[Boycott - Cultural]
Visiting U.S. singer Badu says she backs Farrakhan, Palestinian cause
The Associated Press
31 January 2008
Sporting a huge, billowing afro and a T-shirt with an anti-Iraq war slogan, Erykah Badu expressed her support of black leader Louis Farrakhan and the Palestinian cause Thursday before a crowd of Israeli fans and journalists in Tel Aviv.
The Grammy-award winning neo-soul vocalist, 36, is in Tel Aviv to perform on Saturday night. She has also won acclaim for her acting roles in Cider House Rules and House of D.
"I come from across the water bringing light and hope," said Badu in her deep, languid voice. She commissioned a poster design especially for her visit to Israel, featuring a large hamsa, a traditional Middle Eastern good luck charm, that appears to be growing out of her hair. At the bottom, the words for peace in Hebrew and Arabic appear side by side.
However, Badu could not name any Israeli hip hop artists. She explained that she identified best with the Palestinians and their hip hop scene, saying that they are a part of her tribe of hip hop.
"They use (hip hop) as a form of liberation, as a form of pre-resistance, as a form of therapy," Badu said.
Erykah Badu poster
Badu defended Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, who has drawn fire over the years with pronouncements including praise for Hitler in a 1984 speech, for which he was censured by the U.S. Senate, repeatedly denouncing Israel and the Jewish people and calling the pretense for the war in Iraq a Zionist conspiracy.
The Anti-Defamation League, a leading Jewish group, has labeled Farrakhan's statements bigoted and anti-Semitic. On its Web site, the ADL lists dozens of Farrakhan statements it considers anti-Semitic.
"(Farrakhan is) not an anti-Semite. He loves all people," insisted Badu. Her next album, Nu AmErykah will be released February 26, the date of Savior's Day, a main Nation of Islam holiday.
Israeli reggae-soul group Karolina and Funset, who will be opening for Badu's concert, posed for pictures with Badu after she spoke, then joined her in raising the Black Power raised-fist salute.
Badu - what are you doing?
A response left by a fan (fatlip)
on the discussion board of okayplayer
(an online community of recording-artists including Banu)
4 February 2008
fatlip [Mon Feb-04-08 03:22 PM] - "badu - what are you doing?"
i'm not one to jump on the righteous shit, but there are some clear and obvious times it would seem moral principle would weigh in over a choice to perform, travel, make money, whatever...
i been to plenty free roots shows where KOOL paid my way in.
been to enough shows (kweli, whoever) where some brand or off-brand liquor funded the night. cheered the roots coke commercials...so i guess we all draw our lines w/ what we're comfortable with.
but Badu in Israel is akin to when the Roots played at the Jamestown event...
In that case, the Roots interrogated the history and context of that performance and elected to speak truth to power in the middle of the show. (Three cheers for quest)...
But Badu eating berries and praying for peace in Israel seems to run exactly counter with alot of what her public image (i don't know her personally, so who knows her personal politics) stands for.
If you (Badu) are talking about....
'keeping the car runnin cause the sweeper boys are comin, cause they got the block on lock, and your glocks on cock'
or that they won't 'be naming no buildings after you, your name will be misstated, surely'...
or countless of your other lyrics that deal with powerful vs powerless...
then hopefully you decided to visit Palestine while you were over there; a ghetto that Israel has created (and then tried to shuffle responsibility for it) under their long ass occupation, where the block is figuratively AND literally on LOCK. a ghetto that most people outside of the Middle East perpetually and endlessly 'misstate' the culture and names...if they elect to state the suffering at all.
when you sang 'the worlds changed so much since i been conscious' - what exactly were you singing about being conscious of - if not this type of stuff?
i'm just curious how Badu reconciles travelling and performing in Israel, an powerful oppressive occupying power, with the public persona she has which often calls out for the powerless, opressed, or people who are poor and desparate enough to sell drugs/ make otherwise questionable choices to survive...
- did you call attention to this stuff (like the Roots did in Jamestown) in your performance???
- did you take the opportunity to visit and sites in Palestine?
its not about one perspective (palestinian) vs another (israeli) or one getting more shine than another...its just about basic justice like all most of your art seems to convey...
Also Of Interest
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