Azalea has caught the ire of music critics, feminists and anti-racist activists of all kinds. They denounce her lyrics, alleged racist tweets and her “mimicry of sonic blackness”. They also argue that she displays, at best, an uncomfortable ignorance about the complexities of race issues. But what she represents is more complex than a white girl who doesn’t think before she speaks: actually, she is the inevitable product of neoliberal capitalism, and in some ways she is much a victim of it as a culprit.
No, really: before the dreadful neoliberals arrived with their capitalism we never did have pretty girls singing on stages. Nor any songs that appropriated the cultures of another nor even any racism. All of these things have only happened in the past 30-40 years that the neoliberals have been poisoning the minds of da youf.
She puts on an American accent when she raps because that’s what the vast majority of Australian musicians do when they sing – kind of like little kids who put on an American accent when they play pretend – because the world of the imagination in her country is dominated by US products.
As I recall it was only Ringo who sang in Liverpudlian. Those damn neoliberals, eh?
In 2012, female workers in the US were earning 77% that of their male counterparts. Non-Anglo women, however, were also more likely to be without health insurance; have higher mortality rates from diseases such as breast cancer; a higher occurrence of HIV; higher infant, fetal and perinatal mortality rates; and were far more likely to be the target of sexual assault — particularly if they are Native American. In Australia, the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in the health system is only the beginning of the story.
Haranguing Azalea and over again for her thoughtlessness isn’t going to get us any closer to solving the root problems: the systemic inequality perpetuated by capitalism over colonised and marginalised peoples; the sexism entrenched in the capitalist process in which black women fare significantly worse than white women, and the particularly twisted cluster of exploitation in which a black man can make a fortune off a single-minded white woman taking pride in her own ignorance.
Australian leftists are even more mad than British ones. Discuss.