If Erykah Badu has a struggle, it’s her undying empathy for all of humanity: the good, the bad, and the leader of the Nazi party.
Noting that she doesn’t want to be scared out of thinking for herself, Badu said she would have to weigh all the facts of a situation before reaching a judgement — but maintained that anger would never be the outcome. She explained:
“If [Bill Cosby is] sick, why would I be angry with him? The people who got hurt, I feel so bad for them. I want them to feel better, too. But sick people do evil things; hurt people hurt people.”
Badu’s “humanist” philosophy applies to ALL evil people. Like, even the ones who were largely responsible for the deaths of over 11 million innocent people.
Speaking on her commitment to “see all sides simultaneously,” as opposed to instinctually choosing sides like most of us do, the Appletree singer said she sees “good in everybody,” adding:
“I saw something good in Hitler.”
*Record Scratch* Um… wut?
Here’s how the exchange — with Jewish interviewer David Marchese — went down after that:
“VULTURE: Come again? BADU: Yeah, I did. Hitler was a wonderful painter.
No, he wasn’t! And even if he was, what would his skill as a painter have to do with any “good” in him?
Okay, he was a terrible painter. Poor thing. He had a terrible childhood. That means that when I’m looking at my daughter, Mars, I could imagine her being in someone else’s home and being treated so poorly, and what that could spawn. I see things like that. I guess it’s just the Pisces in me.
I’m perfectly willing to accept that you might be operating on a higher moral plane than I am, but I think going down the route of “Hitler was a child once too” is maybe turning the idea of empathy into an empty abstraction.
Maybe so. It doesn’t test my limits ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ I can see this clearly. I don’t care if the whole group says something, I’m going to be honest. I know I don’t have the most popular opinion sometimes.
But don’t you think that someone as evil as Hitler, who did what he did, has forfeited the right to other people’s empathy?
Why can’t I say what I’m saying? Because he did such terrible things?
Well, yes. But it’s also disheartening to hear you say that at a time, like now, when racism and anti-Semitism are so much in the air. Why would you want to risk putting fuel on that fire?
You asked me a question. I could’ve chosen not to answer. I don’t walk around thinking about Hitler or Louis Farrakhan. But I understand what you’re saying: “Why would you want to risk fueling hateful thinking?” I have a platform, and I would never want to hurt people. I would never do that. I would never even imagine doing that. I would never even want a group of white men who believe that the Confederate flag is worth saving to feel bad. That’s not how I operate.
I appreciate that. But I really struggle with the idea of how much we’re supposed to make an effort to understand or have empathy for people who have dangerously backwards or hateful thinking. You want to take the moral high ground, but sometimes that also feels the same as ceding territory.
You got that Pisces in you, that two-fish.
I am a Pisces, actually.
I thought so. So am I. One fish is swimming upstream, one’s swimming downstream. We are all living in a cognitive-dissonance reality. We want to live a certain way or do a certain thing, and we don’t because we are emotionally attached to how the group thinks. The hive mentality takes over. But you know what’s right in your mind and your heart, and if you’re strong enough to detach from the hive then sometimes, just sometimes, you may be able to do the right thing.”
Controversial… mildly cuckoo… but deep!
Ironically, Badu’s message — that we shouldn’t be so quick to rush to anger — was lost on the hive mentality of Twitter, as users were too busy barking at the notion that ERYHAH IS DEFENDING HITLER.
Can you blame them??
See the reactions (below):
i can├óΓé¼Γäót believe erykah badu├óΓé¼Γäós old ass said her empathy towards hitler is due to her being a pisces
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ shablim (@kellandraa) January 24, 2018
Oh Erykah Badu. So talented. So absolutely batshit crazy.
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Very Stable Establishment Guy (@Politicalprozac) January 24, 2018
I love Erykah Badu but I can’t defend her this time lmao. You can’t be saying those kind of things babes. Damn.
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ B ├óΓé¼┬ó (@WomanofGold_) January 24, 2018
Let’s not vocalise how the man to blame for the death of millions of innocent people and the trauma of countless others has some ‘good’ in him. I think it’s more important to respect the victims but I guess that’s just the libra in me.https://t.co/L2T6yzSA4U
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Katie Holloway (@katiesnotebook) January 24, 2018
I never thought you could smoke too much weed, but Erykah Badu
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ S.V. Pillay (@sunitavpillay) January 24, 2018
I├óΓé¼Γäóm so over Erykah Badu, y├óΓé¼Γäóall can have her. ├░┼╕ΓäóΓÇ₧
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ t├óΓäó┬Ñg├óΓäó┬Ño├óΓäó┬Ñd├óΓäó┬Ñ (@AlittleTooGone) January 24, 2018
For the record, we think Adolf Hitler deserves to spend eternity having his testicles split open and roasted over the fiery pits of Hell.
[Image via Instagram.]