Erykah Badu Responds To Backlash Over Hitler Comments
Badu spoke about her philosophy on life, and how it leads to her having opinions she "could be crucified for."
An interview Erykah Badu did with Vulture has drawn a very strong, very mixed reaction online.
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Badu talks at length about a variety of topics over the course of the interview, touching on motherhood, neo-soul, dating and her outlook on life.
It is that last point that has raised the ire of many online.
In answering a series of questions that begin with interviewer David Marchese asking about Badu’s support of controversial figures, Badu defended herself against claims that she is anti-Semetic, and worked to explain how her empathetic nature leads her to have views “I know I could be crucified for.”
Badu told the magazine, “I’m an observer who can see good things and bad things. If you say something good about someone, people think it means that you’ve chosen a side. But I don’t choose sides. I see all sides simultaneously.”
This philosophy, she explains, gives her love for accused sexual predator Bill Cosby and for accused anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan. And in the statement that has most put Badu under fire, she said, “I saw something good in Hitler.”
Users on Twitter were terribly quick to make their displeasure known:
Erykah Badu been trash since at least 2014. She called R Kelly her “family,” said teen girls are distracting men and should wear more clothes (paraphrased), she capes for Bill Cosby, she capes for Kodak Black. Like... it’s all been leading to this.— CRJB (@BlackFranFine) January 24, 2018
If we’re being honest, Erykah Badu’s discography isn’t even all that great for her to be getting away with all these problematic opinions. pic.twitter.com/SdYbTknfjJ— ronald isley (@yoyotrav) January 24, 2018
“I’m not Muslim, I’m not Christian, I’m not anything; I’m an observer who can see good things and bad things” - Erykah Badu. ✌🏾 Amen— Trizz (@Tr1zz) January 24, 2018
Erykah Badu, when you say you can see good in Hitler, just remember something... in your mind, that might seem like a real smart and nuanced point. To Holocaust survivors and their ancestors, it’s a kick in the teeth and an unnecessarily offensive thing to say.— Joshua Zitser (@mrjoshz) January 24, 2018
Ya choose a different person to demonize every week. This week it’s Erykah Badu. Why don’t we take time to understand other people’s perspectives before jumping on the cancel culture bandwagon.— badgalkiki (@kierajrz) January 24, 2018
Read that entire vulture interview twice and I just... LORDT.— Slum Beautiful (@TheJazzyBelle) January 24, 2018
Erykah Badu told a JEWISH JOURNALIST she saw good in Hitler. pic.twitter.com/T3U7CBVt1L
This Erykah Badu interview is a mess. Erykah said so much weird shit all throughout about Bill Cosby but to top it off she said she is a humanist and therefore sees the good in Hitler. Erykah even said Hitler was once a child and also good painter.— 𝔟ecca🥀 (@MJFinesseLover) January 24, 2018
Erykah Badu is what happens when people call you woke and enlightened and you start to believe it even though YOU YOURSELF DONT READ. lmao— elexus jionde (@Lexual__) January 24, 2018
bummer to find out Erykah Badu has such bad taste in paintings— maura "are jack and biz nazis?" quint (@behindyourback) January 24, 2018
She did, however, have some supporters:
Black twitter mad at Erykah Badu for saying Hitler was a wonderful painter- meanwhile folks really paid damn near half a mil for his work when his paintings were auctioned off— kind2know1✊🏾✊🏼✊🏻✊ (@conscious_sis) January 24, 2018
Maybe those enraged about @fatbellybella Erykah Badu saying she could see “good in Hitler“ have a glimpse into how black people feel when America celebrates, erects monuments, names buildings, and celebrates holidays in honor of those who owned, raped and murdered our ancestors!— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) January 24, 2018
The problem ppl are having with Erykah Badu right now is simply because ppl can't think for themselves. She said she can see the good in everybody, even the most disturbed. This isn't a catastrophic comment, everybody has some good quality, characteristic or skill of some kind.— Culture First (@SavoringCulture) January 24, 2018
#ErykahBadu is a woman of color. As such, she bears no responsibility or guilt for the crimes of the Third Reich. Unlike white people, she is morally free to ask thought-provoking questions about Hitler, his art, or if the Holocaust happened.— Progressive Dad (@ProgDadTV) January 24, 2018
this interview is fuckin amazing. i lover her all over again. https://t.co/J1a2WRilR6— feeno (@ArianFoster) January 24, 2018
Did the people outraged about @fatbellybella interview bother to read for context? Some of you live for the next controversy or get high off being upset all the time. Others lack critically thinking skills. Reading is fundamental #ErykahBadu https://t.co/JLsvVLha0g— Kia Richards (@KiaRichards_) January 24, 2018
Maybe its the Pisces in me, but I don't see the outrage about what Erykah Badu said. Next case! *bangs gavel*— Cersei St. Patrick (@jasminealyse) January 24, 2018
Badu took to the platform to address her critics, echoing sentiments she’d made in the interview about her disdain for groupthink and the dangers of “the rush to get mad.”
Answering @All_AmericanRan, who asked the singer, “What happened muva?,” Badu wrote, “Nothin. I was just using my own brain again.”
Nothin. I was just using my own brain again. I know it's against the rules. I know I know. https://t.co/g6EGf8EXJL— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) January 24, 2018
Badu also said that she encourages dialogue, and asked that people read all of her remarks before joining the debate.
Say what u must. Dialogue is cool . I invite it. But please do me a favor if you can , Black & Jewish Twitter, just don't use the word "problematic " any more. 😂Y'all using that too much . 🙄.. oh and read the article.— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) January 24, 2018
Despite inviting debate, Badu made it clear in the piece that while she is happy to listen, she will ultimately always do and say what she believes is the right thing.
“I don’t care if the whole group says something, I’m going to be honest,” Badu said. “I know I don’t have the most popular opinion sometimes.”