This article contains truly tasteless content.
Six months ago, when Sarah Palin’s name was preceded by a bunch of formers — former Alaskan governor, former Republican vice presidential candidate, former Fox News commentator — it would be easy not to write about her current social media feud with 24-year-old rapper/social media gadfly Azealia Banks, especially in a family newspaper where editing must reduce Banks’s comments to a mere trail of dashes, and when both are provocateurs pushing their brands.
But, even if Donald Trump lost the Wisconsin primary, he said last year that he would consider Palin for a spot in his administration. And she’s playing Trump surrogate these days.
So: Here we go.
The Banks-Palin imbroglio apparently began when a satirical article presented Palin’s alleged view of slavery on March 31: “Even The French Understand That Slavery Wasn’t Our Fault, Because The Negroes Liked It.”
“I’m going to say it once again loudly and clearly: Negroes loved being slaves and they were doing just fine under our rules,” Palin definitely did not say in real life. “So, you see, you can’t really blame us for any of it, not legitimately.”
Banks, however, appeared to take the article at face value. What followed was a stream of graphic tweets on Sunday — many since deleted, but preserved by the ever-watchful right-wing Media Research Center and Breitbart — that suggested Palin engage in variety of sex acts with black men.
The outrage began. Breitbart: “Rapper Azealia Banks Calls for Sarah Palin to Be Gang-Raped by Black Men.” And Palin — though she certainly could have remained silent — responded with a lengthy message to Banks.
“Hey Female Rapper – listen up, little darling,” Palin wrote. “No one has any idea what you’re wigging out about in these bizarre, violent rants against me, but you’re obviously not exercising enough intelligence to acknowledge you’ve been sucked into believing some fake interview in which I supposedly offered comments representing the antithesis of my truth.”
Palin made an unusual — perhaps even gracious — choice: She compared herself to Banks, and called for them to stand in solidarity as women against the world.
“In this life, you’re blessed to have been given an influential platform,” Palin wrote. “So have I. Why don’t we strengthen both our platforms and work together on something worthwhile – like condemning racism, along with empowering young women to defend themselves against a most misogynist, degrading, devastating assault perpetrated by evil men — rape.”
Then, Palin’s tone changed.
“Now I’ll go through my young daughter’s playlist to make sure there hasn’t been any inadvertent addition of any anti-woman, pro-rape garbage that you seem to endorse, which perpetuates the cultural challenges we face in America,” Palin wrote. “I encourage other parents to do the same.”
It was a lecture after all.
“God bless you Ms. Banks, as you consider a change of heart,” Palin concluded.
But that was not all. Perhaps inspired by the litigious candidate she backs — and, for the record, Banks does too — Palin threatened Banks with a lawsuit.
“I’ve had enough of the unanswered threats and attacks against my family and me,” Palin told 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.”
Banks responded with an apology to Palin posted to Tumblr — one that, while not profane, was perhaps even more insulting.
“I actually, really like you,” Banks began. “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.”
Yet Banks said no one should be surprised she took the satirical article as real, given the tone of “conservative right-wing media publications.” She also pointed out that she never said Palin should be raped. And, she said, she 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,” Banks wrote. She concluded: “Woman to Woman, I hope you will accept my sincerest apology.”
Then came the P.S., in which Banks implied Palin was racist, and insulted Palin’s daughter Bristol:
-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
And there the matter rests — until, if Palin’s threat is real, some unlucky court must consider it in the future.
More from Morning Mix