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Erykah Badu Suggests "Racist" Gay Men Are Behind Criticism Of Her Performance For King Of Swaziland

And then she called one of her critics "satan."

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Singer Erykah Badu implied that "racist" gay males are behind criticism of her recent appearance at the birthday party of the king of the south African country of Swaziland in a series of tweets posted on Thursday and Friday.

The tweets came in response to a column posted at Slate by Pedro Pizano and Jeffrey Smith, who wrote that Badu's "response to being called out for" performing for "Swaziland's brutal dictator" was "worse than the performance itself." Pizano used to do communications for the Human Rights Foundation now and has a small firm consulting on human rights issues. Smith is an advocacy officer with the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights.

King Mswati III is alleged to be behind abuses including targeted killings of his political opponents, the torture and disappearances of pro-democracy advocates, and the banning of all political parties. Pizano and Smith also note that Badu performed not far from the jail where journalist Bheki Makhubu and human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko are being held for "criticizing the lack of an independent judiciary."

The exchange appears to have begun after Pizano responded to this tweet from Badu:

Everytime I respond to cruel accusations from my African freedom fighting brothers, I know Im giving them a platform 2further their agenda.

ErykahBadoula@fatbellybella

Everytime I respond to cruel accusations from my African freedom fighting brothers, I know Im giving them a platform 2further their agenda.

11:12 AM - 1 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@fatbellybella why don't you speak out for them by name: Bkheki Makhubu and Thulani Maseko. I bet you can't even RT this. #swaziland

Pedro Pizano@pedropizano

@fatbellybella why don't you speak out for them by name: Bkheki Makhubu and Thulani Maseko. I bet you can't even RT this. #swaziland

11:53 AM - 1 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Badu wrote:

@pedropizano are you gay? Curious? No jokes?

Pizano responded:

What?!! “@fatbellybella: @pedropizano are you gay? Curious? No jokes?”

Pedro Pizano@pedropizano

What?!! “@fatbellybella: @pedropizano are you gay? Curious? No jokes?”

11:58 AM - 1 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Seriously. “@pedropizano: What?!! “@fatbellybella: @pedropizano are you gay? Curious? No jokes?””

ErykahBadoula@fatbellybella

Seriously. “@pedropizano: What?!! “@fatbellybella: @pedropizano are you gay? Curious? No jokes?””

11:59 AM - 1 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

.@fatbellybella I refuse to answer this demeaning question. It's insulting and offensive to me and all my friends.

Pedro Pizano@pedropizano

.@fatbellybella I refuse to answer this demeaning question. It's insulting and offensive to me and all my friends.

12:19 PM - 1 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

(Pizano got some criticism because his remark appeared to suggest being gay was something shameful, but he told BuzzFeed "I meant exactly the opposite." It is "insulting to all my gay friends" for her to raise questions of sexuality as part of a "character assassination" that "doesn't have anything to do with what we're discussing.")

Badu persisted:

I just wondered because .. I wonder if u know how it feels to be ostracized for only being YOURSELF. @Smith_RFKennedy @pedropizano

ErykahBadoula@fatbellybella

I just wondered because .. I wonder if u know how it feels to be ostracized for only being YOURSELF. @Smith_RFKennedy @pedropizano

12:03 PM - 1 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@pedropizano well are you PEDRO. If you are ashamed its okay .but I want to show you something.

ErykahBadoula@fatbellybella

@pedropizano well are you PEDRO. If you are ashamed its okay .but I want to show you something.

12:05 PM - 1 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@Smith_RFKennedy so long THIRSTon Howell III.

@Smith_RFKennedy hahahhaha . Twerking for the king. I love it . So creative

ErykahBadoula@fatbellybella

@Smith_RFKennedy hahahhaha . Twerking for the king. I love it . So creative

01:49 PM - 1 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

And then began tweets suggesting the authors were motivated by racism:

--->>>>@Smith_RFKennedy devils are easy to spot in any color.

ErykahBadoula@fatbellybella

--->>>>@Smith_RFKennedy devils are easy to spot in any color.

04:27 PM - 1 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@Smith_RFKennedy btw I'm not a pop icon. But I like the twerk thing . Very racist of u.

ErykahBadoula@fatbellybella

@Smith_RFKennedy btw I'm not a pop icon. But I like the twerk thing . Very racist of u.

04:42 PM - 1 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

And then she came back to the gay thing when a follower asked how she knew who was gay without asking:

I don't know .. I use to be a dancer .. Go figure. Can just tell..:-)) @Speeeday @JONATHANTNOWAK @Smith_RFKennedy

ErykahBadoula@fatbellybella

I don't know .. I use to be a dancer .. Go figure. Can just tell..:-)) @Speeeday @JONATHANTNOWAK @Smith_RFKennedy

05:32 PM - 1 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Then, when Pizano started tweeting the Slate story to other writers — proud of his first story for the publication — Badu started up again:

@AlecJRoss Alec: my latest (but my first) for @Slate: "Why Does Erykah Badu (@fatbellybella) Perform for #Dictators? http://t.co/NiLuIeHYUu

Pedro Pizano@pedropizano

@AlecJRoss Alec: my latest (but my first) for @Slate: "Why Does Erykah Badu (@fatbellybella) Perform for #Dictators? http://t.co/NiLuIeHYUu

08:12 AM - 2 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@pedropizano >a struggling writter who wants to be a STAR.. Masked as a political activist, He used my blood to publish his FIRST BIG PEice.

ErykahBadoula@fatbellybella

@pedropizano >a struggling writter who wants to be a STAR.. Masked as a political activist, He used my blood to publish his FIRST BIG PEice.

07:58 AM - 2 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@pedropizano good job. & you're welcome. Thank you for the free pub. Even other gay people see thru you. Your giving love a bad name kid.

ErykahBadoula@fatbellybella

@pedropizano good job. & you're welcome. Thank you for the free pub. Even other gay people see thru you. Your giving love a bad name kid.

08:00 AM - 2 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@pedropizano @JonEForeman @Slate BOY STICK TO BLOGGING. You are NO JOURNALIST. Trust .lol .. But don't let your dream end with me. Lol

ErykahBadoula@fatbellybella

@pedropizano @JonEForeman @Slate BOY STICK TO BLOGGING. You are NO JOURNALIST. Trust .lol .. But don't let your dream end with me. Lol

08:03 AM - 2 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@pedropizano here.. ill help u. HEY! Everybody read Pedro's sweeeeet little piece. VOTE FOR PEDRO... face . Lol

ErykahBadoula@fatbellybella

@pedropizano here.. ill help u. HEY! Everybody read Pedro's sweeeeet little piece. VOTE FOR PEDRO... face . Lol

08:08 AM - 2 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@danyasteele @fatbellybella we'd love her more if she didn't sing for dictators.

Pedro Pizano@pedropizano

@danyasteele @fatbellybella we'd love her more if she didn't sing for dictators.

09:41 AM - 2 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@pedropizano I don't need your conditional love Satan

ErykahBadoula@fatbellybella

@pedropizano I don't need your conditional love Satan

09:53 AM - 2 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

J. Lester Feder is a world correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. His secure PGP fingerprint is 2353 DB68 8AA6 92BD 67B8 94DF 37D8 0A6F D70B 7211

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