HL 150 – Hopelessly Liberal’s Second Black History Month Edition – Whoopi!

February 4, 2022

Home | Blog | HL 150 – Hopelessly Liberal’s Second Black History Month Edition – Whoopi!

As in our first Black History Month Edition (HL 68, published 2/25/2019) commended to you because of its continuing relevance, this second edition commemorates BHM not by recounting or revisionistically interpreting the stuff we’ve been fed and told to acknowledge, but idiosyncratically.  These personal reactions were easy this year given the events of the last week.

Michael Smerconish

First, the simultaneity of BHM, Holocaust Memorial Day, greatly increased threats of violence against Historically Black Colleges, Jews and their institutions and celebration of the Lunar New Year.  (The Asian one, since Jews and Muslims have theirs and the Christian calendar is lunisolar with the annual celebration of its most important day determined by the moon).

The second involves the embodiment and personification of this convergence, Ms. Whoopi Goldberg.  She infamously observed on The View that THE HOLOCAUST was about “man’s inhumanity to man” and “not about race” because “these are two white groups of people” and “[t]his is white people doing it to white people, so y’all going to fight amongst yourselves.”  After that, ten plagues were visited upon her, not including the one involving the Angel of Death but instead a new one – two weeks suspension from The View.  Deemed excessive by Michael Smerconish, AOC and The Jerusalem Post – whadda planet.

JR Clifford & Joel Spingarn

Back to the first, that convergence, we believe to be anything but coincidental.  One very important component of American black history, that must be understood and celebrated, is the Civil Rights Movement.  When the historic African-American/Jewish alliance and civil rights coalition formed in the early twentieth century under the umbrellas of The Niagara Movement and the NAACP (founded on May 30, 1909 in the Manhattan lower east side’s Henry Street Settlement), the logic of Black/Jewish alliance was obvious and inescapable.  Columbia University Professor, Joel Spingarn, was an early NAACP chair serving a board that included Jacob Schiff, Rabbi Stephen Wise and Jacob Billikopf.

As late as 1975 the NAACP had a Jewish president, Kivie Kaplan.  But by then the alliance had badly frayed, as many Jews were ousted from leadership positions in organizations that had been at the core of the alliance.  Dr. King did not and famously would not do that.  And in our home HL’s Jewish parents sent him off to college with many admonitions, including “don’t ever try to pass for white.”

Kivie Kaplan & Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

People in both groups that had formed the alliance got a big reminder of its logic and necessity on August 11-12, 2017, during the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, as neo-Nazi Trump supporters chanted “Jews will not replace us.”  We guess that Whoopi wasn’t watching or listening and if she was, she didn’t understand.

Those white people and the hate and racist ideology that not merely motivates but defines them, did not begin with Donald Trump.  He substantially unleashed and encouraged it and them and the huge spike in anti-Jewish, anti-Asian and other racist attacks and threats – such as those made on HBCUs last week.

The best response includes reassembly and affirmance of traditional civil rights, human rights and multifaith coalitions.

As for poor Whoopi, we agree that two weeks off The View is clearly unwarranted, if not too harsh.  A far more appropriate sentence for her would be “back to school.”  At various times, she has claimed to be Jewish, though her Baptist heritage, debunkment by no less a genealogist than Skip Gates, and her lack of either Jewish conversion, synagogue attendance or education suggest otherwise.  But one need not be a “Yeshiva Bochur” to have learned that the Nazi perpetrators of THE HOLOCAUST were self-professed Aryan racial supremacists’ intent on exterminating the “inferior Jewish race” and who managed to quickly kill one-third of world Jewry.  Six million, then roughly eight-tenths of one percent of world population and 77 years later just two-tenths of one percent.

Fred Trump

When Whoopi apologized and said “I also stand with the Jewish people, as they know and y’all know. . .”[1]  We a member of both “they” and “y’all” believe her and believe the best use of her fortnight is reading.  Because it’s fundamental and badly, badly needed by Whoopi and many other well-intentioned but dangerously ignorant people among us and y’all.

[1]  Our doctor/daughter points out that in one of several public apologies Whoopi pointed out that if an African-American and a [white] Jew encountered a KKK rally, the black person would likely have fared much worse.  Probably, but if those two had run into the Klan parade where Fred Trump was arrested, we think that neither would have fared particularly well.  To say nothing of the hypothetical fate of an African-American-Jew named “Goldberg.”


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