Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Some wonder about whether or not the musician is being targeted.

May, 16, 2016

Award-winning writer Carol Hood breaks down free speech and social media in regards to the recent deactivation of Azealia Bank’s Twitter account following the 24-year-old rapper’s numerous rants. Azealia Banks had made headlines for her homophobic and racist tweets and her account on Twitter was temporarily deactivated.  
In response, her suspension was met with the celebration of #AzealiaGotSuspendedParty. However Hood’s response to the silencing of Banks in The Establishment begs us to explore the question, ‘Is there a double standard regarding freedom of speech on social media?’

8 Times Azealia Banks Had Us Talking​
“While I celebrate that festivals have dropped Banks as a headliner and Twitter promptly suspended her account for her actions, I find it absolutely disgusting that I can pull up my mentions right now and point out several white people who have tweeted to me that I am a worthless ni**er with no future and looking for a handout—and no matter how many times I report them, the response is the usual, ‘this is not a violation of policy.’ Oh-ho really? Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by white privilege on social platforms,” Hood writes.
Hood draws from examples like the “neutral language” used in the way news outlets reported George Zimmerman’s auction of the gun that killed Trayvon Martin, or Facebook headquarter’s censoring of “Black Lives Matter” on their actual wall, and let’s not forget Donald Trump’s antics and his goons for supporters (ie. the KKK).
Hood also remarks the lack of diversity that exists in Twitter and Facebook’s staff.
“Considering that Twitter’s staff is predominately white males, despite the service being primarily used by Black Millennials. Considering that Facebook’s staff is 70% white males, and its efforts to hire diversely are, frankly, pathetic. Considering that way too many Americans don’t even appear to understand what free speech is… despite its actual intent being to protect American citizens from government retaliation. Considering all these factors, it seems clear that freedom of speech and hate speech are simply defined by whoever has the power,” Hood states.
She ends with a decree that “racism needs to have consequences, always – not just for Azealia Banks.”
Read her entire response here.

WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.