“But it’s not about race. It’s about man’s inhumanity to others.” With these words, Whoopi Goldberg spoke out about the Holocaust on American television and sparked a storm of outrage. The actress has since apologized for these remarks, in particular “for the pain” which caused them.
Misunderstanding and American discourse
ABC television suspended Goldberg from “The View” for two weeks after his statement. Marina Weisband thinks this is a true sign of ABC, especially towards Jews. She herself is Jewish and works as a teacher against anti-Semitism.
Weisband also points out that Jews are also affected by racism and can also become victims of neo-Nazi violence. At the same time, the politician refers to the discussion in the United States. In this, many Jews are “coded as white”, also because the term “race” has a different meaning there than “race” in Germany.
Weisband sees an “educational deficit” in Goldberg’s statements, which the actress also addressed in her apology. “For me, it was a completely credible excuse,” said the politician. She can also understand where Goldberg’s statements come from, that Jews in the United States often don’t experience day-to-day racism.
The Holocaust is not just one disaster among many others
But that doesn’t go far enough for filmmaker Andres Veiel. “What’s missing are factual excuses,” Veiel says. “She reduces the question to an insult – according to the motto, someone is sensitive.”
Goldberg’s plea for forgiveness for the pain she caused ultimately narrowed the confrontation to the sensibilities of people who overreacted for historical or personal reasons. “It shows that she did not recognize the core of her error.”
According to Veiel, it is always dangerous to equate the Holocaust with other human catastrophes. “The industrial extermination of six million people is historically unique.” This is not one of many human disasters, but something very specific. “We should keep coming back to this so we don’t forget about it.”
Alliance Against Racism
Weisband, however, points out that Goldberg was aiming for something else. However, her statement showed the actress had a blind spot. Namely, “that the Nazis were very concerned about blood and racism. The Holocaust was absolutely about racism.”
Recognizing this link is important, underlines the politician. This would show connections in the fight against racism and allow for alliances against the ideology of “white supremacy” and its supporters.
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