February 2, 2022
In the movie, Groundhog Day, Bill Murray’s character lives the same day over and over until he learns an important lesson and can escape the timeloop. Lately, I feel as if we, as a country are stuck in a timeloop, repeating the same news stories over and over again.
On the block this week is comedian and host of The View, Whoopi Goldberg. I like her, but I’ve never watched the show. Like most Americans, I know about the story from the relentless media coverage. The same way I’ve heard about Joe Rogan in recent weeks. I’ve never watched and/or listened to his show either, and I don’t care for his image as a misogynistic-mediocre-male-who-talks-out-his-ass-about-shit-he-knows-nothing-about.
The shows I enjoy watching either have to be informative and/or entertaining, and I don’t find either of these shows fit those requirements. As far as I can tell, the premise of each is to invite celebrities to chat about topical issues. Since most of the guests also have very little expertise on the subjects discussed, I’m at a loss to understand why anyone cares what they have to say.
In all the controversy surrounding Joe Rogan, I was surprised to learn Spotify paid $100 million for the exclusive rights to broadcast his show. Interestingly though, they claim not to be responsible for the content of his show, allowing him to spew harmful nonsense and conspiracy theories about vaccines. You know, the old Twitter/Facebook/Instagram excuse. We’ve become so conditioned by these social media platforms, that we’re tempted to throw Spotify into the same category. But, they are not. They are publishers and they cannot abdicate responsibility for what their on-air personalities say. I hope people will wise up and stop giving them a pass.
As for Ms. Goldberg, her statements were spoken out of ignorance. As a Black woman, her specific world view informs her concept of race, i.e., based on skin color. It’s not surprising there are different opinions on race, because there is no universal definition of race. Modern science views race as a social construct, based on rules defined by society. There is no biological validity to race.
So, when she says the Holocaust was not about race, she’s more likely speaking as a Black woman than an anti-Semite. There is nothing in her past to suggest she has ever been anything but an ally to the Jewish community. (Hey, some of her best friends are Jewish!). Context is important.
It was appropriate for her to be educated on what her words mean to Jews and how her lack of insight touches on deeply offensive stereotypes. While I’m not an expert, I am aware the goal of the Nazi party was to create a master race. People they deemed inferior, Jews (practicing or not), Blacks, homosexuals, the disabled, and many others were seen as impure and targeted for extinction. Perhaps Ms. Goldberg just doesn’t think like a Nazi, so is that really a bad thing?
The weeks-on-end of outrage culture have become wearying. You put stupid people in front of an audience and eventually they’re going to say something stupid. Then, the mob rises up demanding blood and there is one of two responses. Liberals throw people under the bus and conservatives show misplaced loyalty. It’s the same old story set on an endless timeloop.