[Whoopi] Goldberg continued to assert that Adolf Hitler’s “Final Solution” was not racial.[Edit and Emphasis mine — MisterDancer]
“What is it about?” Behar asked at one point.
“It’s about man’s inhumanity to man. That’s what it’s about,” Goldberg replied.
“But it’s about white supremacy,” co-host Ana Navarro retorted. “It’s about going after Jews and G*.”
Goldberg, meanwhile, claimed that “these are two white groups of people,” prompting co-host Sara Haines to point out that “they didn’t see them as white” while Behar noted that the Nazis targeted Black people as well.
Now, I showed my ass in comments on this topic a few days ago. I’m still working thru my crap on this. So take this post with that pound of salt y’all keep in the pantry, please.
Yet: who just drops Jewish identity as unambiguously “white,” even in my relative ignorance compared to many? She should at least understand that whiteness, and the power it’s stamp brings, is a social construct. As such: it can be granted, denied, or even rescinded. Its arbitrariness is a boon to those who wield it — and Jews are so not in charge of that wielding.
And sometimes, that is explicitly laid out, in black and white.
See, Whoopi might not know this: Jim Crow and related US laws were used by the Nazis to baseline their Nuremberg Laws:
[…]American law, hard though it might be for us to accept it now, was a model for everybody in the early 20th century who was interested in creating a race-based order or race state. America was the leader in a whole variety of realms in racist law in the first part of that century. Some of this involved American immigration law, which was designed to exclude so-called “undesirable races” from immigration. In 1924 American immigration law in particular was praised by Hitler himself, in his book Mein Kampf.
But it wasn’t just about American immigration law. There was also American law creating forms of second-class citizenship — for African-Americans, of course, but also for other populations including Asians, Native Americans, Filipinos and Puerto Ricans. Not least, there were statutes in 30 American states forbidding and sometimes criminalizing interracial marriage. Those were of special interest to the Nazis.
[Bill] Moyers: And these lawyers saw America’s “Negro problem” as similar to their “Jewish problem?”
[James] Whitman: You bet they did.
Moyers: American law did not specifically target Jews, but—
Whitman: But it certainly had a highly developed body of law targeting other groups.
Being a born-and-bred New Yorker, she might have heard about the 1939 Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden. If she had, its implications should have been echoing in her ears as she made that horrible argument, pulling her up.
That implication? That our struggles are united. Harm done to one easily spreads to all. It’s imperative we understand the cross-currents of bigotry, lest we fail to see the warning signs.
Yes, she should know better, as should have I. I’m not going to dive into the long a painful history around Black and Jewish communities, and struggles for equality. Yet I must say: to buy into this “they both white!” bullshit is beyond merely “harmful.” And we Black folx should know that, more than most.
She deserved not just the pushback on the show, not just the callout from the ADL, but a lot more, besides. And it’s something to not just throw vitriol at, but to learn from and strive to avoid.
I don’t have a great ending for this post. Just a promise that I’ll try to do right by y’all — and a fucking great heap better than Whoopi.
(Also, too: I get The View person trying to correct Whoopi via incorporating the other groups targeted. Yet Romani is a much better term to use; something else I learned the hard way. Those folx are to this day getting the short end of damned near every stick there is, and deserve at least a modicum of respect.)