Who is Joyce Carol Oates? Berkeley professor compares Trump supporters’ Covid-19 'indifference' to Nazis

'For many pro-T***p Americans, the pandemic is like the Holocaust to many Germans: they knew what was happening but adjusted to living with it in indifference or, in some cases, profiting from it. Only if affected personally do people seem to care,' she wrote


                            Who is Joyce Carol Oates? Berkeley professor compares Trump supporters’ Covid-19 'indifference' to Nazis
Joyce Carol Oates (Getty Images)

A visiting professor from the University of California Berkeley and prolific writer Joyce Carol Oates equated pro-Trump Americans and their 'indifferent' attitude towards the Covid-19 pandemic to Germans who “adjusted to living” with the Holocaust.

The Pulitzer Prize finalist made her comments on Twitter on November 18 as she responded to a tweet written by Washington Post correspondent Philip Bump. Bump wrote in his tweet sharing a Washington Post report that the “number of people just shrugging at all of this is baffling.” Retweeting this, Joyce wrote what sparked fury online, “for many pro-T***p Americans, the pandemic is like the Holocaust to many Germans: they knew what was happening but adjusted to living with it in indifference or, in some cases, profiting from it. only if affected personally do people seem to care.”
 
With her tweet, Joyce, 82, stated her stance and invited a lot of backlash on Twitter for comparing the indifference of pro-Trump supporters with that of Nazis. A user wrote, “Here for the ratio, since this is wildly offensive.” Another concurred, “Here we go with comparisons to Nazis again. I guess the ‘time to heal’ has passed.” A user wrote in surprise, "I'm not familiar with the reference. What does that mean?" 

 



 



 



 



 

As per statistics, the US is worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic with over 12 million having the virus and 257k already dead. However, Joyce brought in Nazis in her remarks on the pandemic, for the unversed, an estimated six million Jews have been killed by Nazis throughout World War 2, as per the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Joyce who cornered Trump and his supporters on the pandemic has triggered new controversy over her remarks. However, the New York-born writer has courted many controversies in the past, here's a look at her profile. 

Who is Joyce Carol Oates?

Born in 1938, Joyce Carol Oates is a well-known novelist, short story writer, and essayist. Born in New York, the writer studied English at Syracuse University and taught the same subject at the University of Detroit from 1961 to 1967. Joyce continued with her teaching profession and taught at Princeton University also.

Joyce published her first book in 1963 and since then has published over 58 novels. Some of her notable works in fiction include ‘A Garden of Earthly Delights’ (1967), ‘Do with Me What You Will’ (1973), ‘Black Water’ (1992). She has also written short stories and her collections named ‘The Wheel of Love’ (1970) and ‘Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories’ (2014) were each finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

US writer Joyce Carol Oates (1938 - ) at Hamburg.(Getty Images)

Her writing style and the issues she picks for depiction in her literary works have found a wide readership and focus on American lives. “Joyce’s novels encompass a variety of historical settings and literary genres. She typically portrays American individuals whose intensely experienced and obsessive lives end in bloodshed and self-destruction owing to larger forces beyond their control. Her books blend a realistic treatment of everyday life with horrific and even sensational depictions of violence”, elaborates Britannica’s profile of Joyce. 

However, the writer has been at the center of controversies from time to time. The author drew flak on social media in July 2013 with a tweet that appeared to link the 'predominant religion' of Egypt - which is Islam - to its rate of rapes and sexual harassment. Joyce tweeted, "Where 99.3% of women report having been sexually harassed & rape is epidemic – Egypt – natural to inquire: what's the predominant religion?” 



 

Then in November 2015, Joyce was criticized when she asked if there was anything "celebratory" and "joyous" about ISIS, which is a militant Islamist group. “All we hear of ISIS is puritanical & punitive; is there nothing celebratory & joyous? Or is query naive?”, she wrote in her 2015 tweet. A user wrote in response to her tweet, “I suppose if you are a fan of beheading, rape, slavery, and torture, or a representative from Minnesota...but I repeat myself, it’s all good.” Her tweet came in the aftermath of the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris which saw armed men with assault rifles and explosives carrying out terrorist attacks in six locations in the city. This caused the death of 130 people and left 494 wounded. 

 



 

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