#CurryScentedBitcH & Clapback's Implications

*trigger warning*

1) Chain of Events

Long story short, Azealia Banks accused Zayn Malik of copying her "Yung Rapunxel" video in his newest release "Like I Would". Zayn tweeted ambiguous texts that were most likely aimed at her and then things escalated [full outline of events - Buzzfeed].

More than the outline of events, what's far more interesting and important is the whys and aftermath.

2) Series of Selfies or a Movement

Punjabi comedian, JusReign, clapped back with a hilarious series of tweets trying to understand what how exactly "punjab" is an insult, eventually starting a wave of selfies with the hashtag #CurryScentedBitch by the South Asian community to stand in solidarity with Zayn and speak against xenophobia.

But what's the point, you ask? It's just a bunch of South Asian girls posting selfies, right? Well, it's a little more nuanced.

Here's why #CurryScentedBitch is important. Where Azealia aimed "curry scented bitch" to be an insult, South Asian women are reclaiming the rhetoric. Though Asians benefit as model minorities with economical and educational successes, South Asians have a long history of racism in the form of denial of land ownership & citizenship, anti-miscegenation laws and targets of racial slurs and violence [source]. With more South Asian visibility on mainstream media with Priyanka Chopra on ABC's Quantico and Sundar Pichai as Google CEO, we are fighting to have our voices heard and challenge problematic stereotypes about our community.

3) inter-South Asian solidarity

Azealia's racial slurs and anti-muslim/anti-Pakistani rhetoric target Zayn, an English Pakistani singer, and speak to her clear islamaphobia and xenophobia. With Trump as the presidential frontrunner for the GOP, the biggest refugee crisis since WWII, and media systematically accusing and attacking the entire population of Muslims based off the actions of a few, it's no doubt islamophobia is live and well across the world. However, it is important to understand that her commentary also homogenizes the entire South Asian community when using comments like "Punjab", "sand n*gg**" and "curry scented bitch" as a tool to insult Zayn. South Asia is incredibly diverse with different states, ethnicities, religions and cultures, but it also has many things in common - one of which being that to most non-South Asian people, we all "look the same". Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Nepalis, Punjabis, Kashmiris, etc inclusive. To them, we are one. We're all brown. Sikhs regularly being screened and violently attacked due to being mistaken for Muslims is a prime example of diverse cultures and people being homogenized by the West. The wave of tweets speak to a inter-South Asian solidarity fighting against islamophobia and xenophobia as a community. Of course this sentiment isn't shared by the community as a whole, but hopefully movements like these will start meaningful dialogue between the community, for the community.

4) Perpetuating Racism vs South Asian solidarity

As shitty as her words and actions may have been, Azealia Banks is not a racist. She is clearly xenophobic, disrespecting and discriminating Zayn for being a Pakistani Muslim, but she isn't a racist. As a black woman, she has no power - economically, socially and politically - to structurally oppress non-Black people based on race. This article does a better job of explaining the details of why - here. Basically, don't pull an M.I.A [more on this on Kajal Mag]. What I'm down for - South Asians standing in solidarity and amplifying our voices as a community. What's not cool - attacking a black woman and doing the exact thing we're standing up against.