Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth
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Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth

Azealia Banks' Open Letter to Sarah Palin Is the Apologia That Keeps on Giving

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The feud between rapper Azealia Banks and professional Alaskan Sarah Palin that erupted earlier today might be a social media throw-down reminiscent of a mix between Being John Malkovich, the Tea Party, and a future Kanye Twitter rant—but lucky for us, it’s also the gift that keeps on giving.

The latest update in the whole debacle? A “sorry-not-sorry-but-maybe-sorry?” letter addressed to Palin, which Banks posted on her Tumblr account on April 5.

For the uninitiated, the social media beef began after the NYC rapper read a satirical news piece featuring a fake quote from Palin, in which Fake-Palin posited that black people once “willingly accepted slavery.”


Banks reacted to the false story by calling out Palin in a Twitter rant, at one point suggesting that “the biggest burliest blackest negroes” should “run a train on [Sarah Palin].” (You can read the tweets, which have now been deleted, here.)

Palin responded to Banks by issuing a very official Facebook post, stating that both public figures use their platforms to “work together on something worthwhile—like condemning racism,” as well as “empowering young women to defend themselves” against rape.


Apparently unsatisfied with this move, Tina Fey’s GOP doppelganger later publicly declared her intentions to sue the performer for her remarks.

“I’ve had enough of the unanswered threats and attacks against my family and me,” Palin said in an exclusive interview with People. “So, for the first time I’m going to enjoy the only retribution some protected ‘celebrities’ seem to understand—I’m suing Azealia Banks and can’t wait to share my winnings with others who have gone defenseless against lies and dangerous attacks far too long.”


So now we come to Banks’ letter, which more or less attempts to address the politician and conservative commentator on a woman-to-woman basis, all the while pointing out racial bias within the GOP sphere—the very thing that incited the feud in the first place.

Here’s the letter in full.

“Dear Sarah Palin,

I hope this message reaches you in good spirits and in good health. I want to start this letter off by telling you that I actually, really like you. While many other American people may see you as someone to be ridiculed, I truly believe that you possess a certain “je ne sais quoi,” (a french term which is often interpreted to denote one’s inexplicable charisma.) Given a bit of book-reading/media-training/patience, that charisma could become your magic carpet. There is something very charismatic and misunderstood about you. The misunderstood bit oftentimes reminds me of myself. You’re very passionate about the things you believe in, super determined, and most certainly aware of who you are and where you stand in this world, as a parent, as a politician, but most importantly, as a woman.

Given the propensity of conservative right-wing media publications to veer into very fearful/erroneous/baseless/contradictory/prejudice analyses of us “melanated,” peoples of the United States, It should come as no shock to you that a satirical article accusing you of saying, “Even the French understand that Slavery wasn’t our fault because the negroes liked it,” Would be provocative enough to ruffle a few feathers. Now since learning that the article was not published officially, I sincerely apologize for any emotional distress or reputational scarring i may have caused you.
In my honest defense, i was completely kidding. I happen to have a really crass, New-York-City sense of humor, and regularly make silly jokes in attempts make light of situations which make me uncomfortable. As the fabric of the American Nation is EMBEDDED with racism, I merely made a raCIALly driven joke to counter what i believed to be real, raCIST rhetoric. Also, i never said you should be raped. I used the term “run a train,” which is slang for group sex, NOT for “rape.” There are many distinctions between the two. As a woman, I would never trivialize something as lewd and criminal to provide myself any sort of comic relief because it simply… just isn’t funny. (and no, is not a reputable source of information to seek clarity on the aforementioned dichotomy). However, i find great irony in the right-wing media’s attempt to “victimize,” you in this situation. Seeking empathy through sensationalism is something left-leaning liberals are frequently ridiculed for by the Right. But American Hypocrisy is nothing new.

Considering the imminence of 2016’s polarizing presidential election, I’ve taken it upon myself to do my own social research. I’ve recently had the opportunity to indulge in a few lengthy conversations with some very popular conservative figures. I’ve concluded: Amongst millennial conservatives, Censorship paired with the (questionable) social necessity for political correctness are atop the list of social grievances. It is as though this newest generation of conservative voters desire the right to express their true feelings, free of any filter and free of any consequence. I too harbor a similar sentiment regarding censorship and self-expression, as i am an artist. I cherish my ability to express myself freely, yet remain totally aware that for every action, there will be a reaction.
All in All, Woman to Woman, I hope you will accept my sincerest apology.

-Miss Azealia A Banks.”


This P.S. though:


-I am an EXTREMELY intelligent woman, Mrs. Palin.

-“Hey Female Rapper,” was your way to euphemize what you REALLY wanted to say. What you wanted to say was, “Hey little Stereotypical Black, Thing!”

-Realize that stereotypes are a product of what I like to call the “Critical White Gaze.” The basic fundamentals of the Critical White Gaze are Fear, Ignorance, Curiosity, and Fetishization.

-Intelligence is not something which can be quantified in 140 Characters.

-Twitter is not real, neither is your opinion of me!

-If Bristol Palin listened to my music she probably wouldn’t have all those cotdamn kids!!!! ;-P #sis #iud #stayinschool #causeitsthebest”


As of now, there is no word from Palin on the contents of the post.

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Image via Getty.