Palin told PEOPLE exclusively in a statement that she will take legal action against Banks “on behalf of all reasonable women of every age, race and political leaning.”
“I’ve had enough of the unanswered threats and attacks against my family and me,” Palin said of Banks’ NSFW social media suggestion that the former governor should be sexually assaulted. “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 to Palin’s statement within hours by posting a lengthy letter of apology on her Tumblr account:
“Dear Sarah Palin,
I hope this message reaches you in good spirits and in good health. I want to start this letter off by telling you that I actually, really like you. 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. You’re very passionate about the things you believe in, super determined, and most certainly aware of who you are and where you stand in this world, as a parent, as a politician, but most importantly, as a woman.
Given the propensity of conservative right-wing media publications to veer into very fearful/erroneous/baseless/contradictory/prejudice analyses of us ‘melanated,’ peoples of the United States, It should come as no shock to you that a satirical article accusing you of saying, ‘Even the French understand that Slavery wasn’t our fault because the negroes liked it,’ Would be provocative enough to ruffle a few feathers. Now since learning that the article was not published officially, I sincerely apologize for any emotional distress or reputational scarring i may have caused you.
In my honest defense, i 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. As the fabric of the American Nation is EMBEDDED with racism, I merely made a raCIALly driven joke to counter what i believed to be real, raCIST rhetoric.
Also, i never said you should be raped. I used the term ‘run a train,’ which is slang for group sex, NOT for ‘rape.’ There are many distinctions between the two. As a woman, I would never trivialize something as lewd and criminal to provide myself any sort of comic relief because it simply just isn’t funny. (and no, urbandictionary.com is not a reputable source of information to seek clarity on the aforementioned dichotomy). However, i find great irony in the right-wing media’s attempt to ‘victimize,’ you in this situation. Seeking empathy through sensationalism is something left-leaning liberals are frequently ridiculed for by the Right. But American Hypocrisy is nothing new. Considering the imminence of 2016’s polarizing presidential election, I’ve taken it upon myself to do my own social research. I’ve recently had the opportunity to indulge in a few lengthy conversations with some very popular conservative figures. I’ve concluded: Amongst millennial conservatives, Censorship paired with the (questionable) social necessity for political correctness are atop the list of social grievances. It is as though this newest generation of conservative voters desire the right to express their true feelings, free of any filter and free of any consequence. I too harbor a similar sentiment regarding censorship and self-expression, as i am an artist. I cherish my ability to express myself freely, yet remain totally aware that for every action, there will be a reaction. All in All, Woman to Woman, I hope you will accept my sincerest apology.
Sincerely, – Miss Azealia A Banks.”
Banks concluded the letter with a series of postscripts – including one taking aim at Palin’s daughter Bristol.
“P.S.: – 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.”
In Banks’ initial tweets, some of which were deleted but screengrabbed by the Media Research Center, Banks, 24, wrote that she hoped someone would “bang some sense into that h-.” Banks’ rant, in which she also charged that Palin is never “coherent or cohesive,” appeared to be in response to a satirical news article that jokingly featured Palin saying that black people “accepted [slavery] willingly.”
“Azealia engages in a form of racism and hate that is celebrated by some in the perverted arm of pop culture, but is condemned by those who know it’s tearing our country apart,” Palin’s statement said. “Others may keep turning a blind eye to problems like Azealia’s mouth; I choose to take a stand against it and the double standards that result in her actually being rewarded for her divisive tactics and aggressively inciting violence.”
Banks has used social media to voice controversial opinions in the past: late last year she faced backlash after tweeting that the “LGBT community (GGGG) are like the gay white KKK’s. Get them some pink hoods and unicorns and let them rally down Rodeo Drive.”
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A source in the Palin camp says the former governor is “in discussions with attorneys” about the exact nature of the suit and where and when it will be filed.
“Why is it if anyone looks at some liberal women the wrong way they can yell “RAPE” and ruin peoples lives (the Duke Lacrosse team, anyone?), but when serious violence is threatened against someone not of their political ilk, no one bats an eye,” Palin says.
Palin’s statement continues, “First, to get politics out of the way here, it’s reported that I ‘really shouldn’t mind’ Azealia degrading, dangerous calls for a woman to be raped because she’s supposedly ‘some kind of Donald Trump surrogate’ or supporter, as am I. I’ll speak for Mr. Trump on only one issue, and that’s that he denounces Azealia’s endorsement and her pro-rape, anti-woman stands. And if I’m wrong on that denunciation, then Mr. Trump isn’t who I thought he was.
“And second, let’s be honest here: if a white girl were to say what this black girl is saying, the screams for the entire white population’s head would be louder than the nonsensical rap that Azealia spews all the way to the bank. The white girl would probably be locked up.
“Here’s what I just sent to some important women in my life (they happen to be black, white, Indian, Eskimo; young and not-so-young) after reading Azealia’s calls for rape by thugs: “Gals, I hope this evil chick rapper isn’t on any of your playlists” and https://m.facebook.com/sarahpalin/posts/10154115152888588. Be edified by their responses:
Omg, Sarah, can you imagine if someone told a black girl she needs to be f’ed by a gang of white guys?? That girl would be in jail/Don’t even know who that chick is, but she’s deranged.Mom, you need a bulldog attorney. You think mean girls are going to stop doing this to girls who don’t deserve it if we always have to sit down and shut up and pretend this stuff is ok? You taught us better than that!! That girl is dangerous.
“On your behalf, I think this time I don’t just sit back and swallow it, but put the fear of God in her by holding her accountable. As many of you have for years implored me to do, I’m finally going to sue.”
“It’s a matter of not sitting back and keep on swallowing this kind of recent attack that’s on top of years of all the other unanswered attacks and lies that smart supporters have also had to suffer through. These supporters often wonder why ‘I’ just accept the lies and threats, for acceptance of wrongdoing is a sign of weak leadership. It disappoints supporters looking for the kind of strength we see in leaders who’ll fight for justice.”
“The kind of strength we’d tell our own kids to exercise so they don’t fall victim to repeated, unanswered lies and violent bullying – like this issue where I supposedly said racist garbage in some fake interview wherein the writer has still not been held accountable.”