Why Azealia Banks is worth celebrating and Black celebs need to chill with the victim blaming

Guys. Seriously. I have been waiting for ‘Broke with expensive taste’ to drop since I heard the beat shift in ‘liquorice.’ Then shawty starting singing. And I said oh shit, and life was given.

Yes I said liquorice. I was late to get up on the phenomenon that was and still is 212 but Damn it I caught up and I am deeply dismayed at the flack Banks is getting online for, quite frankly, being a foul mouthed and unapologetically intelligent, opinionated and most importantly- socially aware young Black female artist.

I know why other people may not like her. Teen Twitterholics who would like to believe they’re Cher from Clueless are not here for her Igloo Australia jabs at ‘Fancy’ creator Iggy Azaelia. (Appropriation? What’s that?!)

Men are always slow to give female emcees the props they deserve and quick to categorize a scantily clad female as ‘trashy’ (while simultaneously telling the homies they’d still smash.)

White people are simply not hear for all that truth she is letting loose in the twitterverse, most recently about Kendrick Lamar and other artists excusing police brutality by bringing up violence in Black communities, which Apparently means we deemed ourselves worthless and therefore makes the hood an obvious hunting ground for the authorities.

Or nah.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of Kendrick Lamar, David Banner, Lupe Fiasco, Novel and other emcees who have made this troubling, trivializing and dangerous remark. And I even understand why they would say it.

But I vehemently disagree with them saying it in white media and publications, without adding context or commenting on police brutality itself and instead placing blame on their constituents.

Don’t get me wrong. Self love and community building are huge components to our success, survival and revival as a unified and healthy diaspora. I totally get the train of thought that believes ‘it starts with us.’ We are the masters of our own fate and the creators of our own destiny no matter how the deck is stacked against us. But our successes, advancements and accomplishments do not stop us from falling victim to systemic and systematic violence in the form of prejudice, profiling and too often, cold blooded murder.

No one who makes the ‘it starts with us’ argument ever addresses the intricacies related to why communities of color operate the way they do or how the same system that allows the murder of a black person every 28 hours has a hand in the poverty and destruction running rampant in the same communities they have deemed it necessary to over police.

If Black celebrities are going to keep fueling white media’s ‘they don’t care about themselves so why should we?!’ Narrative, they could at the very least condemn both state sanctioned police brutality AND the crime we inflict on one another. But to completely ignore commenting on the racism prevalent in the judicial system and point fingers at ONLY those with the most to lose is an absolute travesty.

I’m having a very hard time figuring out why so many black women aren’t supporting her craft and more importantly, defending her in her glorious black womanhood on social media while she addresses issues we should ALL be just as passionate about.

She may curse like a sailor, sure. But is she wrong to call out appropriation in music, and in the culture of hip hop especially, as the theft it is and has been for decades? Is she crazy for thinking affluent black people in positions of influence should watch their words or run the Risk of sounding like bitch ass apologists and giving racists everywhere the impression their views are justified, as they watch one of our very own minimize police brutality and shift the blame to the black community?

I don’t know about you but I think she may be on to something. And I think we should be on it with Her.


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