If you’ve somehow escaped the coverage of Azealia Banks’ frequent Twitter rants, she’s basically insulted a ton of celebrities from Zayn Malik and T.I. to 14-year-old Skai Jackson.
She’s said some pretty nasty stuff and people like Sarah Palin, Lily Allen and Lupe Fiasco have fought back. On the surface, her tweets are horribly homophobic, racist and ludicrous but take a step back and they could be interpreted as a sign that she’s having some trouble.
Headlines like “It’s officially time to put Azealia Banks to rest,” “Trash Does as Trash Is” and “Azealia Banks Is A B***H” suggest the media is buying into the angry black woman trope. It sure looks like Banks could be having a mental breakdown of some sort, but instead of helping we’re laughing at the endless memes. Amanda Bynes and Britany Spears were also the butt of many jokes during their break downs, but we don’t remember them losing any work over it while Banks was just dropped by a UK music festival’s lineup.
Though, Banks’ tweets are awkward — some may wonder if the reaction is a result of systematic racism. It’s like when the media brands people of colour who are shooters “terrorists” or “gangsters” while white shooters like Dylann Roof and Elliot Rodger are “mentally ill.” This tendency in the media is especially noteworthy considering Banks has sort of already told us she suffers from a mental illness. While in a Twitter fight with Perez Hilton in 2014, Banks said “just because I am bi-polar doesn’t mean that you aren’t a f**got.”
Not everyone is attacking Banks. This Oh No They Didn’t! user defends the 24-year-old and sees her as a victim, not a celebrity bully: “I truly believe that Azealia needs help and support and as PoC we owe it to her and to ourselves to protect that outside of the hideous white narrative that is trying to destroy her. When we abandon Black women like Azealia Banks we engage in the work of white supremacy.”
Bank’s situation comes at the same time as trending hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter and#MentalHealthMonth yet the media remains unconcerned.