Ola gente! This is a short impromptu post/reflection I felt called to write after logging into Twitter and learning that folks were upset with Erykah Badu after some comments she made in a recent interview.
In a nutshell, Erykah acknowledged the humanity in everyone including those who do harm (Hitler and Bill Cosby in this case). Perhaps she didn’t phrase the point in the clearest or best way but I understood what she was saying.
Honestly, I feel like most people understood what she was saying but accepting that even those who perpetrate the evilest of acts are human isn’t going to be particularly popular thing to say, something Erykah herself alluded to in the interview.
I think negating someone’s humanity, no matter how horrible they maybe, is a slippery slope. Hasn’t dehumanizing been a tactic of oppressors for centuries? Think of the language that is used in political rhetoric to describe immigrants and citizenry of certain (read black and brown) countries.
My spiritual practice has aided me in recognizing the humanity in all separate from the actions of any individual including, and foremost, myself. I spent so much of myself judging myself harshly for not being who I thought I should be. It’s crazy but once you learn to embrace yourself you get more done!
The deeper I go in my spiritual journey the more in tune I feel with everyone and everything in the universe. We are all parts of a whole. I won’t feel completely free and until everyone else is free which is why activism is an important part of my spirituality.
Spirituality and the personal development that goes along with it isn’t a destination but a journey. Those of us who are both spiritual and socially active might often feel like they are quite “understood” completely by either community. You might get a situation like Erykah were activist see your attempt at recognizing the humanity in all as somehow excusing or condoning bad behavior. On the other hand, to some spiritual folk it may seem like practicing gratitude and love can be contradictory to getting riled up about injustices but it’s not. Anger is part of the human experience and it’s a sign you care. It’s what you do afterwards that matters.
I personally am looking inwards to see what I can do to spread love and promote justice in my community. Social media is a powerful to and I love it to death. Hello! I’m a blogger. But sometimes you can get lost in the cacophony of hot takes and forget to act. This Erykah situation had me feeling some type of way. But it promoted me to ask myself “Okay, Yvonne but what are you doing to spread love?”
If you designated with anything I said to day I encourage you to check out the Wild Mystic Woman Podcast, a podcast hosted by Layla Saad, who’s work explores the intersecting themes of spirituality, creativity, feminism, business, leadership, and sacred activism, and centers the voices and work of women of color.
As always, leave your thoughts below. I'd love to here what you think. These are conversations I'd love to more of as I work imbue more of spiritual & activist side into my blog content.