Where Whoopi went oh-so-wrong

Having taken the time to think about it, Whoopi Goldberg was wrong, but not that wrong.

Whoopi Goldberg goes wrong on “The View” (Photo: ABC)

There has been a discussion for a long time about whether Jews are a “race.”

When I was a schoolboy, there were three races — called Caucasian, Negroid, Mongoloid. That’s from memory in the 6th grade, and I could be slightly off. Some scientists believed there might have been one or more additional races. 

Sometime around Y2K, progressives began saying there is no such thing as “race,” that “race” is a “social construct.”

Well, OK. So is time.

Humans decided there are 24 hours in a day. We could have just as easily come up with 12 hours in a day. 

Humans have a need to organize and categorize — and way back then, racism might have played a role in the creation of three “races,” based on some common traits, and other traits that seem to be exclusive. 

Now, the thinking is more along the lines, “There is one race — the human race.”

Except that is considered to be a white supremacist thought in some Leftist/academic circle. 

For the sake of argument, if we agree that there are three races, then Whoopi was right when she denied Jews were a race.

In the blowback, Whoopi was lectured that the Nazis considered themselves to be the “master race,” and that Jews were an “inferior race.”

This argument accepts Nazi propaganda as scientific fact. I don’t. What the Nazis used was social, not scientific, terminology. 

On “The View,” when the subject of the Holocaust was raised, Whoopi said it “not about race.” 

I’ve said it before: Almost every time an entertainer talks about the Holocaust, it ends badly.

When one of Whoopi’s co-hosts challenged her, she said, “But these are two white groups of people.” She added, “This is white people doing it to white people, so y’all going to fight amongst yourselves.” 

That’s what really set people off. Someone named Goldberg should know better.

Diversion: Whoopi is not Jewish. When starting out as a comedian, she took the name, it was reported, because her mother said Goldberg would sound better in Hollywood. Today, some would say that would be toxic “cultural appropriation,” yet I have never heard of any serious uprising among Jewish people to strip the name from her.

Whoopi later explained to Stephen Colbert that as an African-American, she sees race basically as black and white. And, truthfully, that is understandable.

A few took her to mean that since the Holocaust was white on white, it was of no concern to her. That is the worst possible reading, and I reject it. Whoopi is not a hater and her apology struck me as heartfelt and without loopholes.

But her comment did reflect an ignorance of where the Nazis were coming from. From Hell, of course. 

It was more than her claimed man’s inhumanity to man, which is a generic trope that can be applied to almost any sad situation.

The Holocaust was an almost unique event, in which one group, Nazis, sought to exterminate an entire people — Jews, whether you call them a race, a religion, or a nationality.

I don’t believe Jews are a “race,” because there are Jews as white as cream and Jews as black as coal. There are Asian Jews, and in-between Jews, there are Jews on almost every continent. There are no physical traits common to all Jews, despite what anti-Semites believe.

I think the anti-Whoopi reaction was so strong because her remarks stand before the fact of rising anti-Semitism, here in the U.S., and abroad. 

A recent study by the Anti-Defamation League revealed that one in four Europeans harbor “pernicious and pervasive attitudes toward Jews.”

Another survey showed that one-third of respondents had never heard of the Holocaust.

That’s far more frightening than anything Whoopi said.

11 thoughts on “Where Whoopi went oh-so-wrong”

  1. Stu, when you said “…𝙗𝙚𝙘𝙖𝙪𝙨𝙚 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙧𝙚𝙢𝙖𝙧𝙠𝙨 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙗𝙚𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙖𝙘𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙧𝙞𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙞-𝙎𝙚𝙢𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙢, 𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙐.𝙎., 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙖𝙗𝙧𝙤𝙖𝙙.” you hit the proverbial nail on the head. Anti-Semitism is rising and in my opinion it is rising mainly because of many/most/all of same groups that espouse hattred of African-Americans.

    Somehow, I remembered Whoopie’s given name, Johnson. It always helps to have an edge and changing her name to Goldberg at least got her foot in the door. It seems that many immigrants changed their names upon arrival here. Obviously, the Hollywood people changed their names.
    The last time that I caught any part of ‘The View’, was when Tomi Lahren was on. Never cared for their life style, politics, whatever. Typical low level T.V.. They don’t really want to hear your views as they pour out their so called facts and knowledge.
    In my opinion, Whoopie should have stayed with acting. She’s good at it.
    As for the age old question; Jews, race or religion. Growing up, without bigotry, I always wondered. Nobody really had an answer, be them Christian or Jewish. I still don’t know. As you pointed out. Jews are on every continent. How did that happen ? Did God disperse the Jew as if he had a crop dusting plane, instead of spreading a crop such as soy beans, he spread the Jewish people. ( save that for another blog )
    Whoopie Goldberg. She gets confused between reality T.V. and the real world. Leave you b.s. on the stage and at the end of the day, try being a member of the human race.

  3. “Another survey showed that one-third of respondents had never heard of the Holocaust.”
    That is terrifying. Just reading that made my blood turn to ice.

    The Holocaust happened, and needs to never be forgotten.

  4. Questions, as in seriousness: Sammy Davis, Jr. became a Jew; which ‘race’ did he belong to? Whoopi took the name ‘Goldberg’ because she thought it sounded more ‘Hollywood.’ What does that say about the shibboleth that Hollywood is run by Jews? And does her wanting to sound Jewish make her a ‘pro-Semite?’

  5. Stu, I find it interesting that you have chosen to comment on the latest gaffe by “Whoopie” (Caryn Johnson) “Goldberg”.

    One would think that by embracing a typically Jewish surname that she would be more cognizant of the potential inferences drawn by such a blatant move. Perhaps she is, but due to her behavior, I am not truly aware of it. By my reckoning, I feel that she is woefully ignorant of the implications, not only by choosing the moniker, but also being a member of another group (albeit Race) with a history of being persecuted and discriminated against. Typical of those who don’t think things thru entirely.

    It has been historically documented that the Jewish people, more than any other group, have been singularly persecuted for most if not arguably all of the five plus millennia of our recorded existence as a Religious ethnic group – one that I feel might well be considered a “Race”, regardless of color. And, to comment on a previous post responding to your article questioning why we are so spread out around the world; many if not most people one encounters are not aware of the fact that Jews were systematically murdered, persecuted, tortured, and forced to leave every Arab nation in the Middle East (and many European nations) even though their families could prove an extensive lineage in those regions going back thousands of years. If one chose to stay in that hostile region, they were taxed into poverty, and denied even the basic human dignity and rights. They were enslaved, and persecuted without mercy. Witness the inquisition in Spain and other countries that created an environment so hostile that we were forced to convert to other religions just to survive. To this day these “Conversos” followed many Jewish traditions faithfully and unknowingly, only to find that when they track their ancestry back to ancient times, they are indeed descendants of those unfortunates who endured such cruelty.

    To be honest, Jews have been used as scapegoats and pushed around from time immemorial. Unfortunately, it took the deaths of over 6 Million Jews at the hands of the Nazi regime during World War II to force the world into recognizing that we deserved a place of our own like any nation, and that our true homeland was and should be Israel. Jews have found a way to persevere, thru education, Religious and moral fortitude (Talmud and Torah) and sheer tenacity. It’s not perfect, but nothing really is.

    Goldberg works in an industry built and financed in no small part by the Diaspora. Starting with the Hollywood Mishpucha, from California to New York. She should have done her homework before opening her big mouth. She has become ignorant and complacent. I personally felt her apology was not heartfelt, but an attempt to stem the turning tide that she unwittingly unleashed and protect her career. More than most people, she should have been keenly aware of the implications of her diatribe.

    Stu, in my humble opinion, you soft shoed this one.

  6. In 2018 I wrote a response on Facebook about a series and scientific studies by National Geographic and that remains much of what for me is a statement that should be discussed rather than a 2022 remark by a black comedian on a show made for housewives taking a break from the perils of housework.
    The United States government recognizes distinctions between the concept of race and ethnicity, and sorts individuals as White, Black or African American, Asian, American Indian and Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, or “other.” It also recognizes two ethnicities: Hispanic or Latino and Not Hispanic or Latino. This demographic data in turn affects public policy and civil rights law.

    Humans share over 99 percent of their genetic material with one another, and variation occurs more between individuals than ethnic groups. Nevertheless, the legacies of racial and ethnic constructs can be spotted in everything from housing to health. Racial and ethnic prejudices affect the distribution of wealth, power, and opportunity, and create enduring social stratifications.

    Racial pride can foment racial prejudice, as in the case of white supremacists. But for members of groups marginalized because of race or ethnicity, involvement in activities that promote group pride can help lessen or offset the effects of racial discrimination and social prejudice. Though race and ethnicity are among the most divisive concepts in history, both irrevocably shape our social, personal, and cultural experiences.(National Geographic 2018)

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