Just a week after the Mama’s Gun singer sparked an intense debate about girls’ skirt length, sexual harassment, and assault on Twitter that had many scratching their heads at her problematic views, Badu’s latest interview will give folks even more to talk about.
In a wide-ranging cover story in The Fader, Badu talks about her creative process, the importance of her family, and politics–the latter Badu doesn’t believe in.
“I don’t know how much we have a say…It’s a show, it’s a game. On the smaller scale, I think that your city reps and district reps are very serious about what they’re doing, and then when they get up a little higher it becomes a show. Everybody gets kinda turned out,” she explained.
While Badu has always come off as politically and socially astute, her comments about the Black Lives Matter movement and so-called Black-on-Black crime are troubling.
“We can organize like a motherfucker when police beat us up,” she said. “But can we organize to stop Black-on-Black crime, or poor-on-poor crime? Because, you know, poor is the new Black. You don’t have to be Black now.”
Never mind that the phrase “Black-on-Black crime” is a myth created to make Black folks seem more criminal than others (while all racial/ethnic groups–white, Asian, Latino tend to kill each other at similar rates), Badu is just plain wrong about Black folks not protesting or caring about crime in their communities.
We’ve written about people all across the nation, from Compton to Detroit and New York, who have organized, protested, volunteered, and worked to end violence in their communities. And while people are quick to say Black Americans don’t care about intraracial violence just because they don’t hear about the work people are doing on the evening news, that doesn’t negate the fact that typically Black people are the only ones who actively care about Black lives and Black communities.
Badu’s regurgitation of tired old tropes about Black folks is not only problematic, but also extremely disappointing given her persona as someone who is supposedly “woke.”