Politics

The Holocaust wasn’t about race because it involved two groups of white people – HotAir



I’ve watched this three times and have no idea what she’s getting at.

But I bet the Nazis would be surprised to hear that the Jews whom they tried to exterminate were part of the same racial group as the Nazis themselves.

The panel was discussing the decision made by one Tennessee school district to remove Art Spiegelman’s “Maus” from the eighth-grade curriculum due to, of all things, language and nudity. Evidently a story about people (represented in the novel by mice) being sent to Auschwitz wasn’t too mature for 13-year-olds to handle but a drawing of a nude anthropomorphic mouse crossed the line.

A Twitter pal watched this and asked, “Uh, is she really ‘all lives mattering’ the Holocaust?”

Well, yes, in a broad sense, the Holocaust was about “man’s inhumanity to man.” But so was slavery. We typically treat the motives for gross displays of inhumanity as relevant to historical discussions about them, no?

Maybe she’s following the Anti-Defamation League’s new and not improved definition of “racism” on its website:

“The marginalization and/or oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people,” the ADL’s definition of “racism” reads.

The website states the page was last updated in July 2020. Prior to the update, the ADL’s definition of “racism” did not narrowly pit one racial group against another, but spoke broadly about beliefs of superiority and inferiority.

“Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. Racial separatism is the belief, most of the time based on racism, that different races should remain segregated and apart from one another,” the definition previously read.

Can’t have “racism” when persecutor and victim are both “white,” I guess, even when the persecutor was known to literally measure the victim’s head with calipers to “prove” that they were subhuman and unworthy of life.

I think maybe she’s arguing that “Maus,” as an instructional aide for American schoolchildren, can teach them only so much about the nuances of their own country’s racial problems. If you say the magic word “race” in the U.S., even children will strain to impose the template of white-and-black race relations here on a story about a different type of racial persecution abroad. And because American race relations are so heavily politicized, that may distort some of the lessons of the story.

But I don’t know. Inasmuch as the Holocaust and slavery are both examples of how grotesque brutality could be normalized and ultimately institutionalized through force of law, one would think “Maus” would be a useful backdrop for American kids wondering how their own ancestors could have participated in it. Turns out similar crimes have happened in other countries. In living memory!

Whatever she meant, I’m excited to see how Whoopi cleans this up on tomorrow’s show. Oh, and Behar is right about a burst in sales for “Maus” amid the coverage of what happened in Tennessee. The two volumes currently occupy the top three spots on Amazon’s list of bestselling comics and graphic novels. Nothing gooses interest in a book like some authority deeming it unfit.

Exit quotation from Steve Krakauer: “If Joe Rogan said ‘The Holocaust isn’t about race’ and that ‘these are two white groups of people,’ we’d never stop hearing about it from the Acela Media’s loudest anti-speech activists…”




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