Whoopi Goldberg’s Long History of Appalling Takes, From Defending Mel Gibson and Bill Cosby to the Holocaust

On Wednesday, ABC News announced suspension of See co-host Whoopi Goldberg after a collection of uninformed comments she made (and later apologized) about the Holocaust on Monday. During the show’s “Hot Topics” segment, the panel criticized the recent banning of Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novels Maus, depicting the Holocaust, by a Tennessee school board attributed to its vulgarity and nudity. And the conversation ends in real time why it is necessary to use Art Spiegelman’s book in academic settings as Goldberg argues that the Holocaust is “not related to race” because it involves “two group of white people”.

Whether Goldberg’s comments were objectionable, simply uneducated, dangerous, stupid, or all of the above is being widely debated on social media. Rating by her appear next on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Essentially, Goldberg’s ignorance seems to be rooted in a limited understanding of race as merely an American construct rather than a set of categories that subjectivists White supremacy has defined and redefined over the centuries and in other parts of the world to maintain power. No, Adolf Hitler did not establish the same color lines born of the Atlantic slave trade that Goldberg alluded to — although, many African Germans suffered and died under the Nazi regime. commune, and Jim Crow inspired German citizenship law. But this dark period in history is clearly about race.

Mistakes of this kind are not surprising, even from someone born just a decade after the end of World War II. Like most other historical highlights, our education system has done insufficiently (and deliberately badly) in teaching students about anti-Semitism and Holocaust contextualization beyond a single incident. tragic events in general. Despite the visions of white supremacists in the Trump era, I know some people will be surprised to learn that the Jews are their #1 enemy. Likewise, some viewers argued that Goldberg’s comment should be seen as a moment of public instruction without a slap on the wrist. Beyond that is the fact that the daytime talk show has entertained the racially ignorant, racially ill-informed views of Meghan McCain and other conservative commentators, while Goldberg is getting it. public condemnation, was deemed suspicious.

However, the multi-hyphen EGOT winner has a long history of being loud and misguided, it feels like it’s finally catching up with her. In particular, many are looking back at Goldberg’s defense of her friend, actor and filmmaker Mel Gibson, on See in 2010, following racist and anti-Semitic comments – including an audio recording of the actor saying he hoped his then-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, had ” raped by a group of women and children.”

“I don’t like what he’s done here,” she said on the show. “But I know Mel and I know he’s not racist. He could be a bonehead. I cannot sit and say that he is a racist who spent time with him in my house with my children.”

Goldberg’s legacy as an important, pioneering figure for black women and men and a key figure in the free commentary has long been at odds with her various controversies. . We all remember or read about Goldberg’s infamous 1993 barbecue held at the Brothers’ Club where her boyfriend at the time, Ted Danson, performed in a black suit and said a bunch of N words and racist jokes. Goldberg enthusiastically defended the routine and admitted to writing some of them, telling the press that she “never talked about political correctness”. She has proven many things during her nearly 15 year tenure in See, defending former Ravens soccer player Ray Rice after he was caught on video violently assaulting his then-girlfriend, saying that director Roman Polanski raped a 13-year-old girl “It’s not rape-rape,” and refuses to condemn Bill Cosby in most of his sexual assault allegations. Just like her most recent controversy, See invited an expert to speak to Goldberg about the law of limitations in rape cases.

Goldberg’s legacy as an important, pioneering figure for black women and men and a key figure in the free commentary has long been at odds with her various controversies. .

In addition, she was accused of “victim blaming” actress Bella Thorne in 2019 after she criticized her for taking nude pictures of herself when a hacker threatens to release them.

In recent years, Goldberg has been praised for her ability to cut through the noise See. The role of a wise, virtuous, and authoritative figure was often grudgingly given to Black women, whether they were earned or not. Likewise, Goldberg’s viral back-and-forth with his former co-host Meghan McCain has won her praise and seems to have made some people online forget her past shortcomings. To be fair, Goldberg’s quick-witted and decisive personality was amusing when confronted with McCain’s serious, lack of temper. But winning the debate against the former Fox News commentator is not a daunting task, nor is it an accurate representation of how equipped one is to moderate discussions. political commentary on national television.

But that’s the thing about See: You could make the same claim about most of the panelists who sat around that table and made false, derogatory remarks. This seems to have made the decision to remove Goldberg from what has long remained a binge of opinion more complicated for certain viewers. On top of that, you now have right-wing professionals of bad faith, like McCainturning Goldberg’s ignorance into an opportunity to own liars and claim to be a better ally of the Jewish community.

However, no matter how these responses may work, there’s never been a better time for the 66-year-old to understand the importance of her background and that her words matter. important. It’s also an important reminder that, no matter how commanding and charismatic our favorite celebrities are, they’re rarely experts in things outside of what they’re paid to do. .

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