It’s only been a few years since white supremacists were taking advantage of Taylor Swift’s silence on political topics to claim that she was secretly one of them, plus that time Swift’s lawyer tried to stop a blogger from suggesting that she should stop sitting on the sidelines and either embrace or denounce the racists in her fanbase, but Swift has actually publicly supported Democratic candidates since then and even detailed her lean to the left in Netflix’s Miss Americana documentary. Now, with America’s history of institutional racism being thrust into the spotlight because of the nation’s police departments’ inability to stop killing Black people, Swift has joined in on renewed calls for states to start tearing down statues commemorating famous racists.
Specifically, Swift is speaking out against statues of racist newspaper editor Edward Carmack and Confederate general/Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest in her home state of Tennessee, posting in a surprisingly killer Twitter thread that the two of them are “DESPICABLE figures in our state history and should be treated as such.” It’s a long one, but here are some highlights:
The statue of Carmack was torn down by protestors in May, but Swift says she’s going to ask the Capitol Commission and the Tennessee Historical Commission to stop fighting to protect statues like this—noting that even that “isn’t going to fix centuries of systemic oppression, violence, and hatred” but it could still “bring us one small step closer to making ALL Tennesseans and visitors to our state feel safe - not just the white ones.”
For the record, these statues are a little more modern than you might think. The Carmack statue was built in the late-’20s and the horrible Forrest statue that Swift mentioned in her thread is from the ‘90s. Also, Forrest’s birthday is still recognized as a holiday in Tennessee. This country has some fucking problems.
Looking for ways to advocate for Black lives? Check out this list of resources by our sister site Lifehacker for ways to get involved.