Azealia Banks, Black Men, & Misogyny

Some of you all are not going to like this post, but so be it. Yesterday, Harlem rapper Azealia Banks took to Twitter to vent her frustrations about the lack of support she does not receive from Black men. D.C. rapper Wale responded to her rant. This turned into a conversation about Black men's role in degrading Black women. Read the rant here.

While I do not agree with the outlandish, self-hating, internalized anti-Black statements Banks made (I'm actually disgusted by her words), I do understand where she's coming from. I even think Wale missed some of her points while they two went back and forth and he did not address the facts that what Azealia expressed is how some Black women feel and it comes from issues between Black men and women. In a way, Wale's "obliviousness" for the most part made her point about Black male ignorance of Black female pain even stronger. Wale's response somewhat speaks to the matter of Black men not listening to the cries of Black women.

Because of the legacy of systematic White supremacy and untreated Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: There is an issue with support, respect, and protection of Black women from Black men. There is an issue with Black men publicly shaming and blasting Black women on media formats like YouTube, Twitter, even popular culture. Rap and hip-hop has a bad reputation of lyrically devaluing and reducing Black women into "bitches", "hoes" and "thots" only good for being sexual conquests and punching bags. Of course this does NOT reflect all Black men. There are many Black men across the globe who celebrate, respect, cherish, and protect Black women and I do feel that they don't receive the credit they deserve and are often overshadowed by the blatant and brainwashing battle of the sexes promoted by the American media. However, the conversation about misogyny and sexism from Black men towards Black women still needs to be had because it's a problem. Ignoring it, pretending that it's non existent because you personally know "good Black men" or the rebuttal of "all Black men ain't like that" is honestly not helpful.

I feel that Azealia Banks is definitely coming from a place of hurt, trauma, fighting demons, and harboring a lot of anger. This is often viewed in many of her Twitter rants. She has always openly discussed her struggles of being a dark skinned Black women and how she feels unappreciated due to this issue of colorism among other social, and racial issues. In this particular rant, I feel like it spoke to the time when she had beef with Australian rapper Iggy Azalea and many Black male rappers were coming out the woodworks to co-sign her. Many did not publicly speak up for or agree with Banks even though she did make valid points about how hip-hop and the media praised Iggy. Being a Black, dark skinned, petite woman who is also opinionated and makes alternative styled music in the hip-hop industry makes one an automatic outcast.

Unfortunately, throughout the months, the years, Azealia has dug herself a hole of hypocrisy she can't seem to get out of. Azealia Banks actually does make great and factual points from time to time, but her hate filled rants and meaningless beefs overshadow not only her rhetoric, but her music as well. On one hand, she's very upfront and honest about this issue between Black men and Black women, along with many other race-related conversations, but in the same breath she has constantly belittled, torn down, and been destructive to other Black women as she claims Black men do. This is the problem when you play petty "Tic-for-tac" games. It becomes a continuation of making baseless, emotion-filled revenge statements and actions that display your own flaws more than others.

I've always stated that if a Black man thinks lowly of Black women, it's a reflection of his own self-esteem, and vice versa. Bank's point about Africa was conflicting and contradicting in itself. If Black women were running Africa, how did the Black men sell everyone out? That sounded just as insane as the: "Black women ruined the Black family" ignorant ass statements. Placing non-White men on a pedestal in retaliation to Black men who do it is equally ignorant, self-hating, contradicts everything "pro Black" ever stated, and plays into the idea that the White man's ice is cooler when it's not. Not only that, but it also shows that the only reason you acknowledge these individuals of other races is due to your self-hate and your desire to "get back" at Black men or Black women, not actual love or admiration. A trophy mate. A self-esteem booster. Plus, you're playing into the stereotypical shucking and jiving celebrating of everything non-Black. So please tell me who's really winning in this situation? "Tic-for-tac" is a losing game.

This isn't to ignore her cry for help, air out her dirty laundry, bring up old news, or let Black men who participate in this none sense off the hook, but I find it puzzling how someone who constantly engages in petty Internet beefs and tears apart others, specifically fellow Black women, often does the same thing they claim to hate being done to them: slandering Black women, perpetuating colorismspewing hatred, and placing Whiteness on a pedestal...whilst professing to be "pro-Black". Claiming to hate the White media and all things representing Whiteness in one breath, but posing in White publications and using White men to shit on Black men in the next. A cycle of confusion, tap dancing self hate straight out the plantation, and mental instability. People who live in glass houses can't throw stones. You can't cry about oppression when oppressing others.

Yes Azealis Banks is human and as human we're imperfect and we get into scuffles with out fellow man, including those who belong to the same race and same sex. But when the scuffles contain a trail, a pattern of problematic (I can't stand the term "problematic", but it's appropriate to use) speech, it's time to look for the common denominator: you. To be brutally honest, I also feel that some of Azealia's lack of support also stems from her constant drama, despite her claims on it solely being on her being a Black woman. It's nothing wrong with discussing your pain of being a dark skinned Black woman. You can be as angry as you want to because no one can tell you how to feel. But can we address the pink ass, glitter tutu, lacefront wearing elephant in the room once that's finished? Don't pretend like you stand up for Black women while you berate them as much as you claim Black men to. Don't pretend to be an advocate for dark skinned Black women when in the same breath you tell a Black teen girl who's darker than you to "pick cotton". The same way you claim Black men take advantage of Black women and Black issues for self-serving reasons is the SAME thing you do, all the time. You don't speak for me when you promote the same misogynistic, anti-Black sentiments you say you're against no matter how good your points are.

This conversation, as well as others, needs to be had in safe, intimate settings. Actual human interaction where folks can hear, see, and sense one another's expression, emotion, and body language. Not solely typing 144 characters to get a point across. Especially when the meddling media is the audience. Real healing. Despite my feelings about Azealia and her attitude, I really do hope she gets the relief that she desperately needs and I wish she would start use her frustrations to vent in her music instead of beefing with others. I'll always give you props when you're right, but don't ever think you about to use me to fulfill your personal agenda/beef with someone else. Thanks, but no thanks.



Post a Comment