Suspending Whoopi is the worst way to fix ‘The View’ uproar
Silencing Holocaust history lesson only helps anti-CRT debate
Writer’s note: This post was originally published on Medium’s “We Need to Talk” on February 2, 2022.
Of all the places in the world to get a Jewish history lesson, mine was on “90210.” I attended a predominantly black elementary school and a diverse high school, but the Holocaust just did not come up. However, I remember a TV episode in the early ’90s (and I believe it was “Hate Is Just a Four Letter Word”) with Andrea Zuckerman (played by
Gabrielle Carteris) talking about an anti-Semitic, African-American speaker coming to their school. My first instinct was “defend the black guy.” But then I kept listening. At the age of 13, I was fascinated and horrified while listening to her talk about the prejudices she faced being Jewish.
Fast forward some years later during my early freelancing years. I was hired to read a book called “The Auschwitz Escape” by Joel C. Rosenberg and create this editorial package for readers with chapter-by-chapter outlines, notes, summaries and so forth. I devoured that book. Again, I was horrified by what these people faced, but I was also enlightened. I don’t recall whether it was in this book or a book I read after that, but I remember discussion of a “master race” with blond hair and blue eyes. The latter topic was when I started to learn just how much physical appearance played as much of a part in the Holocaust as culture, religion, etc.
While watching “90210,” I kept thinking, “Who would even know these characters are Jewish? It’s not like you can see it from afar?” But that Rosenberg book filled in some blanks.
When I saw the clip of “The View” — a show I had zero patience to watch during the Meghan McCain years — with Whoopi Goldberg confidently saying the Holocaust was not about race, I squinted at the screen, reflecting on weeks of work that I did for that educational packet. Either everything I read and researched was wrong, or this EGOT recipient was about to put me onto some new history information I had no clue about. Nope. She didn’t. Wrong, wrong and wrong.
I sighed when she got on “The Late Show” and still didn’t seem to see where the problem was with her statement.
Here’s the thing. I get why she believes the Holocaust was not about race in the same way I was stumped by that “90210” episode. I’m just not going to know who is Jewish when I walk down the street. On a surface level, I get her point. But just taking a beat and talking to someone who is Jewish or reading more about the Holocaust could’ve corrected this statement before she got on a live television talk segment and made this comment with such confidence — and ignorance.