As with many quick-to-escalate Twitter feuds, this one started with a hoax.
Over the weekend, rapper Azealia Banks spotted a fake article posted by a parody website that quoted Sarah Palin as saying, “Negroes loved being slaves and they were doing just fine under our rules. So, you see, you can’t really blame us for any of it, not legitimately.”
Naturally, she was outraged and fired off a series of tweets that may have taken things just a little too far.
Soon after, Banks evidently discovered that the article was pure satirical fiction and decided to delete her tweetstorm. But the damage was done and the Internet never forgets.
Once news stories about the deleted tweets started being published, including several that characterized Banks as calling for Palin to be “gang-raped,” the rapper started pushing back—and reiterated her original statements.
And then, early Tuesday afternoon, Palin decided she needed to respond, beginning her Facebook post with “Hey Female Rapper”:
This led to Banks delivering an “open letter” to Palin on her official Tumblr page. “I want to start this letter off by telling you that I actually, really like you,” Banks wrote, unconvincingly. “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.’”
Banks went on to say that the way Palin is “misunderstood” by most Americans reminds her of herself. She even apologized, in her own way:
“I sincerely apologize for any emotional distress or reputational scarring i [sic] may have caused you,” she wrote. “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 [to] 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.”
At the same time, Banks said she found “great irony” in the way right-wing websites have decided to “victimize” Palin when the left is regularly ridiculed for doing the same in the face of politically incorrect language.
On that last bit, Banks has a point. But that hasn’t stopped Palin from threatening a lawsuit against her.
“I’ve had enough of the unanswered threats and attacks against my family and me,” Palin told People this afternoon. “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.”
It’s perhaps the best outcome Banks could have hoped for when she originally sent the offending tweets.
Remember, just two months ago Banks made a name for herself by facetiously endorsing Donald Trump. “I think Donald trump is evil like America is evil and in order for America to keep up with itself it needs him,” she stated at the time.
We were talking about her then and we’re still talking about her now.