Madonna — the distinguished artist known for her forthrightness and unapologetically pushing boundaries — was just that when she got candid Thursday night (Jan. 19) about then-President-Elect Donald Trump’s impending inauguration. “I do believe that Trump was elected for a reason, to show us how lazy and un-unified and lackadaisical and taking for granted we’ve become of our freedom and the rights that we have as Americans,” Madonna said. “I feel like people forgot what was written in the Constitution.”
The legendary performer appeared at the Brooklyn Museum alongside artist Marilyn Minter for a discussion about art, protest and feminism — moderated by poet Elizabeth Alexander, who did a reading at Obama’s first inauguration.
“He’s actually doing us a great service, because we have gone as low as we can go,” Madonna said. “We can only go up from here, so what are we going to do? We have two choices, destruction and creation. I choose creation.”
Beginning the evening with a clip of author James Baldwin, followed by Madonna’s short film Secret Revolution, the women dove into a discourse on past and current states of creation amid times of unequal rights and social unrest.
“This is the most frightened I’ve ever been,” Minter said, later adding, “Fight back. Don’t accept it.”
“Don’t get so consumed with what you’re fighting against; think of what you’re fighting for,” added Madonna.
With society’s current divides including unequal rights between genders, races, and sexual orientations, Madonna — donning a black top with “feminist” emblazoned across the chest — discussed misogyny and abuse.
“I was raped,” Madonna stated, relaying the harrowing experience of arriving home after and thinking, “Can I take this? Is this going to be my life?”
Minter explained her beginnings as an unknown, proactive artist among men. “That’s what happens to female artists,” said Minter on recognition. “They see it, but they see it 40 years later.”
While moments throughout ranged from heavy to light, some of the words Madonna lives by seemed to prevail: “They always say it’s darkest before the dawn and I feel this had to happen to bring people together, so let’s get this party started.”