Erykah Badu has certainly set off a storm.
Whatever happened to freedom of speech? According to wikipedia:
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak without censorship and/or limitation. The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes used to indicate not only freedom of verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.
Now what does that tell us? Erykah Badu was using freedom of speech when she was showing her assets (and boy were they) to us in the “Window Seat” video. Granted, there is such a thing as public nudity and the legal ramifications behind it. Once again visiting Wikipedia, I was not surprised to discover that appearing in public nude is no crime, although deemed indecent; it is in essence based on opinion.
So are the charges against Ms. Badu warranted? It is hard to tell from the news whether they are charging her for her nudity or the fact that she did it in broad day light in the place where JFK was assassinated based on the reporting. Those who were offended by Ms. Badu parading her jewels could have simply looked away. But this brings up yet another issue and that is the natural instinct of us humans to want to watch a spectacle. We like drama. Soaps, reality tv and the like – not to mention our obsession in watching an accident on the freeway or slowing down when we see a policeman has pulled a car over on the side of the road just to see what the deal is.
Ms. Badu did issue a statement saying that her conduct and behavior have been misunderstood.
“I would never disrespect JFK,” she wrote on Twitter. “his revolutionary thinking is my inspiration. my performance art has been grossly misinterpreted by many.”
Will that be enough for the Dallas police? I doubt it. Is the Queen of Neo-Soul’s freedom of speech being tossed out the window? Probably. But in a country so concerned with morality and ethics (I laugh as I write that), Ms. Badu was in the wrong (term used loosely) simply for conceiving that we’d want a window seat to her take on the phrase birthday suit; even if she had the right to offer us the seat.