Whoopi Goldberg, host of the American television show, “The
,” was suspended for two weeks after her remark on the Holocaust
triggered controversy. Goldberg, whose real name is
Caryn Elaine Johnson, is a television show host and actor of immense credentials.
The 66-year-old first rose to prominence for her Broadway show titled
“Whoopi Goldberg”. 

The Broadway show’s recording
fetched her a Grammy Award. Her first film was “The Color Purple,” a
film based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer-prize winning novel of the same

Goldberg has been the co-host
of “The View” for some time now and is well known for espousing
liberal opinions on the show. She has been an activist on behalf of several
causes, including the rights of people with AIDS, problems affecting children
and human rights violations. 

Whoopie Goldberg’s first few
years were spent on a Manhattan housing project, according to the Encyclopedia
Britannica entry on her name. She started out as a stand-up comic and later
went on to take up acting roles of wide variety. 

Goldberg’s temporary
suspension from “The View” has triggered a massive controversy. It
all began over a discussion about a Tennessee school board dropping
“Maus” — the iconic graphic novel by Art Spiegelman on the

During the conversation,
Goldberg said, “The Holocaust was not about race,” adding, “it
was about man’s humanity to other man.” 

Her remarks added to a long-held debate on the modalities of
race and the politics of racism. While there is a political view, particularly prominent
in the United States recently, that racism primarily affects people of colour, several
other communities, including a section of Jewish people, have articulated the Holocaust
as an onslaught on their racial identity.

“The only explanation that I have for it is
that there is a new definition of racism that has been put out there in the
public recently that defines racism exclusively as the targeting of people of
color. And obviously history teaches us otherwise,” said Rabbi Abraham
Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Goldberg apologised for her remarks hours after
the flare-up saying, “My words upset so many people, which was never my intention.”
“I understand why now and for that I am deeply, deeply grateful because the
information I got was really helpful and helped me understand some different
things,” the Associated Press reported her as saying.