Iggy Azalea's Response to Azealia Banks Diss Is a Thoughtful Way to Keep Focus on The Real Issues
So many celebrities have been speaking out on the issue of police violence against African-American teens that even people who don't usually watch the news have names like Mike Brown and Eric Garner seared into their memories. The general reaction to these incidents has been outrage, with everyone from Chris Rock to Katy Perry expressing their sadness and disappointment on social media. In the midst of it all, on Wednesday Azealia Banks called out Iggy Azalea (aka Igloo Australia) and other celebrities like her for glorifying black culture but staying silent when real issues facing black America crop up. Thursday morning, Azalea responded to Banks' diss with a thoughtful and constructive response that highlighted the problematic way in which Banks chose to express her feelings.
The thing is Banks is neither entirely wrong nor completely alone in her frustration. Black culture and stereotypes — rapping, "big butts," and twerking — are glorified in America, especially when adopted and popularized by white artists. (Fun fact: twerking was a thing long before Miley Cyrus and the 2013 MTV VMAs.) However, the Ferguson controversy and the similar events taking place all over the country remain a polarizing topic of discussion — though no one can really argue with the fact that black teens have died at the hands of police officers who walked away without indictments. So in that sense, Banks began with a point on Wednesday:
However, her frustration over the issues quickly turned into a expletive-laced rant against Azalea herself, slamming the media for saying Azalea isn't anywhere near the talent of Nicki Minaj and daring Azalea to respond to her pointed barbs. Those who were hoping to see some sort of Twitter cat fight break out were swiftly disappointed when Azalea finally did speak out. She pulled the focus off of herself, and off of Banks, and put it right back onto the issues instead of firing back with anything equally insulting or foul-mouthed. In fact, she only referenced Banks' words once at the beginning of her speech with, "Theres more to sparking a change than trolling on social media. World issues shouldnt be used as a poor excuse to promote fan battles."
Azalea accompanied this all with a link to Bustle's own article on ways to help out with the Ferguson situation, even going so far as to blast her own followers over the fact that her tweet pointing out ways to actually get involved was getting the least retweets out of anything else she had said. "Also the fact the actual link i posted about helping has the LEAST RT's on my timeline lets me know your real concern is not awareness," Azalea wrote. "CLEARLY your CONCERN is finding any reason to promote shade, trolling, fan fights and memes. I know you guys by now, you don't fool me."
Quite honestly, there are many different ways to respond to the horrific situation that occurred in Ferguson and to the issues that are still an ongoing problem in America — some are good, some are bad, some are outright disgusting, and some are lukewarm at best. However, the most effective way to react to this complicated problem is, as Azalea says, by actually getting involved through donations, petitions, and support for the families of the victims. As hilarious as it might be to call the "Fancy" singer Igloo Australia — which has been trending on Twitter Thursday morning — she is right in that concentrating on this celebrity feud between Banks and Azalea is much, much less important than helping to build a safe America.