If you saw Erykah Badu’s name trending on social media today and wondered why, I have bad news: it’s not because she showed up to an event in another awesome hat. Erykah spoke to David Marchese for an interview with Vulture that was probably supposed to be about this and that, but quickly turned messy and she says that she sees the good in everyone, even Hitler.
Erykah talks about the Bill Cosby situation with Vulture, and normally that might be the touchiest point in an interview. But then Erykah outed herself as a non-Hitler hater. You know you’re in a disaster of an interview when your support of Bill Cosby isn’t the part we’re cringing over.
To understand Erykah’s comments on Hitler we first need to dive into what she said about Cosby Erykah was asked if it’s possible to separate the allegations against an artist or entertainer – like Louis C.K. or Bill Cosby – from their work. Erykah says she will never jump to publicly condemning a person just because everyone else is doing it. David asked her to explain further and she did:
“That I don’t want to get scared into not thinking for myself. I weigh everything…Because I love Bill Cosby, and I love what he’s done for the world. But if he’s 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. I know I could be crucified for saying that, because I’m supposed to be on the purple team or the green team…The rush to get mad doesn’t make sense to me.”
David then brought up an article from ten years ago in which she was linked to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and some anti-Semitic stuff he had allegedly said. While she appreciated what Louis has done with NOI, Erykah said she doesn’t really want to be linked to any anti-Semitism and again stated that she doesn’t pick sides in life. In fact, Erykah can sit so comfortably on the middle of metaphorical fence, she’s able to see the good in even the worst people. Like Hitler.
“I’m also okay with anything I had to say about Louis Farrakhan. But I’m not an anti-Semitic person. I don’t even know what anti-Semitic was before I was called it. I’m a humanist. I see good in everybody. I saw something good in Hitler…Yeah, I did. Hitler was a wonderful painter.”
David pointed out that Hitler wasn’t a good painter at all, to which Erykah argued that it’s the Pisces in her to argue both sides. One of those fishes should have slapped her with their fin and told her it might be a good idea to shut the fuck up about Hitler, but she kept going. Erykah said that Hitler had a terrible childhood and that might be why he turned out the way he turned out. David again challenged Erykah, saying that that the “Hitler was a child once too” isn’t a great argument.
“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. Why can’t I say what I’m saying? Because he did such terrible things?”
She said that she’s not anti-Semitic and that she doesn’t want to hurt people with her words.
Erykah’s Hitler thoughts are as bad as the chunky camel toe boots she wore for the photoshoot. And Erykah is now trying to playing the angle that the media has put a spin on her interview, adding that she’s “open for dialogue.”
I hope Erykah is serious about being open to dialogue. Because I have a feeling there’s going to be an awful lot of people who will take her up on that offer. So yeah, please form a single line. But the good news is that each of those conversations won’t take up too much of her time. How long would you estimate it takes for the average person to say the words, “Hitler was bad, Erykah.” I’m thinking about 3 seconds?
You can read Vulture’s entire interview with Erykah here.