Do not cancel this one just yet.
So another day, another actor semi-cast out. Whoopi Goldberg has apologised for saying that the holocaust was not ‘about’ race /racism.
Now: full disclosure. I was never a huge Whoopi fan. Not the person or politics or talent. More that she tended to turn up in movies that were either very mawkish or rather earnest or simply not half as funny as advertised.
Bit like with Robin Williams: I get why y’all love them, I just like their more obscure roles. My fave Robin role: ONE HOUR PHOTO. Though it is in retrospect, NOT A GOOD DATE MOVIE. And laughing was a BIT odd, though the girl in question forgave me over post cinema drinks and dinner. And I think I still have her number. I digress..
..Yes. Whoopi. The lady is seen, perhaps rightly so, as a kind of pastoral force. Viewers have felt comforted by her presence on film and in television productions. Guinan in STAR TREK is beloved by fans, worldwide, over 30 plus years. There must be some quality to admire in that, almost empirically?
So, when Whoopi voices a more subtle opinion? It will backfire. THAT is what happened, here. And the thing is: she is RIGHT! To reduce the holocaust as a mere sub chapter in the history of ‘racism’ is to fundamentally misinterpret what its goal was all about.
Nazism was not slavery. Or apartheid. Or some socio-political injustice. Not to mitigate or excuse any societal evils at any stage in history. But there is a scale, here. To deny that factor is to empower the cancerous thoughts which activate the regimes, across varying levels of despotic evil.
The Nazis’ Holocaust was not a merely racist policy drive. It was an attempt to WIPE OUT entire peoples. Planned, developed and executed with a ruthless determination and mathematical calculation.
SIX MILLION Jews died in that perverted cause, at the hands of an evil empire.
Unchecked? Undefeated? The Nazis would have marched across the face of the earth and perpetrated the same atrocities to countless others they viewed as beneath their twisted mythological ideal.
Gays, Gypsies, the disabled, intellectuals, dissidents. ANYONE not fitting the satanic creed being peddled was set for incineration.
IE: the Holocaust is by far the most palpable manifestation of an evil manifesto.
But it is, nonetheless, just one dimension of a bigger picture. Reducing that ideology and practice to mere ‘racism’ is to woefully underestimate both its reach and potential grasp, as well as the moral legacy.
Yes, Holocaust Memorial focuses on the Jews who were abused, tortured, and destroyed. Nazis eliminated them without any respect for their right to life and dignity.
So it is a great thing that the UK, especially, has embraced the memorial as a celebration of the lives lost and the braveries displayed in the darkest chapter of modern history.
(Oh and note, those who dismiss third way ethics: TONY BLAIR and BILL CLINTON were the leaders who propped the memorial initiative, with media support from one Mr Steven Spielberg. Just sayin’. Not to get political, like…)
..Back on topic/track: evil is evil. Classifying Nazism and the Holocaust in purely ‘racist’ terms is to somehow deplete rather than extend its horrific lesson from history.
And: when WHOOPI said the holocaust was not ‘about’ racism? She had a point! Yes, it was said in insensitive haste. But beware the rush to judge and cast out an activist, performer and usually compassionate force for good. She posed a solid and worthy argument, albeit inelegantly.
We NEED that kind of debate and freedom of speech to be exercised, rather than extinguished. To prevent, rather than foster, the rise of the next Nazism. A great evil happened before. It could happen again. Don’t let that occur on our collective media watch.
Here endeth the lesson. Go in peace. And forgive WHOOPI! x