Whoopi Goldberg, in a ridiculous recent segment, claimed that because the Jews and Germans were both “white” the Holocaust wasn’t about race. It was a stupid, untrue remark, one that got her kicked off The View for two weeks.
In all fairness, her comment was nowhere near as bad as many of the pearl-clutchers speaking on behalf of AIPAC and Co. claim; though obviously untrue, as Hitler was definitely more than a bit focused on race, she didn’t mean that the Holocaust wasn’t bad, only that the motivation was something other than race.
Still, some of those with closer connection to that dark, dark period of history were furious with Whoopi over her comments and went on the attack. One was Holocaust survivor Rosie Greenstein, the subject of the bestselling book “The Red Head of Auschwitz.” She released this video slamming Whoopi in response:
“Ms. Whoopi Goldberg,” she begins, “I don’t know you, but I believe that you’re an intelligent woman. And to hear that from you, that really bugged me! Wake up. I have nothing against you, but how can you make a statement like that? You’re an educated person…But how could you say it’s not about race? … Shame on you.”
Greenstein goes on, discussing unity, before saying “…Jews were killed. 6 million Jews and a million and a half beautiful children. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?! […]You came home to the empty walls, all my family was killed because they were Jews!”
Needless to say, Ms. Greenstein disagreed with Whoopi based on her personal experience.
She wasn’t the only one, as Fox reports, Sami Steigmann, a survivor of Nazi medical experiments, said:
“Someone of her stature has to be extremely careful to use the proper language and not to perpetuate false narratives. I’m extremely disappointed in her for making such a stupid comment. I don’t know the motive for why she said it, but the damage has been done.
The biggest crime that anybody can commit, in my opinion, is indifference. And when she says something like this, we cannot just sit back. We must call it out. The point is not to condemn her. It’s to educate her. There’s no better way for her to understand the damage that she has done.
For her to say it’s not about race. It’s about religion, it’s extremely disappointing. She should be very careful. She should educate herself on this subject before she speaks because her words carry a lot of weight. I don’t think she’s an anti-Semite but she’s not educated on this and I don’t believe she knows what the Nazis wanted to do to us because of our race.
Needless to say, Whoopi irked some people. However, while The View is terrible and so is Whoopi, we should be fair about what she said, as Mr. Steigmann was: yes, the Holocaust was about race, but Whoopi was speaking out of ignorance, not hatred. That difference should matter, as should free speech and being able to say dumb things without losing your career.