First, I have to say, that I don’t even know who Azealia Banks is, although a Google search helped me out there. Still it doesn’t alter the question I ask: is she a bully?

The 212 singer responded by calling him “dickbreath” before unleashing a further torrent of homophobic abuse.When British journalist Patrick Strudwick called on Banks to apologize for her language on Twitter. Banks refused. She tweeted: “lol, absolutely fucking not. I meant that shit.”Strudwick then received a barrage of anti-gay tweets from Banks’ supporters.Later, the journalist tweeted: “How do you report abuse? Getting a tsunami of vicious attacks from fans of @AZEALIABANKS for challenging her over her homophobic language.”Daily Mail journalist Rob Davies then responded to Strudwick’s and Banks’ comments by tweeting: “fans of who now? Sounds like the name of an old people’s home. ‘We’re putting mum in Azealia Banks. Very sad.’”Banks then replied to both of them by tweeting: ”wow…. You guys have THE WORST jabs [sic] EVER. You should both go kill yourselves.”

I’m with the NYT, and don’t find the word homophobic all that useful. If I had written the linked article, I’d have called her remarks anti-gay and violent bordering on terroristic, but no matter how they are labeled, what does it mean when someone suggests that someone else should kill themselves?  Really? In all seriousness? Is this the type of rhetoric we will accept from people in the public arena?

Bank’s tiff with Perez Hilton seems so childish. When was the last time you heard someone called “dickbreath”?  Third grade? But her ongoing attack on other journalists is the really unacceptable part. Hip hop and rap have the potential to truly empower and transform people, but when it is filled with senseless violence and hate speech (calls for death?) it merely perpetuates a culture of oppression and bullying.

On Tuesday afternoon, Strudwick told PinkNews: “What matters here is that Azealia has a huge following of young fans, who will be influenced by her, many of whom will be vulnerable. Hearing one’s idol using homophobic language and then, on two occasions, goading someone to commit suicide, legitimizes the worst kind of cyber bullying.

Of course the solution may be to use the power of the $$$ against Miss Bank$, especially as she is just getting a career off the ground. Not only does this make her culpable, but her label, producers and those guiding her career. The world is too small and the number of youth who are killing each other and killing themselves too high without anyone in the public’s eye encouraging it. Azealia Banks is part of the problem harming our young people, not a part of the solution from it.


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