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Erykah Badu Even Sees ‘Good’ in Hitler

”But I’m not an anti-Semitic person,“ the singer says

Erykah Badu defended past comments made about Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, clarifying that she follows “anyone who has positive aspects” and sees “good in everybody” — even Hitler.

When explaining that she “sees all sides simultaneously,” Vulture journalist David Marchese said, “that’s not something most of us are good at.”

“We’re not, and I’m okay with that,” responded Badu. “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.”

She followed up with, “Hitler was a wonderful painter,” to which Marchese said, “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,” said Badu. “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.”

Marchese then said it’s “disheartening” to hear her say these things at a time when racism and anti-Semitism are alive and well.

“You asked me a question,” she responded. “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.”

The interview then quickly jumps to the topic of astrology — that both Badu and the interviewer are Pisces.

In 2008, according to Haaretz, Badu said she supported Farrakhan, who drew fire previously by praising Hitler in a 1984 speech, and denouncing Israel as well as the Jewish people. The Anti-Defamation League called Farrakhan’s statements bigoted and anti-Semitic.

“He single-handedly changed half of the Nation of Islam to clean eating, clean living, caring for their families. He has flaws — like any man — but I’m not responsible for that,” added Badu. “I said I’ve appreciated what he’s done for a lot of black Americans. I mean, I’m not Muslim, I’m not Christian, I’m not anything; 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.”

Read the entire Vulture interview here.