about the evils of Nazism and the Holocaust.
For what it’s worth, the McMinn County Board of Education issued a statement saying its members voted to remove “Maus” from school libraries “because of its unnecessary use of profanity and nudity and its depiction of violence and suicide.” Members nevertheless “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 statement noted.
You can read more on that here.
As for Goldberg, she initially suggested the Holocaust was “not about race” but was instead “about man’s inhumanity to man.” At one point, she even said the Holocaust was an instance of “white people doing it to white people.”
Co-hosts Joy Behar and Ana Navarro immediately pushed back on Goldberg.
Behar noted the fact that the Nazi regime considered Jewish people to be a different ethnic race and had also targeted black people. Navarro, for her part, pointed out the Nazis were white supremacists who had also attacked and killed gypsies.
Goldberg ended the segment without answering her co-hosts critiques. It wasn’t until the backlash spread online that the actor-turned-commentator walked back her remarks.
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