opinion

COLUMN: We can't stop Miley Cyrus' ignorance, but we can try



Once again, the MTV Video Music Awards established a precedent of drama and outrageousness that will be hard to top in subsequent shows.

From Kanye’s announcement of his 2020 presidential bid to Justin Bieber’s tearful flying performance, we all had enough material to dish about Monday.

However, the smackdown Nicki Minaj brought to the stage on Miley Cyrus was what got everyone talking.

The question isn’t whether or not Nicki calling Miley out was the biggest slam in award show history — we all know it was.

What we need to be asking is why this 1,000-degree burn on public display was needed.

If you haven’t been in the loop about the latest he said, she said, I’ll fill you in.

Nicki Minaj commented on Twitter to express her disappointment about “Anaconda” not being nominated for Video of the Year after the announcement of VMA nominations in July.

This started a chain of events that involved a Twitter feud with Taylor Swift, a kiss-and-make-up performance with the same artist at the VMAs and the eventual bashing of Minaj in the press by Miley Cyrus.

While accepting her award for “Anaconda” as Best Hip-Hop Music Video, Nicki thanked her pastor before she said, “And now, back to this bitch that had a lot to say about me the other day in the press. Miley, what’s good?”

Rebel Wilson’s reaction behind Nicki was one we were all wearing, and there’s no doubt in my mind Taylor thanked her lucky stars for making up with the raptress before the show.

However, before we start labeling Nicki as the stereotypical mad, black woman, we should think about why she hurled a verbal grenade.

Miley chose not only to openly critique Nicki’s disappointment with the VMA nominations and the racial problems with award shows, but she decided to go to a newspaper and publicize her disapproval.

Miley didn’t tweet at Nicki Minaj like Taylor Swift or have a close friend drop hints at US Weekly.

She spoke to the New York Times.

As a host, this is not only traitorous, but it’s just plain stupid.

You’re the focus of the entire show, but you’re going to comment about another 
artist who’s up for an award?

Sure, print isn’t as 
sensationalized as a live broadcast of an award show.

However, both are just as public and permanent.

And Miley took the first shot.

Yes, we’ve all been told that two wrongs don’t make a right.

But I believe Nicki thought addressing Miley in the open in such a surprising and shocking manner was the only way to get a direct response from her.

However, the 22-year-old was still able to play it off, and she said, “Hey, we’re all in this industry, we all do interviews, and we all know how they manipulate shit.”

Yeah, it’s really hard to twist words when the New York Times article mentioned was a Q&A, and you’re directly quoted as saying, “What I read sounded very Nicki Minaj, which, if you know Nicki Minaj, is not too kind. It’s not very polite.”

Everyone is allowed to speak their mind, but don’t be surprised when you comment about someone in the press and they call you out on it.

However, Miley’s issues go beyond Nicki Minaj and involve every black artist 
featured at the VMAs.

Miley paraded around the stage in dreads, called Snoop Dogg her “mammy” and dismissed a black woman’s outrage over race issues in the music industry — which Kanye also addressed in his iconic, baked speech.

This combination of cultural appropriation, joking about racial stereotypes and shrugging off race problems is the aftereffect of racism.

There’s simply no nicer way to put it — Miley was racist.

Now, it’s normal to wonder why some white girl’s ignorance on race issues has anything to do with us here in Bloomington, but it does.

Whether you like her or not, Miley Cyrus has become a figurehead for progressive music after coming out as gender-fluid and being open about sex.

More and more teens are recognizing her as wild Miley rather than Hannah Montana, and that’s creating the possibility for her to be 
idolized.

It’s terrifying that 
someone who disregards marginalized groups when they speak out against her could also have her picture hanging on some kid’s wall, her songs played at Dunnkirk and her music immortalized in her image.

Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

More in Opinion



Comments powered by Disqus