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'Don't bother telling anyone they're 'too easily offended' if you were outraged over what Azealia Banks said on Instagram'

Maybe the real snowflakes were the ones who got upset at Azealia Banks along the way.

Wireless Festival - London Source: Yui Mok

THERE’S A LOT of talk these days about how easily offended young people are.

In particular, young people who speak out about homophobia, sexism, transphobia and racism. You know, those people who are often told that they “can’t take a joke” and hate the idea of “free speech” whenever they use their right to free speech to express annoyance at people picking on minorities and marginalised groups. In situations like this, the words “easily offended”, “triggered” and “snowflakes” are thrown around a lot. 

And yet, when the nation was bursting with outrage over Azealia Banks crying on Instagram and saying that “Irish women are ugly”, none of these people were told to shut up, get over it and stop being so easily offended. In the grand scheme of things, this is a fairly ridiculous thing to get upset over.

The comments were stupid, we’re not making any excuses for them or defending them, but seriously – how fragile would you have to be to actually find yourself outraged over these inconsequential comments, that don’t target you as an individual? It’s likely that many of these people who were overly upset by what Azealia Banks said on Instagram are the same people who were losing their shit and screaming “snowflakes!!!” in December when LGBTQ people politely asked if people could consider refraining from singing the homophobic slur in Fairytale of New York.  

Were you upset when you read that nurses were told to stop calling patients ‘love’ or ‘dear’ back in December? Did you think that PC culture had gone mad? Even though it turned out that the story was completely false and the HSE confirmed that there was no ban on pet names? Maybe you’re the one who’s a bit too sensitive, if you’re that eager to believe fake news stories, just for the sake of getting offended about something really minor. 

At least when people say they’re offended by homophobia, sexism, racism and transphobia, it comes from a place of empathy. They are either sick of discrimination or are actively trying to make sure that others are not uncomfortable or upset by anybody’s actions or comments.

When people say they’re sick of homophobic or racist slurs, it’s usually because 1) they are/were bullied, ridiculed and oppressed by language like that at some stage in their lives and associate that kind of language with being treated horribly or 2) are decent human beings who can recognise the discomfort that this kind of language can cause others.

When people are upset by the idea of nurses not being able to use pet names, Azealia Banks calling citizens of a nation ugly, or someone saying a word in a song is a bit insensitive, it’s probably just because they like giving out about things. 

download (1) Source: Azealia Banks/Instagram

Again, we’re not defending anything Azealia Banks said. We’re not “brown-nosing” her, or taking her side in this situation. What we are saying is that it’s really ridiculous to get so upset by her comments that you threaten to pelt shit and potatoes at her while she’s on stage. The attitude Banks displayed towards Irish people and her belittlement of the famine and how the Brits treated us for 800 years is typical of a disturbing number of people from imperial nations, but at the end of the day, it’s not worth threatening her with physical assault and making racist comments.

Aside from just being a shitty thing to do, it’s just not very becoming – especially when she’s screenshotting it and putting it on her story for the rest of the world to see. Every person who sent Azealia Banks abuse just proved her point and allowed her to curate an Instagram story showcasing some of Ireland’s most juvenile individuals. 

If you really want to get back at her, the thing that would hurt someone like Azealia Banks the most would be if nobody gave her any attention. That is something you should keep in mind next time you read something on the internet that gets you so incensed that you turn purple, rather than indulging your urge to use the situation as an excuse to be racist. 

If nothing else, you should try and learn something about empathy from this.

If you sincerely felt upset by Azealia Banks’ comments about Irish people being the peasants of the UK, and you were upset that she made light of the famine to the point where you think her concert should have been cancelled and her music should be boycotted, then maybe you should listen to people who feel that way about celebrities and sportspeople who you defend from “snowflakes.” 

You didn’t think her comments were funny, just as other people didn’t think it was funny when Conor McGregor told Jose Aldo:

I own this town, I own Rio de Janeiro, so for him to say that he is the king and I am the joker, if this was a different time, I would invade his favela on horseback, and would kill anyone who wasn’t fit to work, but we’re in a new time now, so I’ll whoop his ass instead. 

And yet, there’s probably a good chance that when everybody complained about McGregor’s comments, you thought, “Relax! It’s just a joke!” Realistically, Conor’s comments were worse than Azealia’s. The equivalent to this joke would be if Azealia joked about being a landlord during the famine and killing people who weren’t fit to work. Yet, we didn’t see all of Ireland turning their back on Conor McGregor for that comment. Nor did we see them expressing outrage any of the other time’s Conor McGregor made racist comments about Mayweather. 

Next time you’re going to get offended, make sure it’s over something that actually matters. 

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About the author:

Kelly Earley

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