Earlier in the semester we discussed the reading Whiteness as Property where the claims were made that the characteristic of being white resembles property because there are certain rights and privileges that come along with being white and there are certain functions that whiteness allows a white individual. These functions are important because they include the right to enjoyment, right to reputation, and the right to exclude. I completely buy into the idea that whiteness is a form of property. There are examples in modern society that uphold this notion and show that minorities also recognize that whiteness is viewed as a desirable trait.
One of the most recent examples of whiteness as property comes in a widely publicized feud via Twitter. Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks had several exchanges via the media over how race has played a part in Iggy’s recent rise to fame. Azealia Banks posited that Iggy Azalea’s success is largely due to the fact that she is a white woman, claiming that Iggy isn’t better than any … black girl that’s rapping today. What do we make of her claims? I buy into them. Iggy has no defense for herself other than claiming that Azaleah is trying to make Iggy’s success a racial or political matter (more on that here). It is racial and political, though, isn’t it? Instead of taking time to realize the position that she has been afforded in such a short amount of time, she has chosen to assert that it is all from her own hard work. Now I’m sure that she worked hard. However, did she work any harder than women in the same position that just so happen to be of a different race?
Iggy’s race has given her privileges and rights that other black female rappers, as pointed out by Azealia, have not been afforded. There needs to be dialogue around that. Instead of embracing and discussing the cultures in America, it appears to me that the new trend is for white celebrities to put their name on something that others have labored over. Sound familiar?