Friday, October 4, 2013

Back At It Again: Azealia Banks sturs up more controversy


The government might have been shut down but I’m back! Yeah I know it’s not as exciting as hearing that congress has magically decided to get along and scores of people can get back to work but hey, it’s the best I can do.

 As I was combing through the internet to read something that wasn’t about partisan politics for a change I stumbled across a bit of controversy from no other than the queen of twitter beefs herself Azealia Banks.  In case you’ve missed the hype, Banks is a 22 year old, pretty popular up and coming rapper from Harlem whose impressive skills are often overshadowed by her penchant for drama.  Recently she took to twitter to enlighten the masses on some little known black history facts.  Banks writes,

“Like black American culture is ESSENTIALLY some adapted version of British culture, Because American culture is bastardized English culture”

And then

“So strange... Santigold can sing indie rock songs and no one accuses her of wanting to be white..but white women twerking is the new evil.”

“Why is Black Culture such an exclusive club??? ... I'm asking myself this question as well. I'm guilty of this.”

And these gems

“struggle remembered and rehashed like as if we need some kind of fucking medal for being oppressed”

“lots of people have been enslaved throughout the course of history. THAT'S HUMANITY”

 From there she began to argue with a couple of followers and then eventually retreat stating that she was “bored”
I’m not sure if Ms. Banks got her education from the David Duke School of African American studies or if this is what New York public schools are teaching these day but honestly I’m a little confused. 

For starts if anything black American culture is adapted from African culture more so than the British.  Our mannerisms, communalism, music and even the ways in which we worship in the black church are very African in nature.  The cultures of Caribbean islands like Jamaica are more culturally similar to the British due to colonialism and even that is a slight stretch.

Now as far as the whole white women tweaking twerking Miley, black culture BS I’ll get to that in a different post.

The most upsetting tweet to me was the last one.  Apparently Banks feels like black people talk about being oppressed too much and we should just get over it because after all enslavement, cultural genocide, de facto and de jure segregation, oppression, systematic discrimination, terrorism and intimidation among other things are just “HUMANITY”.  This logic is exactly why discussing the struggle of blacks in America is necessary.  It seems as though many people my age are so busy thinking we’ve overcome we don’t want to even remember what we’ve overcome to begin with.   Or they’ve adopted this “post racial” notion that if you mention race or racism your somehow the racist whose stuck in the past. 

 The fact that black people have been resilient, determined and triumphant in the face of insurmountable odds is beyond impressive.  The struggle and fight of people like Denmark Vesey, Marcus Garvey, Fannie Lou Hammer, John Lewis, Stokely Charmical, Bobby Seale, James Farmer, Andrew Young, Harry Moore, and countless others should never be forgotten.  Not one person would dare say the US should forget about Pearl Harbor, Jewish Americans should disregard the holocaust or Native Americans should simply forget everything that has happened to them so suggesting blacks should seems slightly preposterous.  And in fact we do deserve a medal not for BEING oppressed but for SURVIVING and THRIVING.
All this being said, I  think Azealia Banks is a very talented MC who is often overlooked but comments like and constant twitters beefs kind of turns me off. Long story short leave the social commentary to someone else and work on an album