It’s Not Anti-Semitism, It’s Blanket Hatred of Whites

Ron Lauder, the billionaire Jewish philanthropist, has spoken out against the “rising tide of Jew hatred” in the United States, citing as two examples, the banning of the Holocaust graphic novel Maus in a rural Tennessee school district and Whoopi Goldberg’s unsettling enormity on “The View.” If the public still remembers, Goldberg was suspended for two weeks from the ABC News program after claiming Hitler’s attempted extermination of European Jewry had nothing to do with race. Neither incident in my opinion portends “a rising tide of anti-Semitism,” although the attack on a synagogue in a Fort Worth suburb by a Muslim fanatic a few weeks ago would have demonstrated Lauder’s case better than the two examples he cites. 

The decision of a school board in Tennessee not to assign Maus was regrettable but had nothing to do with hating Jews. The prudish board was reluctant to distribute among students a book with pictures of female nudity and featuring acts of human cruelty. If I were on that board, I might have voted differently, but I have no idea how this decision reflected prejudice against Jews.

The incident involving Whoopi is more disturbing but not for the reason Lauder gives. This is what Whoopi asserted: “Race is always about skin color; Hitler didn’t target Jews because of their skin color.” When Goldberg was challenged by co-host Joy Behar who indicated that race was a factor, she retorted, “This is white people doing it to white people, so y’all going to fight amongst yourselves.” This remark is appalling because it underscores where the dehumanization of white people practiced by BLM and other black tribalist organizations has led us, that is, away from recognizing that all lives matter. Where exactly did white liberal sponsors think this systematic denigration of the white race would go? Whoopi’s observation makes perfect sense if I believed that atrocities non-blacks, particularly white people, inflicted on each other shouldn’t count as “racism” because that term should only be applied to black victims.

Perhaps it didn’t make any difference if Nazi mass killers rejected the Aryan identity of Jews or of other groups they persecuted since all of them were white. Since there are, following Whoopi’s thinking, no noteworthy racial differences among whites, any outrages they commit against each other should be dropped into some memory hole. One would think that a widely revered black victimologist like Whoopi would refrain from revealing her inner thoughts, but then again, why should she? 

She was not really embarrassing herself but expressing the views of Black Lives Matter, and its Hollywood and Democratic funders, when she nonchalantly stated her opinion. And she was not at all flustered when she shot back at the usually equally outrageous Joy Behar and explained that what happened with the Nazis was just white people’s stuff. These are all quarrels among white people, who cannot be victims of “racism” since only blacks are allowed to hold that honor. 

Another participant on “The View,” Ana Navarro, tried to settle the matter by explaining that what the Nazis did to their victims was really about “white supremacy.” Since the Nazis and their victims were all Caucasoids, I’ve no idea how Hitler’s actions were about “white supremacy.” Of course, the Nazis stated that they were eliminating members of an “anti-race [Gegenrasse].” Since they claimed to be killing their white victims as such, we should note the reason they gave, even if it was fictitious.

I see no evidence that Whoopi is questioning this event because she is an anti-Semite. She is simply telling us that whites being massacred is no big deal for her because this act involves those who don’t count as victims. This raises a problem that goes beyond what Ron Lauder and others who discern here a “rising tide of anti-Semitism” are objecting to. This dehumanization is aimed not just at Jews but at all white people (which seems to be something Lauder missed). We are experiencing a media-induced hate fest that will not go away simply because the GOP may pull off some victories in the fall. 

This dehumanizing malice may also overtake blacks who dissent from this tribalist orgy and urge their fellow-blacks to be more civil. They too may fall into the non-category of “white people.”

Objections raised by Jewish activists seem to miss this obvious point. One cannot show from Whoopi’s remark that she doesn’t think the Nazis killed their victims. She just can’t be bothered with such happenings even if they did occur because she is now playing a more promising victim game. Let us think about the noisy fight that erupted over the proposition “white lives matter.” Such a position, I learned from listening to the media, is a diversion from the pursuit of equity and social justice. It makes no difference in terms of these sacred ideals if some white dudes murder other white dudes. If we do notice such occurrences, we may be ignoring the far bigger picture, which is the crusade against “systemic white racism.”

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About Paul Gottfried

Paul Edward Gottfried is the editor of Chronicles. An American paleoconservative philosopher, historian, and columnist, Gottfried is a former Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, as well as a Guggenheim recipient.

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