The jawing statement caught the Jewish reporter completely by surprise. When the singer was asked to clarify what exactly she meant by her bold statement, she said, "OK, 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."
The reporter was able to accept that Badu might be on a "higher moral plane" than he is, but couldn't wrap his head around the idea of victimizing a leader who killed millions of innocent people.
"Why can't I say what I'm saying?" Badu asked. "Because he did such terrible things? You asked me a question. I could have 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."
One fan tweeted, "Damn this Erykah Badu interview took a turn for the worst. I love my auntie, but she be sounding like a crackpot at times."
But Hitler wasn't the only unpopular, powerful figure that Badu felt the need to sympathize with. The performer also wanted to give Cosby, who allegedly drugged and raped dozens of women, a break because "he's sick."
"I love Bill Cosby, and I love what he's done for the world," Badu said. "But if he's sick why would I by 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. I'm not trying to rebel against what everybody's saying, but maybe I want to measure it."
But when it comes to President Trump, Badu doesn't necessarily have sympathy for him, but she does think he's not as bad as he portrays himself to be.
"The thing about Trump is that he's a bad guy to the point where it looks manufactured," Badu said. "Are we playing games here? He can't really be that bad. I'm not a conspiracy theorist at all -- I don't give a sh-t about that stuff -- but it looks like Trump's just trying to spark division. It looks like a game. Why are we being toyed with?"
After reading the interview, fans immediately hopped on Twitter to react.
Black Twitter is turning on Erykah Badu (again) I see.
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.
I'm trying to figure out what to do with this. I love this woman's music so much, but no, you don't get to have compassion for Hitler and say it's because you're a Pisces. Not in the world we live in right now. https://t.co/IInqvZFAdN via @vulture