Living as a black woman in America has its ups and downs. Yes, we are statistically the most educated group of individuals in the county, and that’s great. We have come a long way as women and as members of the black community. With that, I know how important it is to present myself in a way that dispels the stereotypes because let’s face it, black women are defined by some of the most negative and demoralizing “I told you sos.”
Due to the unfair, and unfortunately, at times true, labels placed on us, we often blindly take up for our fellow sisters when situations happen without substantiating their claims of wrongdoing against them. I get the reasoning behind it, but I am here to tell you that it’s not profitable. That’s why I cannot and will not support or sympathize with Azealia Banks’ most recent claims of assault.
If you don’t know the story, Banks, a 25-year-old rapper from Harlem, was kicked out of a party, hosted by Russell Crowe at the Beverly Hilton. Her side of the story is he spit on her and physically removed her from the party all while calling her a nigga and other racial slurs. Everyone else’s story, however, including RZA, the hip-hop legend that invited her to the gathering, is a different take on what happened. And by a different take I mean they say that Banks was the one in the wrong. In fact, RZA addressed the situation on his Facebook page by saying,
“Before the night is over Azealia is insulting half the room she becomes loud and obnoxious. There was nothing funny about her behavior… I felt a little embarrassed because she was my guest. Still, verbal abuse can be tolerated but when it goes physical… Azealia threatens to cut a girl in the face with a glass, then actually grabs a glass and physically attacks for no logical reason. Russell blocked the attack and expelled her from the suite.”
Azealia Banks is an out of control woman whose constant headline-grabbing behavior cannot be chopped up to her youth. She believes that she has the right to talk to anyone in any way that she feels and a person just has to deal with it. I mean, the girl is more famous for her antics than her music, and for the life of me, I do not understand why people continue to support her. She is the negative side of the carefree black girl. She is who white people point at and say, “See, they’re animals.” She is a bad representation of black women.
I am not pulling for Azealia, I do not feel for her, and I will never, ever make excuses for her behavior. Life has consequences, and it does not matter the color of your skin. If you tell someone during a party at which you are a plus one, you are “old and fat, and the entire room gasped,” you deserve to be the “target.” That’s not cute and is actually a sign of someone who is incredibility immature and or dangerously mentally unstable.
Banks is the perfect example of a bitter, angry black woman suffering from acute recklessness and rage. Too many of us have these victim mentalities that we take too far. This is not a judgment for other races to jump in and agree and bash, but it’s an observation from someone apart of the community, thus possesses the understanding to address the issue. And trust, it is an issue.
When the story broke, a lot of black women commented on social media about how horrible Crowe is or lamented that RZA would stand around and let the actor spit on a woman. This is what we do. We take snippets of a story where sides have not been corroborated and run with it; usually in the direction of vouching and validating inexcusable actions.
I know we have a long history of abuse from our men and men of other races, but that in and of itself is not a good enough reason to dismiss the fact that Banks was wrong on every single level. If I’m being honest, she is usually wrong on every single level. She insults people at a party she wasn’t invited to (self-consciousness). She openly and proudly talks about bleaching her skin and pushes the products on her social media (self-hate), and she bashes other black female artists who have bigger more empowering platforms (self-pity). Why are so many willing to give her a pass? I am not willing to give her a pass.
It’s a fine line we walk when it comes to calling out other black women. A part of us knows that we cannot take up for what they do, but the other part doesn’t want to be another person with something to say. I get that. But the only way we can ever grow, and live as the queens that we are is to align ourselves with that which is edifying. Recklessly standing by someone because you share melanin does not edify.
Azealia Banks is the girl who cried wolf and now, even if her claims were true, no one will ever believe her.