Azealia Banks is in the middle of a crisis and we need to be there for her.
(@azealiabanks / Instagram)
[Editor’s note: This article contains details on suicidal thoughts and can be triggering for some readers.
If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts or are in need of emotional support, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255]
Known for outlandish statements and a problematic past, it’s become commonplace to dismiss whatever Azealia Banks has to say on social media. But after posting a series of suicidal messages on her Instagram story on Sunday, it’s clear that she’s entered a dark place and cannot be dismissed any longer.
“Yea, I think I’m done here,” Azealia wrote. “This pandemic, extreme lack of social interaction, no intimacy, combined with constant public ridicule is making life harder than it’s worth. I think I will end my tenure here on Earth soon.”
At around 5 a.m. and later 2 p.m. the same day, Azealia posted a series of more than 70 videos to her Instagram story of her speaking rather emotionally while displaying a black screen.
Throughout the clips, she said “The decision is made,” she’s looking for voluntary euthanasia options and that she's looking for someone to take care of her dogs who she loves.
She expressed that she’s been wronged countless times by those in the music industry, especially those on the internet, and that she would rather die than continue to be someone who is constantly ridiculed and made fun of.
Reading and listening to these gut-wrenching messages is enough to make anybody fear for Azealia’s life and state of mind. While she claimed that she is actually at peace with her decision, it’s more than clear that she’s in extreme distress.
Yes, Azealia Banks has made controversial and often offensive statements in the past. But is that enough to invalidate this crisis? Is that enough to disregard someone on the brink of suicide? Absolutely not.
Despite her request for people to refrain from sending her messages, she’s been met with an outpouring of support.
But there are always those people that just can’t read the room.
Amongst all the support are vile tweets from inconsiderate lowlifes who refuse to offer support simply because they think “she’s the meanest person ever.”
What these assholes don’t realize is that they’re participating in misogynoir — misogyny specifically aimed towards Black women.
Because of the “angry Black woman” narrative, too many people believe that Black women are more aggressive and are therefore better equipped to handle whatever struggle is thrown at them.
The same narrative was pushed onto Meg Thee Stallion after she was shot in both feet and the internet cracked jokes at Meg’s expense as if she hadn't gone through something incredibly painful and traumatic. In the long wait to achieve justice for Breonna Taylor, the internet turned her into a meme.
It shouldn't be this hard to respect a Black woman's sufferings.
When fellow rapper Kanye West endured a mental breakdown live on Twitter last month, #PrayforYe trended for hours. It’s only fair for the Internet to show up with just as much heart and support as it did with Kanye, if not more.
When will we all learn that it’s wildly inappropriate to use someone’s past as an excuse to continue bullying them into taking their own life? You don’t have to agree with the things she’s said in the past. You don’t even have to like her.
But it’s important that she’s offered respect and support in the midst of her mental health struggle.
Constantly being at arms with both the entire internet and with yourself at the same time is a situation that very few of us can understand. It’s easy to sit behind a screen and not realize the damage you’re inflicting on someone.
What Azealia needs is help, not an army of relentless trolls who see her as a meme and not a human. Take the time to ask yourself if the things you’re saying are harmless, or could put someone in a place like Azealia Banks’.
Christelle Pierre is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. When not writing, one can find Christelle holding a YA novel in one hand and an iced coffee in the other. She can be reached on Instagram @x.hristelle.