The Holocaust was “not about race,” claimed ABC’s “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg during a discussion on the subject of a Tennessee school district’s decision to remove a Pulitzer Prize winning graphic novel about the Holocaust from its middle school curriculum.
“The Holocaust isn’t about race,” Goldberg said. “No, it’s not about race.”
“It’s not about race,” Goldberg said again, after fellow co-host Joy Behar responded, “Well, they considered Jews a different race.”
“It’s about man’s inhumanity to man, that’s what it’s about,” Goldberg argued.
“But it’s about a white supremacy, it’s about going after Jews and gypsies,” co-host Ana Navarro interjected.
“But these are two white groups of people,” Goldberg said as her colleagues disagreed.
“You’re missing the point,” Goldberg added. “The minute you turn it into race, it goes down this alley. Let’s talk about it for what it is. It’s how people treat each other. It’s a problem. It doesn’t matter if you’re black, or white, cause black, white, Jews, Italians, everybody eats each other.”
Sparks fly as The View panel confronts Whoopi after she says "the Holocaust isn't about race. No. It's not about race."
"Well, the considered Jews a different race," Joy Behar says.
"But it's about white supremacy. It's about going after Jews and Gypsies," Ana Navarro adds. pic.twitter.com/GZwZSi2qXi
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) January 31, 2022
There are two fundamentally ignorant premises which underpin this argument.
The first is that history is simply irrelevant. Regardless of Goldberg’s characterization of Jews as entirely white (which will certainly be surprising news to both non-white Jews and Jews who have historically been less than welcome among other white groups), what matters in the context of the Holocaust is how the Nazi regime categorized the Jewish people.
And according to Nazi Germany, Jews were certainly a race. In January 1939, Hitler threatened “the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.”
“Today I will once more be a prophet: If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!”
At its core, Nazi Germany presented “pure” Germans as the “superior” race, whose purpose it was to eliminate “inferior” races, such as Jews, Roma, and Poles. Indeed, race was the primary lens through which every person was judged from the beginning of the Third Reich. “The national state . . . must set race in the center of all life,” Hitler wrote in 1925’s Mein Kampf.
The second ignorant premise is the intentional generalization applied to “use” the Holocaust to achieve political aims.
Goldberg is — in isolation — technically correct when she claimed that the Holocaust is indicative of “how people treat each other.”
This is true in the same way that all oranges are fruit. However, not all fruit are oranges, and not all examples of “how people treat each other” are like the Holocaust.
The reason some prefer to dilute the Holocaust into being race-less is because the Holocaust has become a convenient “worst case scenario” tool to present at the end of every slippery-slope argument.
If you can make the eradication of the Jewish race disconnected from Jewishness, then you can make it about something else. Regardless of whether that be bigotry in general — as Goldberg argues — or discriminatory policies like mask or vaccine mandates — like many continue to argue — elements of the Holocaust are cherry-picked in the pursuit of irrelevant political aims.
But would the same be accepted for any other group or tragedy? Would Goldberg accept the erasure of the African American experience at the center of the eternal horror that is slavery, for example? Likely not.
With her “All Lives Matter” response to the Holocaust, Goldberg is the one missing the point.
The Holocaust was solely about race: the Jewish race. It’s just that the “Jewish” part isn’t politically convenient.
Some things just never change.
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.