The response came after Marchese asked Badu about a story he came across while doing research for the interview. The 2008 article from The Associated Press said the singer defended Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam. The AP reported that Farrakhan had praise for Hitler in a 1984 speech and that his statements have been considered anti-Semitic by the Anti-Defamation League.
“(Farrakhan is) not an anti-Semite. He loves all people,” Badu told The AP at the time.
Badu was also asked about her thoughts on separating art from the artist, like in the case of musician XXTentacion, who is involved in a domestic-abuse case from 2016, and Bill Cosby, who has been accused of sexual assault and rape by more than 50 women.
“I weigh everything. Even what you just asked me, I would have to really think about it and know the facts in each of those situations before I made a judgment. 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?”
Badu said she does have sympathy for the accusers, but she maintained that she thinks for herself on issues of injustice.
“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.
“Somebody will call me and ask me to come to a march because such and such got shot. In that situation I want to know what really happened. I’m not going to jump up and go march just because I’m green and the person who got shot is green. The rush to get mad doesn’t make sense to me.”
It did not take long for Badu’s comments to be scrutinized. Badu responded to critics who took issue with her statements on Twitter. She also said many of those who questioned her comments did not read the full article and ignored the fact that she was speaking about thinking for herself on issues rather than being told how to respond.
The full interview can be read at Vulture.com.