UPDATE: Goldberg has issued an apology on Twitter.
Decider reports that The View cast talked about a Tennessee school board banning the graphic novel Maus, which tells a story of a family impacted by the Holocaust. All of the hosts felt that the graphic novel was important for kids to read and shouldn’t be banned. But Goldberg gave a differing opinion from her castmates who felt that the graphic novel could teach readers about racism in America.
“If you’re going to do this, let’s be truthful about it,” she said. “The Holocaust isn’t about race. It’s not about race.”
Joy Behar corrected Goldberg by saying that Nazi Germany considered Jewish people “a different race.” Goldberg said, “It’s about man’s inhumanity to man,” not race. Meanwhile, Ana Navarro said the Holocaust was based on “white supremacy” and listed the number of minorities who were considered less than by the Nazis.
Behar also added that the Nazis targeted Black people as well as Jewish people.
“But this is about two groups of white people,” said Goldberg. “You’re missing the point. The minute you turn it into race, it goes down this alley. Let’s talk about it for how it is: is’ts how people treat each other. It’s a problem. It doesn’t matter if you’re Black or white. Because Black, white Jews, Italians–everybody eats each other.”
Fans of the show were irate about Goldberg’s position on the Holocaust, with one tweeting, “Please Whoopi. Saying the Holocaust was not about race is like saying slavery was not about race. Being Jewish & African was a key reason for deadly, brutal treatment.” Another tweeted that Goldberg should have said the Holocaust was simultaneously about man’s inhumanity to man and race, not one or the other. Another wrote, “I adore Whoopi, and I will continue to adore Whoopi, but she’s wrong on that one.”
Others actually agreed with Goldberg, with one writing that they viewed Goldberg's opinon as correct.
“Learning about the brutality of the Holocaust isn’t a matter of not being objective or unfair to Nazis. It’s an opportunity to empathize with the victim & not be indifferent to abuse & injustice. Wrong is wrong.” Another wrote that “Judaism is spiritual/religious/cultural” and “is not a race.”
“Jews can be of any race,” the commenter wrote. “People scapegoat and discriminate using racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and religious xenophobia. I get what Whoopi was trying to say.”
In any event, it seems clear that Maus and other reading materials about the Holocaust are needed for American society.