Weighing In On Whoopi’s Oopsie

I’ll probably regret this, but I’m going to weigh in on the Whoopi Goldberg controversy.  For those who may be unaware, here are the facts of the matter at hand:

On Monday, during a discussion on The View about a Tennessee school board’s decision to ban the Pulitzer prize-winning Holocaust graphic novel Maus, Whoopi Goldberg made this comment …

“Let’s be truthful, the Holocaust isn’t about race, it’s not. It’s about man’s inhumanity to man, that’s what it’s about. These are two groups of white people. You’re missing the point … let’s talk about it for what it really is. It’s about how people treat each other. It’s a problem. It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, Jews … everybody eats each other.”

And thus began the uproar with many calling her remarks anti-Semitic and calling for her head on a platter.  Now, before I tackle this, let me just note that I was born into a household with a Jewish father and a Catholic mother and was raised in both religions in my early years (quite possibly this explains why I am a non-believer now).  Many of my most beloved relatives were Jewish and although I believe in no religion and do not consider myself Jewish, I am definitely not anti-Semitic.  That said, I am a realist and I thrive on facts.

If one looks at the facts of what Whoopi said, she is correct.  Judaism is not a race, it is an ethnicity, it is a religion.  Condemnation of Jews, attacks on Jews, are a form of ethnic hatred and religious bigotry, but are not racism!  What Whoopi said may not have been the most sensitive or politically correct thing to say, I’ll give you that, but technically she was correct … every form of bigotry is about “man’s inhumanity to man”, but not every form of bigotry is racism.

Kim Godwin, president of ABC News, immediately suspended Whoopi for a period of two weeks, even though she apologized both online and during Tuesday morning’s episode of The View.  I see nothing … absolutely nothing … that is anti-Semitic in Ms. Goldberg’s remark.  Insensitive?  Probably.  Anti-Semitic?  Hardly.

Race is defined as “a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits.”  You recognize a Black person you see on the streets by the colour of his skin and sometimes other physical traits, but one cannot point to a person and say he/she is Jewish, for there are no physically defining characteristics.  That is why the Nazis forced Jews to always wear a gold Star of David on their clothing, so they could recognize them as being Jews.  By definition, Judaism is a religion, a set of beliefs and people can either choose to believe or not.  Think about that for a minute.  If you are Black or Asian, you cannot simply decide not to be Black or Asian anymore.  However, you can and many, like myself, do decide not to be Jewish or Catholic or Protestant or Buddhist.

Whoopi Goldberg might have done herself a favour if she had thought before she spoke, however she is not an anti-Semite and is not, as far as I can tell, a bigot in any way, shape or form.  She apologized and I’m guessing it is a topic she will broach much more cautiously in the future.  Just something to think about, because with so many forms of bigotry becoming more prevalent in this, the 21st century, it can be mind-boggling.

As I’m sure this is a topic that may drive some degree of discussion and disagreement, I considered closing comments.  Instead, since I do encourage a healthy sharing of various viewpoints, note that I am leaving comments open, but will promptly remove any comment that is disrespectful of anyone or any group.  Got that?

64 thoughts on “Weighing In On Whoopi’s Oopsie

  1. To think Whoopi is correct you’d have to deny relevance of Nazi hierarchy of races. That placed aryans at the top. And classified Jews as subhuman. You’d have accept traditional 4 races as only standard to judge racism. That discounts crucial part of genocide against Jews. No wonder Jews are alarmed.

    Whoopi isn’t racist or anti Semitic. She like others in comments buy into view only traditional 4 races count and because Jews and nazis are white it wasn’t racism.

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    • Simply because Adolf Hitler declared Judaism to be a ‘race’ doesn’t make it so. Yes, he was prejudiced against Jews and yes, he classified them as subhuman. But Judaism is a religion, not a race. There are Black Jews, Asian Jews … there are Jews of every race and ethnicity. Islamophobia is not racism.

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      • Who decides what is a race? Secular Jews, atheists whose parents were Jews, Christians who had a grandparents who were jews were all treated the same. If it was just religion you could denounce Judaism embrace Christianity and spare your life.

        Hitler declaring jews and anyone with Jewish ancestry a separate race doesn’t make it so. German govt, German people, German collaborators in German occupied countries that participated in genocide of Jews make it so.

        The state and the people declare a people a separate race and commit genocide because they believe those people are an inferior race denying it’s racism denies core motivation of the genocide.

        It says yes your people experienced genocide and you believe it was racism because the people who did it called you an inferior race but it really wasn’t racism because it doesn’t fit what I learned about racism.

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        • Islamophobia. Black Jews. Asian Jews. None are relevant to nazi German and genocide of Jews. Nazi Germany is the context.

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  2. I must begin by saying that I am arriving “late to the party” through no fault of my own. It seems that my invitation was lost somewhere betwixt the post’s travel from your keyboard and its arrival to my inbox. During a sleepless time spent coming to the computer, I noticed that a new post from “Filosofa’s Word” had landed amidst my inbox just before midnight on Groundhog Day (Wednesday) that was titled as above. An attempt to open landed on a page that read : Oops! That page can’t be found. No problem as it could be read in its entirety without opening but does not give one the ability to add a comment and I had one at the ready! This had previously occurred one other time about 2 years ago and therefore did not overly much bother me. I thought mayhaps you had decided to remove this post rather than receive what you seemingly perceived could possibly become a volatile backlash. Might I just say that judging by the comments…boy, were you ever wrong!! But, be that as it may, I unexpectedly just noticed this post at the bottom of yesterday’s music post whilst revisiting and decided to click onto it fully expecting to be taken back to “Oops!”. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the very post that was not obtainable on Wednesday night. Therefore, my comment is forthcoming if you will yet again tolerate my P4L!

    “The View” was the brainchild of Barbara Walters back in 1997 and from its beginnings has touched on many sensitive topics. I used to watch it in the early years but have not in recent times…not a TV person any longer and some of the panel members rhetoric had become quite annoying. It was in 2007 that Whoopi Goldberg joined the group and, though of no particular importance here, whether that was before or after Rosie left in a miff is not remembered. At any rate Whoopi has more than once over the years survived backlash from having vocalized controversial positions. Two come to mind; defending Roman Polanski and the more recent 2014 defense of Bill Cosby. To my way of thinking this time Whoopi Goldberg is being unfairly targeted. I thought that when I first read of this suspension and I have not since changed my mind. One must wonder if Whoopi is being used as an “example” but that is entirely another conversation. That Whoopi Goldberg is not an anti-Semite should go without saying. It is a well known fact that she was not born Jewish but chose a Jewish name for her stage name. That is said to be partly because of her positive feelings towards Jewish people and their culture. Could she have put her thoughts into better or more acceptable words…undoubtedly, yes! But, she has apologized for her vocal transgression and having to pay the price of humiliation by being suspended is to me purely overkill! I will end with a few words of advice for dear Whoopi and for all of us. They began as words, that I have shared with you on several past occasions, told to my children as they were growing up, which I will not repeat here. That is because my words have been improved upon and are now my favorite “Benjaminism”! It seems that last year one of his friends said some hurtful words that drew tears from Benjamin. Though he received an apology that was prodded by the boy’s Mother, Benjamin said : “Run it through your brain before you run it over your tongue.” A keeper! WHAK!! Thank-you!

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    • Well, I can solve that mystery anyway! When I was scheduling the post for publication, I changed the time to my usual 3:00 a.m., but since it was still Wednesday, I needed to change the day for the post to Thursday, the 3rd, but I forgot, so it published immediately. Seeing that, I immediately took it down, changed the date, and then put it back on the schedule, this time for 3:00 a.m. on Thursday the 3rd. Some people, however, had already received notifications and couldn’t access the post, or as you said, it told you it couldn’t be found and then gave the contents to you anyway! My bad this time, not WPs!

      Yes, I was quite wrong in expecting there would be some who might quite emphatically condemn Whoopi for her comment! I was pleasantly surprised by the comments I received on this one!

      Like you, I used to watch The View most days, but have long since stopped watching television altogether, so I haven’t seen the show for about 6-8 years, I’d estimate. I have always loved Whoopi, though. The few times I have caught bits or pieces of it, I was definitely NOT impressed with some of the newer additions such as Meghan McCain, though I did respect her father. I doubt that I would have agreed with Whoopi in her defense of Bill Cosby, but heck, we cannot always agree on everything.

      I do like that latest Benjaminism!!! I’ll have to remember that one for future reference! WHAK!!!

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  3. I agree with Whoopi, she should not be suspended for expressing her opinion. Whoopi did not misspeak, she spoke her mind…. which is enough to label one a criminal these days. She has always spoken up against racism and inequality, and she’s black woman for heaven’s sake, why would she be a racist?
    Also stating the obvious, Whoopi chose “Goldberg” as her patronymic stage name, she’s certainly not anti-semitic.
    Cancel culture just cancelled itself on this one. Just a bunch of hypocritical self righteous snowflakes who have nothing better to do than tearing down good ppl.

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  4. I am glad you wrote this for I totally agree with you. Whoopie is right! Its about how horrible other humans can be to each other! The Holocaust was HORRIBLE and my heart aches for all the Jews, but as Whoopie pointed out, it was a crime against humanity. Anyone sheltering the Jews, any Nazi that refused to obey orders, got the same treatment as the Jews! Hitler didn’t have any extra sympathy for them, even though they weren’t Jews. They didn’t agree with him then they meant nothing to him, period, Jewish or not.

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  5. As Keith and others above (below?) have mentioned, Whoopi should’ve chosen her words more carefully, no doubt about it. As the popular, wise idiom goes but is often not applied:

    Think twice, speak once.

    And if you’re unable to construct a humane response thoughtful of any unwarranted offense, then it’s best to remain silent. I wish sometimes I’d follow this advice more reliably. 😉

    However, Whoopi has always been in the habit of being verbally honest. An admirable quality that seems in very short supply in our societies, yes? But that level of honesty, transparency can indeed be a Double-edged Razor, as Whoopi found out with genuine regret and remorse. Often what takes even MORE courage with an open-book personality is that you must sometimes eat crow, pull your foot out of your mouth, and apologize… profusely in some cases. 😦 But there is some merit to be recognized: she was brutally honest without filtering first. Think about that. There’s good and bad in there.

    Jill, over on your previous blog-post Uncomfortable History Month Begins, I spoke about how racism exists, but is not at all reflected or found in any level of reality, facts, and genetics. Period. It is only found in transgenerational teachings. That does NOT make it true or reality, not in the least! Here’s the good article I included in my comment, Race Is Real, But It’s Not Genetic. I think it’s worth reading. 🙂

    https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/race-is-real-but-its-not-genetic

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    • Yes, or as Keith often says, “You have two ears and one mouth — use them in that proportion.” Whoopi might have chosen her words more carefully, but what she said was interpreted by some as being anti-Semitic, when in fact it was far from it. Like you, I have had my share of “open mouth, insert foot” moments … I don’t know of anybody who hasn’t.

      Yes, I would agree that Whoopi doesn’t mince words and is an intellectual who is sometimes brutally honest, though she is a kind person, a good person. I think that her comments would not have so much as raised an eyebrow but for the fact that we are currently in a state of being where some people are itching for a fight, just looking for a reason to claim they are offended and start a sparring match. Interpretation is everything sometimes.

      I read the first 2-3 paragraphs of the article in Discover … will read the rest as soon as I’ve finished responding to comments … and my jaw dropped while reading that a doctor said the woman didn’t need a bone density test because she is Black!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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  6. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Thank you for writting this post!!! Essentially … in a nut shell!! I agree with your assessment! Also, how come Rogan stilll has his podcast and Gaetz is still in Congress? Not related directly to the topic but related in essence!!
    “Race is defined as “a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits.” You recognize a Black person you see on the streets by the colour of his skin and sometimes other physical traits, but one cannot point to a person and say he/she is Jewish, for there are no physically defining characteristics.”

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  7. I’m not a big Whoopi fan, but I do think she got a bum rap on this one.

    What she said may have been unwise, but it was neither racist nor anti-semitic. And, in a way, she is right. We should be seeing it as man’s inhumanity to man.

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    • Thanks, Neil! Yes, she got a bum rap, but I’m betting money she will choose her words much more carefully in the future, knowing that there are some just waiting to pounce on future statements. Man’s inhumanity to man is the basis for much, if not all, of the hatred and violence we see today.

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  8. Approaching Race, Religion or Ethnicity is the social equivalent of walking through a tinder dry landscape, you can start a fire just by kicking one stone against another and getting a spark and starting a forest fire.
    There have been a few cases down the years where a comment against one group our another has caused that fire. Now when the very broad picture is looked at this can be argued from all sorts of angles.
    It can be said Ms Goldberg made a cogent point and if she had left out the phrase ‘two groups of white people’ she might have steered her way through. You see the problem there is, indoctrinated into the White / European consciousness is the odious drip of poisoned that ‘Jews are different’…’They aren’t white’. Now a lot of folk have been fighting back against that particularly since the events of WWII but it goes way back before that. Be we Catholic, Protestant, Atheist, Liberal, Socialist, Conservative, Communist etc we European blooded folk for one all have that little itch beneath our skin, and a lot of us hate it. It starts off a fire. It split the UK Labour Party (another story). We would rather not be reminded of that part of our past.
    It can be said that Ms Goldberg from an African American perspective made a reasonable statement. It’s only in the last two hundred years that Europeans and other whites started to think ‘black folk’ should be treated fairly. It’s only in the last sixty that there has been a majority consensus that folk with different coloured skins are not inferior. Thus someone coming from a heritage where colour has marked them down would give you another view of the world. White and Jews? Is there a difference they would say? From that blighted White perspective of a thousand years the whisper would be… ‘yes’. There again Whites go around saying ‘Arab’ or ‘African’ in all innocence but it is not as simple as that either.
    Sadly both involved groups have been subjected to persecutions, often violent by The White Races for centuries. Not the only type going on around the world, no one save possibly Aboriginals gets out of this clean. Now to repeat, maybe, just maybe there will be a general continued movement which says discrimination and intolerance because of race, religion, ethnicity is wrong. In its transition though there is a latent revulsion against what ‘we did’ and that can bring about its own kind violence mostly verbal against any perceived, reminder of our ‘sin’ and gets very complicated with other layers.
    Ms Goldberg certainly did not mean to kick any stone that day. Nor did I, more than once

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    • You’ve got that right, my friend! It is a minefield and Whoopi has a large audience, so it was only a matter of time ’til someone decided to play the poor offended soul. Similarly to what you said, I read something a day or so ago that one of the reasons for such hatred and bigotry is that people do, contrary to what they say, feel guilty for things in the past. Still, I think some people are just looking for a good fight, looking for a reason to be offended to give them an excuse.

      Here in the U.S., I’m not sure there is, even now, a general consensus that “folk with different coloured skins are not inferior.” I think most of us feel that way, but there are some 30% – 40% who still believe Black people are intellectually inferior. Whoopi herself has been the target of racism and I firmly believe she is no bigot, but perhaps could have chosen her words somewhat better. As you point out, likely the statement that it was likely the “two groups of white people” part that raised some hackles. But, no matter how you say it, the facts speak for themselves.

      All discrimination is wrong, be it religious, racist, homophobic, or anti-Semitic … call a spade a spade, but Whoopi’s words weren’t spades, they were facts. Sigh. Humans disgust me sometimes.

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  9. Whoopie was correct. People should read Mein Kamph if they wish to understand exactly what Nazism was about. Hitler said it plainly why he hated certain groups of people. The Jews were the biggest bankers in Austria and Germany from the late 1700’s on, and Hitler was poor. He was denied loans for various economic reasons before he began his rise in power. He blamed an entire religion for his poverty. Once he got together with Heinrich Himler, he added in the disabled, gypsies, homosexuals, etc as being “sub-human” and proceeded to begin the roundup and destruction of them all “to benefit” the master race. One can collect quite alot of nice things from the rich and artesian ya know. The group hatred was a wonderful psychological means to get the lower class whites on his side and not object to the complete inhumanity of it all. Whoopie’s statement was not racist either as being Jewish is not being part of a group of people with the same physical characteristics. Jewishness is a religious characteristic only. One has only to spend an hour in Jerusalem to understand that.

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    • Speaking of “a wonderful psychological means to get the lower class whites on his [Hitler’s] side”: guess who has been employing the same means to gain and regain power in America in our time? Will people never learn what Winston Churchill well wrote, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”?

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    • True … anyone who has ever read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer will have a much better idea of what happened that led to WWII and the Holocaust, and Mein Kampf is a; glimpse into Hitler’s mindset. And in addition to the Jews, he also ordered killings of gypsies, the disabled and homosexuals, as you say. He alone decided what constituted a human being … sound familiar? Yes, we damn near had our own Hitler from 2017 until January 2021, and a large contingent want him back! Sigh. But as to Whoopi’s statement, she was simply stating a fact, trying to put things into their proper perspective, for which she was persecuted as well. Her statement was neither racist nor anti-Semitic, it was simply a fact. However, given her large audience, it was inevitable that some would take umbrage. There are people who are just waiting, searching for something to be offended by. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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  10. Addressing this issue from the white evangelical perspective–and as you know, I was deeply involved in that movement for decades–I’d say that white evangelicals generally side with Jews and the nation of Israel not because they have a deep, abiding love for Jewish people, but rather because they’ve been conditioned to defend Israel reflexively. My experience was that most of my fellow evangelicals were unable to explain their support for Israel; they just knew that was what they were supposed to do as God-fearing evangelicals.
    I adamantly oppose all anti-Semitism, but, like you, I want to base my views on facts, not on feelings. And the fact is, Whoopi was correct in her assessment. But Trumpist conservatives, including most white evangelicals, hate Whoopi and all other liberals, and they quickly latch onto any controversy–real or imagined–to malign her. My experience in the conservative evangelical world was that the worst insult one could hurl at these types of conservatives was to call them a “liberal.” My former friends within conservative circles who now see me as a liberal think I’ve joined forces with Satan. And that’s what they believe about Whoopi and any other liberal, so they will side with anyone who opposes her or any other liberal.

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    • Hi Jerry … good to see you! I’ve often wondered … it seems to me the evangelicals have a love/hate relationship with Jews in general and it’s often left me scratching my head. I don’t think Whoopi is anti-Semitic nor was she expressing any degree of anti-Semitism with her words … she was simply stating the facts. Yes, she might have phrased it more sensitively, but … heck, who among us hasn’t chosen our words less than carefully from time to time? Ah yes, I’ve had a few of those “liberal snowflake” terms tossed my way, but I just laugh and tell them “Thanks for the compliment!” What annoys me about this whole thing is … the planet is on fire, the nation is on fire, between climate change, the pandemic, and the threats to our democratic principles, don’t people have something more important to get angry about than what Whoopi said??? Sheesh!

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  11. Jill, I am going to answer this in a general fashion. Each of us has chosen our words poorly on occasion, some more frequently than others. The question to me is was their malintent or was it a bad choice of words? We have created a culture where people pounce on poorly worded statements in some “gotcha” moment. Yet, the second sentence above indicates we each have done something similar. Another factor is consistency. If someone consistently says inappropriate things, that is very different than someone who does not and messes up on occasion. Could Whoopi have said this better than she did? – yes. Yet, I have watched Whoopi for almost forty years and I would never equate her with being a bigoted person moreso than any one of us. Keith

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      • There were anti Semitic things Trump said before and while he ran to be President, but when I would point them out to evangelical types who would’ve seen (or would’ve been told to see) his attitudes for what there were (in anyone else), they denied it!

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    • Heck yes, we are all guilty of sometimes doing that “open mouth, insert foot” thing and I have done it many times! I think that there was no malintent present when Whoopi spoke, but that her words were largely a matter of interpretation by some in her audience. She has a wide and varied audience and it was inevitable that someone, waiting for a reason to feel abused, would take them out of context and misinterpret them. Like you, I have followed Whoopi’s career for many years and admire her greatly. If I had to guess, I’d guess that there isn’t a bigoted bone in her body. She is, however, a no-nonsense, cut-to-the-chase sort of person.

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  12. I agree with Whoopi. I don’t see anything wrong with what she said or even the way she stated it. Even racism boils down to inhumanity. It doesn’t change the mechanism of racism but the entire idea of ‘white supremacy’ is ludicrous because those people considering themselves ‘supreme’ or pure are ridiculous. Every one has some sort of mixed blood. Hitler had mixed blood for God’s sake. That’s one of the reasons he was nuts. Family trauma or mental illness. Changes must be made, ideologies must be abandoned and mindsets adjusted. But, I loathe the self aggrandizing that is becoming the norm for these public venues when this stuff happens. “Hey, look! We suspended Whoopi! Don’t be mad at us. Hey, we’re not racist. Keep those cards and letters coming.” No one wants to lose what they have. 😞

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    • So far, everyone who has commented has stood with Whoopi! I am pleasantly surprised, for I expected some fallout over this one. You are absolutely right that everyone has some mixed ethnicity. I have Hispanic, Polish, Welsh, and a smattering of others! With the world on the brink of climate disaster that is likely to wipe out most species, including our great-grandchildren, wouldn’t you think people would have stopped worrying about race, gender identification, skin colour, and religion and joined hands to try to save the world? But no, instead we dial up the hatred and bigotry and threaten each other with guns!!! Yes, ABC wussed out on that one rather than defend the perfectly harmless comments of one of their own. It would serve them right if Whoopi told them to take The View and shove it!

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      • One last point I want to make is that all of the reactive mechanisms I see from government and media on down to store chains and Social Networking point to one influence and that is money. Lost revenue, lost popularity, THEIR loss. Everyone is making fun of Neil Young for making a stand about sharing space on Spotify with someone who promotes hate mongering and conspiracy and somehow he is the villain. Yet, there is blatant blackmail going on when people refuse to shop somewhere for various reasons and they are applauded. I just can’t wrap my head around the animosity towards those of us from the sixties who actually supported and often started movements to shed light on racism, sexism, (true) fascism, conservation, misogyny, homophobia and free love, for Pete’s sake!!! One thing about the most caring of those folks from that time is their convictions are solid no matter how many ‘likes’ they get. Pandora has flung her box to the pavement and shattered it to bits. 😞 Peace, love and dove, y’all.

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        • I didn’t realize that there was animosity toward Neil Young for his decision! In fact, I applauded him, Joni Mitchell, Graham Nash and the others who pulled their music from Spotify! I wouldn’t want to be associated with any outlet that encouraged the likes of Joe Rogan and his lies. I am not a member of Spotify, never have been, but if I were, I would have cancelled my membership long before now, as I understand so many are doing that it bogged down their system! Hugs, my friend!

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  13. I agree with Whoopie, the Nazi regime defined various groups as effectively sub human. In ‘modern speak’ people who were gay, had learning difficulties or were travellers were also deemed not worthy to live. Of course the fact that they killed so many of a great people who had and still have so much talent to offer to the world, in a civilised country that produced Beethoven and other greats is what makes those terrible events impossible to come to terms with, even though genocide continues all over the world.

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    • I am truly and pleasantly surprised that nobody disagreed with me or condemned Whoopi, for as I wrote this post, I fully expected a few haters to chime in. You’re right … the criteria for the Nazis was “other”. If they weren’t reasonably intelligent and blond-haired, heterosexual, blue-eyed, then they were ‘other’. Far too many in this country are largely ignorant of the history and what led up to it. The Holocaust was the most horrific event of the 20th century and I fear that with today’s level of bigotry growing daily, we may be destined to repeat it in the 21st century. Sigh.

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  14. I’ll back you 100% on this one here sister! Her statement could be quite insensitive depending on how it’s received. It could also be politically incorrect. It’s not racist at all, nor is it anti-Semetic.

    I’ll challenge anyone who thinks that Goldberg was anti-Semetic and racist to look up how Ethiopian Jews are treated in Israel. When you see how they are treated by Israelis, would anyone call Israelis anti-Semetic or racist?

    It’s quite possible to engage in bigotry without delving into racism. Engaging in racism is a specific form of bigotry. People need to learn the true meaning of words because bigotry isn’t necessarily racism while racism is bigotry.

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    • Thanks, Bro! No, nothing she said was the least bit racist, and really whether it was insensitive or not depends on the interpretation. Given a large, diverse audience, there is always bound to be somebody or some group that interprets those words as being either racist or anti-Semitic.

      Therein lies the problem … today’s society is not well-versed on history and the causes of such things as the Holocaust or the ongoing disputes between Israel and Palestine, or the Ethiopian Jews. And more and more with each passing year, we are further ‘dumbing down’ our future generations by such things as banning books and teaching only “comfortable” history viewed through rose-coloured glasses.

      Oh yeah … bigotry has so many different forms these days that it boggles the mind. We can put a man on the moon, build skyscrapers, cure diseases, but we cannot learn to treat our fellow humans as equals, to be kind. Sigh.

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  15. There is no such thing as race. The fact that the concept of race has evolved over the past hundred years (once the Irish were considered a separate race) points to the total ridiculousness of it all. The whole idea of putting people into categories like they were specimens in a science project is odious. It’s time for all these stupid divisions to be set aside & let us all be what we are … people.

    I am not saying that we should not have pride in our own ethnic backgrounds. That’s an entirely different concept. But officially … the idea of race to divide people … it’s time to end this BS. We all bleed red & we all piss yellow.

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    • In the larger sense, you’re right. Species is quantifiable, race is yet another of humans’ contrivances to ‘measure’ something (see tomorrow’s a.m. post). However, just as humans seem to need to measure time, distance, and wealthy, all of which are largely meaningless in the long run, they seem to feel a need to measure or identify people in one form or fashion, so humans seized on ‘race’ to indicate national origins, physical traits, etc. All of which would have been okay, but then they started trying to determine that certain of those ‘races’ were intellectually and socially inferior and that is where we MUST draw the line, ’cause it just isn’t so!

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    • I fully agree on all counts! I’ve long admired Whoopi and she has proven her intelligence and her lack of bigotry time and again. This was just something she could have said better, but we’re all guilty of sometimes not filtering our words.
      Cwtch

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  16. I personally tend to think of the Israeli people as a certain thing, but if I said it straight the White Supremicists and Anti-Semites might think I was doing them a favour, so for the moment I will hold my tongue. The thing is, Jill, there are some physical characteristics that do make SOME PEOPLE obviously of Hebrew heritage. My best friend in grades 1 to 6, before we were sent to different junior high schools, was visibly of that nationality, as were his parents. I will leave it at that. Being a Metis person myself I hope I do not have any biases against people of any colour. Still, I see what I see, because I was brought up to see differences rather than similarities. I have to filter certain things through my mind in order to not see them, at times.
    Still, though I had not heard of this controversy until you posted it, I think Whoopi owed no one an apology. Her words were correct. But some of her listeners used different filters than you and I. They are so used to being harassed they can play the victim card when there is nothing hateful intended. Anyone can do that about themselves. But honesty is not always the best policy.

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    • Interestingly, along those lines, the only physical characteristic I ever noticed about my Great Aunt Margaret was the number tatooed on her wrist. Other than that, I cannot think of any physical characteristic that links people of the Jewish faith together. Now, you mention your friend and his parents having physical traits common to a certain nationality, and I accept that, but … nationality and religion are not synonymous, and in fact are two entirely separate things. That said, I fully agree that Whoopi had nothing to apologize for, but she is a well-known public figure, and as such, her words are scrutinized far more than mine or yours. Her suspension, however, is B.S.!

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    • Play victim card? You realize how condescending that is? Whoopi has a point. She recognizes traditional 4 races. But what she doesn’t recognize is nazis created their own race system of racial hierarchy that was basis of genocide. You’d have to deny relevance of nazis racial hierarchy to believe it wasn’t racist.

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        • You wrote play victim card. If you. I don’t know what you meant either. That why i ask wrote it as a question. Traditional brown race? Traditional races are black white asian native Americans. Latino is an ethnicity are black or white. Could be asian too I guess.

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          • Most middle east people, people of the Indian subcontinent, and Pacific islanders are considered brown, or at least that was how I was educated in my part of Canada. In those days, Latinos were considered white. But whatever. It’s all water over the bridge, what with climate diasters…

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            • I learned Indians in India are Caucasian. I also learned Caucasians are white. Go figure.

              I also learned Arabs are white.

              I worked with two women. One was a Latina who was darker than a light brown skinned African woman.

              The boxes the Latina checked? Race – white. Ethnicity – Latina. She was from a Central American country and raised in US. She looked like the indigenous peoples from Central America. But on paper at least she’s white. Defining race gets messy.

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              • Each to his or her own, I guess. Caucasians are actually based in the Caucasus Mountains, a range between the Black and Caspian Seas, so pretty much along the border between Europe and Asia Minor. How all white people came to be called Caucasians is beyond my understanding, as generally speaking, the farther east you go in Europe, the darker the skin seems to get–though I have never been there so I can only go on hearsay–what others often call heresy.
                But, rather than the peoples of India being refered to as Caucasian, perhaps you actually meant Aryan, which–no matter what the Nazis said–was a language grouping, not a racial grouping. Many of the languages spoken in Europe are apparently derived from an “aryan” language which predates even Sanskrit (Iranian is actually a sub-grouping of the Aryan language) and was spread from India to the northern reaches of Europe. Latina, as the name suggests, means a woman of Mediterranean origin where Latin, as the language of the Romans, dominated. So, Latina and Latino are actually language groupings, not racial groupings. For what it’s worth, Mediterranian peoples be a sub-racial grouping, being mostly white but not pure white. Anyway, the people of India are not white, but brown to the largest extent. If you know anything about apartheid in South Africa, only Europeans could be white. Africans were black. And Indians were called “coloured” to distinguish them from ever being white. They were not treated as badly as the blacks, but neither were they allowed in White Society. (Read the history of Mahatma Gandhi, who became an activist against whites during his days in South Africa, before he returned to India.)
                I hope this helps you understand the basics. Race and language are two different groupings, misused by people like Hitler and white supremecists to try and put themselves on top of a hill that does not exist.

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  17. I agree she’s not a racist. She probably considers racism defined as being against blacks from other non-black races. I truly believe she meant no disrespect against the Jews but against the Nazis. Marge

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