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Whoopi Goldberg's remarks about the Holocaust.

This morning, my friend Joyce Hill reached out to me to ask why Whoopi Goldberg's comment on CBS' The View -- that the Holocaust was "not about race" -- was incorrect and offensive to Jews.

I so appreciated her question and the way in which she asked it:

"In an effort to gain knowledge and stay relevant," she wrote, "can you please explain to me in your most humble opinion, what was wrong with the statement [Whoopi] made when she said "race was not a factor in the Holocaust."

Here's how I answered, and then I found and sent her this excellent explanation from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, which lays out the Nazi ideology of race.

Thank you so much for asking!

The short answer to your question is that the whole murder of 6 million Jews was based on the Nazi belief that Jews were a race. That Aryans (white Germans) were a race. That Blacks were a race. Jews were considered by Nazis not as a religion or culture--but as a specific race, and as "vermin." That was the whole premise for the Holocaust: to destroy the Jewish RACE.

I'm trying to find a good article about it for you. I think what Whoopi said was a bit misguided--she misspoke. I don't think she meant to offend -- Jews aren't, in fact, a race, but Hitler's Nazis and today's white nationalists and others still see us as a race.

Should Goldberg have been suspended? Personally, I think it would be much more powerful and less divisive to have had her learn more about Nazi ideology and the Holocaust, apologize for her offense, and then encourage discussion on The View and elsewhere about antisemitism and how it's intrinsically connected to racism.


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