David Baddiel has dissected down Whoopi Goldberg’s Holocaust comments after the US TV star claimed the mass genocide ‘wasn’t about race’.
Goldberg, 66, was suspended from The View earlier this year when she suggested that the Holocaust was instead about ‘man’s inhumanity to man’.
‘These are two white groups of people,’ she said.
‘The minute you turn it into race it goes down this alley. Let’s talk about it for what it is. It’s how people treat each other. It doesn’t matter if you’re Black or white, Jews, it’s each other.’
Goldberg’s remarks sparked backlash and resulted in a petition for her to be axed from the show permanently.
Now, Baddiel, 58, has schooled the Sister Act star on what the Holocaust was really about, in his Channel 4 documentary, Jews Don’t Count.
‘It seems that the word “racism” is kinda of ring-fenced for people of colour,’ Baddiel began. ‘Even when discussing history’s largest project of racially-motivated genocide on ABC’s daytime show, The View.’
‘So, if anti-Semitism, if the killing of six million Jews is not racially-motivated, as Goldberg was saying, what does she think it is?
‘I assume she thinks it’s religious intolerance. A lot of people, it turns out, think this.’
Baddiel went on to explain why this view is ‘wrong’ because anti-Semitism is ‘nothing to do with religion.’
‘I am an atheist,’ he stated. ‘That would get me no free passes out of Auschwitz. My great uncle was not an observant Jew – died in the Warsaw Ghetto. And now, white supremacists would not ask if I kept kosher before they set fire to my house.’
He continued with the facts of history: ‘The Nuremberg laws, which my grandparents lived under, my mum was born under, were racial purity laws. They were about blood. They were about things about yourself that you cannot change, which is why anti-Semitism is racism.’
The filmmaker went on to show a clip of ‘Whoopi getting the Holocaust wrong again’ just one day after her remarks on The View.
Appearing on Stephen Colbert’s show, she added at the time: ‘I said, “This wasn’t racial, this was about white-on-white”.’
‘If all that counts in the power stakes is whiteness, and if Jews are white, what you end up with in your reading of the Holocaust is an equivalence of power. An equivalence of power between a genocidal state machine and a vulnerable ethnic group.’
Also in his highly talked about documentary, Baddiel recalled Leigh Francis – known as Keith Lemon – doing a gross anti-Semitic impersonations of him on Bo’ Selecta!
He stated that, despite Francis issuing public apologies to other minority groups he may have offended in the past, Baddiel still has not heard a peep.
In one sketch, the Celebrity Juice host portrayed Baddiel as a Hassidic Jew using anti-Semitic stereotypes, including wearing orthodox side curls, known as Payos, and his mask also featuring a big nose.
‘I don’t think this is unfunny, or even in a comically exaggerated way inaccurate, but I do think, given that Francis is not Jewish, that it is racist,’ Baddiel stated in his film.
He went on to point out that there was a ‘noticeable lack of outrage over Francis’ impersonation.
‘There have been no calls for him to apologise about it as he did in an internet post to various people of colour who he impersonated,’ he added.
While Francis previously apologised for his racist portrayal of Black celebrities on Bo’ Selecta! in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, he did not refer to his mimicking of Baddiel.
David Baddiel’s documentary Jews Don’t Count is available to stream on All4.
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