Singer/songwriter/actress Erykah Badu was interviewed by the New York Times last month primarily regarding her role in the film What Meant On. The interview turned to her publicly aired opinions regarding approaching the perpetrators of various forms of abuse with sympathy as well as their victims and she stopped and read this prepared statement:
“Expressing unconditional love for both victim and accused should not be misconstrued with downplaying the fact that [the victim has] been horribly violated. Nor should it be mistaken for the intent to put the accused on a pedestal or to condone their actions. For me, life requires critical thinking on a subject. Critical thinking may lead to logical solutions, but it’s a delicate process because we are all very delicate. Proper healing is the key. It takes the entire community. This mending takes practice because it’s difficult to not always be led emotionally and impulsively. Sometimes, it takes those not very close to the situation to objectively consider all factors. Restorative justice involves finding a solution that not only helps the innocent victims cope with the trauma but to also help the violator, who in many cases, has been the victim of abuse and holds them accountable and is a huge part of recovery. This thinking may help to break the cycle of abuse and ultimately help to heal the community. That’s the goal.”
Badu has been addressing some spectacular alleged instances of abuse, but perhaps her thoughts might be of use when considering circumstances many of us find ourselves embroiled in on less fraught levels. Or not.