The good thing about the Holocaust being common knowledge is that we know the facts. The problem is that even with what is known, some people still prefer to fudge history to fit their own needs.
Yesterday, The View host Whoopi Goldberg made some rather uneducated comments about Maus being pulled from library shelves.
Goldberg responded: “If you’re going to do this, then let’s be truthful about it because the Holocaust isn’t about race.” She added that the Holocaust, which saw an estimated 6 million Jews and 5 million others killed as a result of the Nazis’ racist ideology, was about “man’s inhumanity to man” and said it involved “two White groups of people.”
This morning, she apologized.
In a general sense, Goldberg (who is not Jewish and was given the name of Caryn Elaine Johnson at birth) is right. The Nazis were hyperfocused on race. But they also have one very specific goal: make Europe (and the world by extension), Judenrein. The Jews were a monolith that had to be exterminated. While we cannot ignore that other groups (Roma, LGBTQ, disabled, etc) were on the list, they were not the priority.
As much as I admire Goldberg for her work and her outspokenness on certain subjects, this is a topic in which she knows less than she thinks she does. Had she done some basic research before opening her mouth, this little gaffe may never have happened.
P.S. If anyone wants to do some digging on this subject, I highly recommend Ben M. Freeman‘s book, Jewish Pride: Rebuilding a People. It is nothing short of eye-opening. If you only read one section, I recommend the interviews with six Jews of various backgrounds. Not all of them are Ashkenazi (from Eastern Europe).
P.P.S Since publishing the initial post, Goldberg was suspended for two weeks. There have been calls in the press for her to be fired. I personally think that firing is not necessary in this case. If she was an out-and-out racist, then firing would be appropriate. But she is ignorant. Ignorance can hopefully be fixed. Believing the lies when you know better is another thing entirely.