When I first moved to South Florida in 1998, I still owned property in Ohio, so I periodically undertook the long auto trek from Boca Raton to Cincinnati via the I-75. That includes at least four hours driving through the state of Georgia, where the radio regaled me with frequent updates on the Macon Whoopee, a minor league (SHL, then CHL, then ECHL) hockey team at the time, based in Macon, Georgia. The bad pun was the only good thing about the team, apparently, and it went defunct in 2002.
In hockey as in television, teams skate around waving sticks, pushing each other around, taking shots and rarely accomplishing a goal. Thus Whoopi Goldberg is arguably carrying on the tradition, makin’ conflict, makin’ points, and makin’ money.
After a distinguished career in film, she has settled into the Wise Woman role on network television, appearing as a regular on The View, a show in which multiple women pretend to converse and debate while echoing a single party-line View. It will surprise no one to learn that this unitary View describes what the world looks like while wearing Democrat Party blinders. There is generally one Republican among the five panelists, whose job is to not articulate too articulately and be gracious in defeat.
Whoopi unofficially presides over this fiefdom (fivedom?), usually getting the last word. After the huffers huff and the puffers puff, it is her job to make sure no one blows the house down. Occasionally she has to be severe in returning some recalcitrant runaway back onto the reservation, but more often she can adeptly wield a benevolent scepter. But now the show is suffering from whooping cough, although some say it is only a hiccup.
The one thing viewers need not fear in a View viewing is suspense. Other than the late Norm Macdonald’s famous spoofing of the hosts (“I thought everyone knew Bill Clinton murdered Vince Foster?”), the show follows predictable lines of debate. Democrat ideas are all good and praiseworthy; Republican ideas are all bad and cringe-worthy. “God’s in Her Heaven, All’s right with the world,” as Elizabeth Barrett Browning said before her husband Robert made his chauvinistic little “correction.”
Well, this week Whoopi fell afoul of the censorious biddies who control our national conversation, and they bid to censor her. She said that the Holocaust was “about man’s inhumanity to man” but not about racism, because the Jews, like the Germans, belong to the white race. She convincingly played the librarian, telling you to look for that book in a different section. (READ MORE: Whoopi Goldberg for Supreme Court Justice)
But she made the mistake of putting two contradictory tenets of modern liberalism in one sentence, thus exposing their lack of compatibility. Our editor-in-chief, R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., in The Liberal Crack-Up, back in 1984 (a year to avoid inexact terms), argued that numerous liberal principles did not comport with one another and as such must always be articulated separately.
Modern liberals want to liberally apply the charge of racism to anyone who acts against the officially approved races, those ostensibly underprivileged economically and preferably tinged with some shading other than white. They also use the Holocaust as an example of racism for its targeting of gypsies and homosexuals. The anti-Jewish element of the Holocaust is sequestered into a parallel category of rejecting those who are “different from you.”
This is artfully recast in such a way as to exempt contemporary anti-Semitism from the charge of racism. Now that Nazis are gone, there is no one singling out Jews as a different race or creed. Today, they say, Jews are having more success in society by reclaiming their role as whites, and as such may be understandably resented by the underprivileged people of color who do not have that escape hatch. Furthermore, they say, Jews have become oppressors in Israel, thus generating newfound and hardly undeserved hostility.
It is worth everyone’s while to read A Guide for the Bedevilled by Ben Hecht, which is out of print but can still be located in libraries et al. He wrote that work in 1942, with the Holocaust raging around him, and he showed exactly how all these canards accusing Jews of both having too much money and too little, being too bossy in society or too disengaged, operate cyclically to keep Jews on perpetual defense.
Poor Whoopi has been scapegoated for working off last week’s memo of liberal principles and not reading this week’s. But there are plenty of real anti-Semites plying their ghastly trade while claiming to be advocates for the downtrodden. I can only conclude with this selection from A Thousand and One Afternoons in New York, again by Mr. Hecht:
I write of Jews today, I who never knew himself as one before, because that part of me which is Jewish is under a violent … attack. My way of defending myself is to answer as a Jew … whether it is even in some way troublesome to those Jews who think they can remove themselves as targets by turning their foolish backs to the battle….
Good Jews with carnations, it is not I who am bringing this Jew-consciousness back into the world…. I don’t advise you to take off your carnations. I only suggest you don’t hide too much behind them. They conceal very little…. I am only asking you to fight. And I have tried in my small way to bring into the long-battered soul of the Jew the pride and mental stamina … under attack.