Sarah Palin vowed to sue Azealia Banks over comments the rapper made on Twitter Monday calling for the former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential nominee to be gang-raped by black men.
In a statement provided to People magazine, Palin wrote that she would bring a lawsuit against the 24-year-old Slay-Z rapper “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 wrote. “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.”
On Monday, Banks posted a series of graphic messages on Twitter in which she suggested Palin should be shaved bald, forced to perform oral sex on black men, and then be gang-raped by them, and that the incident should be filmed and uploaded to World Star Hip Hop.
“Sarah Palin needs to have her hair shaved off to a buzz cut, get headf—ked by a big veiny, ashy, black d—k then be locked in a cupboard,” Banks wrote in a since-deleted tweet that was captured by Media Research Center.
“Honestly… Let’s find the biggest burliest blackest n—es and let them run a train on her. Film it and put it on worldstar,” she wrote in another since-deleted message.
Palin addressed the tweets in an open letter to the rapper on Tuesday, where she asked Banks to join her to “work together on something worthwhile — like condemning racism, along with empowering young women to defend themselves against a most misogynist, degrading, devastating assault perpetrated by evil men — rape.”
But the former Alaska governor was more forceful in her statement to People, telling the magazine that Banks “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.”
“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,” Palin wrote.
Banks appeared to apologize to Palin in an open letter on her Tumblr page Tuesday.
“I want to start this letter off by telling you that I actually, really like you,” the rapper wrote. “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.)
“I sincerely apologize for any emotional distress or reputational scarring i may have caused you,” Banks added. “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 [sic].”
But it appears the apology may not be enough to dissuade Palin from a lawsuit.
“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,” Palin told People. “As many of you have for years implored me to do, I’m finally going to sue.”
Read Palin’s complete statement here.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum