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Erikah Badu performed at the International Memphis in May 2018. Her comment she saw "something nice in Hitler" is banged around in the culture wars.
(BenQQ 5.16.18) Badu's not only a singer that combines all sorts of styles but a performance artist. In Dallas she parodied, or maybe mocked, the Kennedy assasination on the hallowed grounds itself, Dealley Plaza. In her Window Seat video she strips down to total nudity and strolls through a crowd of tourists until she falls to the pavement after being shot (pic above). 20 million views. Vulnerability is risky.
The celebrity industry usually smiles when stars say and do over-the-line things. These are considered funny, outrageous, creative until they cross a line that impacts corporate profit. (Examples: Kathy Griffin on Trump; Mel Gibson on Jews; Manny Pacquiao on homosexuals; Michael Richards, Paula Deen on African Americans; Robin Thicke on women).
My first thoughts when I heard Badu had made her infamous Hitler comment was, "Who is Badu?" Then when I learned, "Huh? What do you expect from a culture warrior from the left?" But after a little research, I find myself as wet as often the visitors are to the city's annual primal rite of bbq, beer and music held literally on the banks of the Mississppi River--the Memphis in May International Festival (MIM). Badu performed here May 6. After I read about her, I would have like to have seen her perform.
My first impulse here was to write a piece about why in God's name would MIM book a performer who said she saw "something good in Hitler" when at the same event they were honoring Czechoslovakia? (Memphis in May recognizes a country to honor each year. Czech Republic had been announced last year.)
Then I wondered if she happened to meet a member of the Czech contingent at the event? If she did, what would she say? What would the Czechs say? However, it wouldn't be a big thing to her nomatter what they said. She said it. She wouldn't deny it. And she didn't mean anything else by it, according to my research of The Badu.
As regards her specific quote, she obviously didn't say it in support of Hitler, but as an example of a personal value. Her quote comes from this good interview by David Marchese in Vulture. That interview got me started about the term "willful ignorance," which a reader applied to Badu.
But willful ignorance, the kind she uses to support and help people in her personal life is unarguably laudatory and human. But is it good for helping us to understand and filter the bilge of political messaging and behaviors poured into our heads every day? For example, does a personal policy of willful ignorance, that is simply ignoring politicians and relying on the perception of their "styles" impact our lives?
You bet it does. We see "styling" among politicians now more than ever. That's how we ended up with Obama, an administration long on virtue signaling policies but empty of results, at least for Americans. His (and the general Democratic Party's) package of globalist, deep state, big gov, cooly professional and intellectually superior orientation--I call it styling--infused the media. This is how independent media became dependent. For example, MSM built its audience on familiar Obama styles. The New York Times even openly proclaimed accuracy can be sacrificed in order to get Trump. Same with micro media as well. Consider:
Hari Ziyad, writing in blackyouthproject.com, interpreted Badu's Hitler remark to mean blacks don't have to have the same level of empathy to whites, given how the world establishment generally historically has treated blacks. He is implying she is implying blacks (should) have a limit to empathizing with the mass victims of political criminals like Hitler who victimized mostly white people.
However, American culture has in fact moved to correct at least two terrible events: the displacement, cultural dissolution and subsequent broad social exclusion of both American Indians and blacks. The US Congress, over historically Democratic resistance by the way, passed major social legislation in the mid 20th century to make whole victims of bad government policies. Few, if any, societies have done more to say, "We're sorry."
The culural witholding of this empathy (kind of like a wife witholding favors from her husband due to an argument) goes like this: Since American culture has had little recognition of white generated mass black catastrophes, then blacks should limit their empathy to whites for theirs. This means of course the 50 million killed in WWll. OK, lets not leave out the incalculable millions of Armenians that Turkey murdered, at the turn of the century and which Hitler later copied to apply to Jews, Gypsies and political opponents. (And also in the 20th century timeline are the millions of innocent Chinese, Cambodians and Vietnamese who fell victim due to historic circumstance.)
However, and Ziyad mentions this, let's not forget Hitler's activist politics of Aryanism clearly had blacks in its crosshairs. Then take a look at his pal Mussolini who killed tens of thousands of black Abyssinians (now Ethiopia) who literally charged his tanks on horseback. We make a movie of Errol Flynn and the Charge of the Light Brigade as the symbol of gallant but fruitless charges but we have yet to make a movie of the Ethiopians charging into Mussolini’s tanks. Why is that?
Ok, since I asked it, let me submit an answer: maybe its because the legacy popular culture passed down over generations just wasn't interested enough for a narrative of blacks, especially African blacks, being the first to stand up against Hitler’s fascists.
Are we now getting a clue of why there are currents of alienation and division?
Take the Democratic propaganda machine constantly reminding blacks they are a victim, exploit items such as questionable police shootings and careless use of language by whites (Trump) and you have a push button bounce back direct to their irrationally hated symbol: Trump and the people who voted for him.
Thus we see when Trump opines about a criminal gang of violent illegal immigrants, “These aren't people. These are animals," a cadre of trained media fraudulently twist his words to say "all immigrants." Nancy Pellosi even chimes in with a divine slant in her virtue signals: “So when the president of the United States says about undocumented immigrants, ‘These aren’t people, these are animals,’ you have to wonder, does he not believe in the spark of divinity, the dignity and worth of every person?’" Ask their hacked and tortured victims.
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