On Wednesday, Jan. 24, Vulture published an interview with the R&B superstar where she talked about her enduring legacy in the music industry, making new music, why physical albums are better than digital downloads, and which artists she is listening to right now. However, the most memorable snippet of the interview is the part where she talked about being an empath who chooses to see the good in everyone.
Thoughts On Empathy
"I'm a humanist. I see good in everybody. I saw something good in Hitler," the 46-year-old stated. Badu was asked about her links to Louis Farrakhan and his alleged anti-Semitism. The singer, at the time, was called anti-Semitic for refusing to denounce anti-Semitism, a term she said she was not familiar with until it was used to describe her.
Badu added that Hitler was a good painter, an opinion that the interviewer disagreed with. So the singer retracted and said that Hitler had a terrible childhood.
"That means that when I'm looking at my daughter, MarsBadu's daughter with enigmatic rapper Jay Electronica. She also has another daughter, Puma, with the West Coast rapper the D.O.C., I could imagine her being in someone else's home and being treated so poorly, and what that could spawn," she added. "I see things like that. I guess it's just the Pisces in me."
Throughout the interview, Badu insisted that she does not subscribe easily to every idea that the general public agrees with. She said she wants to weigh the issues and arrive to a decision on her own.
On the issue of Cosby, the singer-songwriter said that she loves the comedian and admires the good he has done for the world.
"But if he's sick, why would I be angry with him," she asked. "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."
Unsurprisingly, Badu has received intense backlash for her most recent comments. Many criticized the artist for being insensitive to the many people whose loved ones suffered through the nightmare that was the holocaust.
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
I agree with Erykah Badu that Hitler had some good in him. After all, he DID kill Hitler.— Barry McCockiner (@Sp0rtsTaIkJ0e) January 25, 2018
Others brought up a previous comment that the singer made about young girls and sexual harassment.
why do yall listen to anything Erykah Badu says after she blamed little girls for grown men being predators— sailor tae (@exomoutsold) January 24, 2018
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
Many of her fans came to her rescue, saying that people did not read past the headlines or totally missed Badu's point.
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
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
Badu responded to the outrage by saying that she welcomes the dialogue.
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