Iggy Azalea: A Silent Distraction
#BlackLivesMatter has reverberated across the United States—a terse message with vast implications. It is a statement whose poignancy must not be misunderstood or fall on deaf ears. #BlackLivesMatter has confronted us all; it has found its way on our social media accounts, sprawled across our television screens, and echoed by voices unafraid to challenge the status quo.
Fifty years ago, the most monumental campaign for human rights marched along the streets of Washington and declared that justice would be sought until it became embedded in the core of the United States, and enmeshed in the very essence of who America was and would become. Today the African American community deals with another painful reality—the repeated loss of young and hopeful Black lives. There is no corner in the U.S. that has been untouched by recent clashes with police officers, leaving us to wonder when injustice will finally cease.
In times of social turbulence, we look to those with the loudest voices, those whom have the potential to ignite change, penetrate indifference, be heard, and influence. Today, that responsibility no longer rests solely in the hands of our nation’s leaders, but in the hearts and minds of every member of society, and especially those in a position to reach a widespread audience. Yes, Iggy Azalea, that includes you.
“If you want peace, work for justice,” the adage goes. The same might be said for the Twitter feud that brewed and ruptured between hip-hop artists Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks. The larger issue of race relations is being muddled under the weight of childish banter with no legitimate direction. With voices as loud as theirs, Iggy and Azealia have a lot to learn from their fellow entertainers. There is a seemingly infinite list of icons—Lebron James, Katy Perry, Lena Dunham, Olivia Munn, Will.I.Am—who have filled the spaces between heart-pounding silence.
“A memory, a monologue, a rant, and a prayer,” a title made famous by writer Eve Ensler, here comes to mind. It encompasses the forms of emotional manifestation—both boisterous in outrage and solemn in prayer—that human beings express in times of difficulty. The world serves as an entertainer’s platform, maintaining the privilege to be universally heard. Instead of garnering attention for petty Tweets, influencers must consider the consequences of having the courage to stand up for morality and empathy.
A Twitter war will not spark change. It will not resonate with the families mourning their loved ones. If the objective is to be recognized, why not be known for something greater, something more challenging than being fancy? Iggy, while remaining silent can be deafening, we hear you. Loud and clear.