Whoopi Goldberg did not actually say that “all white people look alike to me,” but she implied it during her enlightening comments concerning the Holocaust on the ABC’s The View program recently. The tenor of her remarks was that the Holocaust could not be an act of racism because it was done by white people to white people. By implication, the Holocaust was of far less significance that events such as the George Floyd killing since only white people died. This put the woke management of ABC in a dilemma. They could cancel Goldberg and run the risk of angering her considerable following among progressive women — particularly women of color — or bring down the wrath of the Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL). In a predictably chin-dribbling liberal response, ABC split the difference. Goldberg got a slap-on-the wrist two-week suspension from the show, and the ADL got an apology from Goldberg. In her subsequent attempts to clarify her remarks in an apology tour, Goldberg only dug herself in deeper as reverse racist. She didn’t do so far as to claim that “some of my best friends are white,” but she came close.
I am of two minds regarding the whole imbroglio. As a firm believer in the First Amendment, I believe that people have a right to say anything they want, no matter how stupid or ill-informed their opinions might be. Quite frankly, if mindless drivel were a capital offense, the entire cast of The View would be dead, and the show would be off the air. On the other hand, ABC is a for-profit enterprise that has the right to edit its content to conform to the perceived tastes of its audience. In addition, the ADL found itself caught in a glass house with a handful of stones.
People such as Goldberg embody the worst of both types of reverse racism.
Columnist Marc Thiessen pointed out in a recent op-ed that following the George Floyd killing that the ADL had changed its definition of racism to include the following wording: “the marginalization and/or oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people.” With that definition, the ADL essentially validated Goldberg’s premise. That represents the kind of self-hatred that white liberals — including some Jews — confuse with social justice. The ADL has since taken down the definition, but it reminds us that there is a mindset in America that white people are inherently bad, and that attitude is not confined to people of color.
There are two kinds of reverse racism. The first is straightforward; it consists of blacks who hate whites. That is understandable, and it is the result of people who think that their own problems are a result of someone else discriminating against them because of their skin color. There is some truth in that, but it does not explain the horrendous increase in black-on-black murder or the meteoric rise in crime in predominately black urban areas in our country.
The second, and more perverse, form is Critical Race Theory, which encourages whites to hate themselves for being the root cause of all the problems for black Americans. The ADL’s aborted definition of racism is a good example. This causes people like Joe Biden to promise to consider only a person of one race and one gender to be nominated to the current Supreme Court opening. Pandering to one very small minority group will not bridge the racial animosity in America; it will only exacerbate the division.
People such as Goldberg embody the worst of both types of reverse racism. They blame whites, including Jews — and in some cases Asians — for all the problems of African Americans in this country while exonerating their own community of any culpability. Well-meaning whites — and some black politicians — were indeed responsible for much of the disintegration of the black nuclear family through welfare programs that encouraged single moms through economic incentives. It will take several generations to fix that dysfunction if we can do it at all. We have a race problem in America, but obsessing on skin color will not solve it.
The reality is that most Americans are willing to tolerate their neighbors of other races. Toleration does not equate with love, but it does mean that people are willing to work and live alongside one another. The obsession with race is the proverbial self-licking ice cream cone; it feeds on itself until it becomes an end unto itself. Whoopi and her colleagues on The View would do better to push programs that encourage young African American men and women to strive toward education and work to encourage double-parent households.
One would hope that Whoopi’s “time-out” would give her pause to self-reflect. But probably not. She will likely be back next week with doubled-down wokeness.
Gary Anderson Lectures on Alternative Analysis at the graduate level.