Taylor Vs Nicki: How The VMA Nominations Highlight Racism In America

by Robbie Salapuddin

By now, many of you have heard about the Twitter "fued" between Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift.

On Tuesday, Minaj posted some subtle tweets about her music videos "Anaconda" and "Feeling Myself" being snubbed out of MTV's VMAs for Video of the Year:

"If I was a different 'kind' of artist, Anaconda would be nominated for best choreo and vid of the year as well."

Swift responded with:

"I've done nothing but love & support you. It's unlike you to pit women against each other. Maybe one of the men took your slot.."

The media quickly turned these tweets into an all-out female feud, depicting Minaj as the stereotypical "Angry Black Woman" and Swift as a victim. Neither of these descriptions are valid, as evidenced by Minaj's response:

"Huh? U must not be reading my tweets. Didn't say a word about u. I love u just as much. But u should speak on this."

The most important thing to note here is how Swift immediately mistook Minaj's complaints as being specifically targeted toward her.

Minaj, however, was discussing the broader issue of racial discrimination within the music industry and pop culture.

This is something white people can have a hard time understanding. When you're not a minority and haven't faced specific hardships based on your skin color, it's more difficult to notice the injustices.

Swift, a blonde-haired and blue-eyed musician, has made a smooth transition from a country star to pop princess. She has been embraced and praised in both genres, and she has skillfully excelled in both markets.

White women (though not without their own set of obstacles) are at least able to steer in different lanes than the ones they started in, and they are often applauded and crowned for it.

But, black women and minorities are not afforded the same luxury.

"Anaconda" broke Vevo records with over 19.6 million views within 24 hours (only to be upped most recently by Swift's "Bad Blood" video).

Where is Minaj's recognition for such a feat? If it were Miley Cyrus who reached similar goals and records as Minaj, don't you think she would have been recognized for it along with Swift?

Minaj dominates the hip-hop world with over 71 singles, and she has also had successful pop crossover with several of her own tracks, including "Super Bass" and "Anaconda."

Yet, she remains confined as solely a hip-hop artist, even when her songs sit alongside Swift's on the top of the charts or are played back-to-back with Swift's on the radio.

Again, this happens because she's black.

Look to all the times Kanye West tried (and failed) to emphasize Beyoncé's lack of recognition at award shows, despite her massive cultural and musical influence.

Why did Macklemore win a Grammy instead of Kendrick Lamar?

Society's mindset has trained us to see black people only within the constraints the media has put them in: hip-hop, street, ratchet, ghetto, secondary.

Black people just aren't as easily considered mainstream or equal to their white musical counterparts. Minorities are measured to a lower standard.

Despite "Anaconda" being one of the most viewed, discussed and recognizable songs and videos of the year, it isn't nominated for the biggest VMA award. This is something all people should recognize.

This isn't about whether or not Taylor Swift deserves the nominations. (She's had an incredibly successful year and obviously should get that nod.)

It's about how Minaj — just as equally — deserves recognition and isn't getting it. It's about how Minaj's accomplishments (massive success stories for any artist) are overlooked simply because — say it with me — she's black.

Nicki Minaj goes on to vent about this further in a reply to another tweet:

"I'm not always confident. Just tired. Black women influence pop culture so much but are rarely rewarded for it."

People shouldn't blame Swift for these racial prejudices just because she's a participant and a white woman.

But, as a white woman of significant power and influence, she should take this moment to understand this isn't about her at all. It's about a larger racial issue the VMAs brought to light.

In order for white people to better understand, just because you're white, it doesn't mean black people are against you. But, as a white person, you should realize society is built against minorities.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Elite Daily.