By Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe—-
Under “R” in “The Holocaust Encyclopedia,” a reference work published by Yale University Press, is an eight-page entry on “Racism.” It begins: “The distinguishing characteristic of Nazi Germany was its obsession with race.”
Had Whoopi Goldberg glanced at the encyclopedia before last Monday’s discussion on “The View” about the Holocaust and a Tennessee school board’s decision to reject the renowned graphic novel “Maus,” perhaps she wouldn’t have insisted so vociferously that the Holocaust wasn’t about race. Of course, no one expects panelists on “The View” to bone up by reading encyclopedias. But Goldberg didn’t even open “Maus” before going on TV to talk about it. If she had, she might have read the book’s very first words — a single sentence on a page by itself, a quote from Hitler: “The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but they are not human.”
Every year or so, a new study reveals that a large percentage of Americans know little or nothing about the Holocaust. Goldberg’s cluelessness is not atypical. It blew up into such a big story only because she is a TV celebrity with an audience in the millions. For her grotesque and ahistorical comments — she repeatedly claimed that the German annihilation of 6 million Jews had nothing to do with race and amounted to “white people doing it to white people, so y’all go fight amongst yourselves” — Goldberg was given a two-week suspension. ABC News president Kim Godwin said she was being pulled from the show because of her “wrong and hurtful comments.”
But what she said wasn’t hurtful, it was ignorant. And the remedy for ignorance is education, not a dose of cancel culture, even one as tepid as two weeks off the air.
Goldberg’s most obvious howler was her insistence that the Nazis weren’t driven by racism. Of course they were. As Yair Rosenberg succinctly observed in The Atlantic, “Nazism was a blood-based doctrine of racial supremacy, and its consequence was the genocide of the Jews.” From the earliest days of the Nazi Party, long before Hitler achieved power, he and his followers expressed their antisemitism in racial terms. The existence of Jews, Hitler wrote in 1919, leads to a “race-tuberculosis of the peoples.” The 1935 Nuremberg Laws stripped Jews of German citizenship and criminalized marriage or sexual relations between Jews and Germans as Rassenschande — race defilement. To the Nazis, Aryans constituted the master race while Jews were subhuman racial degenerates, fit only for extermination. Continue Reading….