Taylor Swift Speaks Out Against Tennessee’s Confederate Monuments
Taylor Swift, once notoriously silent on politics, has been raising her voice more and more often lately in support of progressive causes. She’s been especially vocal in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the wave of Black Lives Matter protests sweeping the globe, rebuking Donald Trump for apparently threatening violence against protesters and arguing in favor of police reform and mail-in voting. Now she has weighed in on the question of Confederate monuments.
Swift has posted a tweet thread calling for the removal of Confederate monuments in her adopted home state of Tennessee. Specifically, she takes issues with statues of newspaper editor Edward Carmack and Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest, who she describes as “DESPICABLE figures in our state history.” Carmack’s statue in the state capitol was torn down during a recent protest, but the state of Tennessee intends to replace it, which Swift calls “a waste of state funds and a waste of an opportunity to do the right thing.” Forrest, the first Grand Wizard in the Ku Klux Klan, has his own state holiday on July 13, a monstrously ugly statue along I-65 just south of Nashville, and a bust in the state capitol. The Tennessee House voted against removing the bust on Wednesday, at which point Rep. Jerry Sexton argued, “It was not against the law to own slaves back then. Who knows, maybe some of us will be slaves one of these days. Laws change.”
In her thread, Swift writes, “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. 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. 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.”
Read her full tweetstorm below.