Talk show host Whoopi Goldberg has sparked massive outrage after she claimed on ABC's show "The View" that the Holocaust was "not about race." Goldberg, 66, on Monday that Holocaust was "not about race" as the Nazi genocide of the Jews involved "two groups of white people". She said that it was instead an example of "man's inhumanity to man."
Her remarks stunned her colleagues and infuriated viewers. Critics pointed out that Hitler had himself expressed his anti-Semitism in racial terms. The celebrity talk show host has since apologized but that hasn't helped her much from drawing flak on social media.
Her remarks came during an ABC chat show segment about a Tennessee school district's decision to ban "Maus," a graphic novel that revolves around a Holocaust survivor depicts the atrocities of the Holocaust.
The McMinn County Board of Education in Tennessee pulled the book from its eighth-grade English language arts curriculum earlier this month, claiming "rough, unpleasant language" and a drawing of a nude woman as reasons.
The Oscar-winning actress, who has been co-hosting the show since 2007, argued that the genocide was broader than a race-based injustice. "The Holocaust isn't about race. No, it's not about race," Goldberg said repeatedly. "It's about man's inhumanity to man."
This left other co-hosts -- Ana Navarro, Joy Behar and Sarah Haines --in shock as they disagreed with what Goldberg thought.
"Well, it's about white supremacy. That's what it's about," interrupted political strategist Ana Navarro. "It's about going after Jews and Gypsies."
The discussion then moved on to how some people are pushing to prohibit troublesome aspects of the country's history from being taught in schools, particularly history dealing with race and racism.
"But these are two white groups of people? You are missing the point. The minute you turn it into race, it goes down this alley. Let's talk about it for what it is, it's how people treat each other," she continued.
Realizing Her Mistake
Goldberg's comments were immediately met with backlash. Stop Antisemitism, a non-profit group, was among those who criticized her remarks, tweeting: "Newsflash @WhoopiGoldberg. 6 million of us were gassed, starved and massacred because we were deemed an inferior race by the Nazis. How dare you minimize our trauma and suffering!"
Later, Goldberg apologized. The co-host of "The View" attempted to defuse the uproar with a tweet expressing her "sincerest apologies."
"On Today's show, I said the Holocaust 'is not about race, but about man's inhumanity to man.' I should have said it is about both," Goldberg said in a statement Monday night.
"As Jonathan Greenblatt from the Anti-Defamation League shared, 'The Holocaust was about the Nazi's systematic annihilation of the Jewish people â who they deemed to be an inferior race.' I stand corrected."
"The Jewish people around the world have always had my support and that will never waiver. I'm sorry for the hurt I have caused. Written with my sincerest apologies, Whoopi Goldberg."
However, that didn't help much.
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, whom Goldberg acknowledged in her apology, tweeted: "No @WhoopiGoldberg, the #Holocaust was about the Nazi's systematic annihilation of the Jewish people â who they deemed to be an inferior race," he tweeted. They dehumanized them and used this racist propaganda to justify slaughtering 6 million Jews. Holocaust distortion is dangerous. #ENOUGH
Liora Rez, executive director of watchdog group StopAntisemitism, called Goldberg's comments "reprehensible."