Taylor Swift called for her home state to remove statues that “celebrate racist historical figures”
For the second time, Taylor Swift used her voice to demand action in her home state of Tennessee. Swift made her first political statement ever when she endorsed the Democratic candidates for Tennessee in the 2016 midterm elections. Now, in light of the Black Lives Matter movement, Swift is using social media to fight for change in her home state again. This time, the singer called out the state for not only allowing Confederate monuments to stand for years, but also for vowing to rebuild a statue that was torn down during a recent protest.
In a thread of 10 tweets on June 12th, Taylor Swift addressed the state of Tennessee directly. She began by detailing the history of Edward Carmack and Nathan Bedford Forrest, who she calls “DESPICABLE figures in our state history.” Edward Carmack was a newspaper editor who published pro-lynching editorials. Nathan Bedford Forrest was the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
After detailing both Carmack and Forrest’s history as a white supremacist and slave trader, respectively, Swift noted how keeping these statues standing has affected and would continue to affect Tennesseans. “Taking down statues isn’t going to fix centuries of systemic oppression, violence and hatred that black people have had to endure but it might bring us one small step closer to making ALL Tennesseans and visitors to our state feel safe—not just the white ones.”
The singer also noted the difference between “heroes” and “villains,” and how that difference should be reflected in Tennessee—and everywhere else, too.
“We need to retroactively change the status of people who perpetuated hideous patterns of racism from ‘heroes’ to ‘villains.’ And villains don’t deserve statues,” Swift wrote.
Swift continued by addressing two specific organizations: the Capitol Commission and the Tennessee Historical Commission. “I’m asking the Capitol Commission and the Tennessee Historical Commission to please consider the implications of how hurtful it would be to continue fighting for these monuments,” Swift wrote on Twitter.
In conclusion, the star wrote, “When you fight to honor racists, you show black Tennesseans and all of their allies where you stand, and you continue this cycle of hurt. You can’t change history, but you can change this.”
This Twitter thread marks yet another occasion where Swift is using her platform to stand up and voice her political beliefs to hopefully effect change.