Taylor Swift Calls for the Removal of White Supremacist Statues
Taylor Swift asked the Tennessee government to remove racist statues and monuments.
The "Lover" singer shared her impassioned plea with her home state on her social media accounts on Friday (June 12).
"As a Tennessean, it makes me sick that there are monuments standing in our state that celebrate racist historical figures who did evil things," she wrote. "Edward Carmack and Nathan Bedford Forrest were DESPICABLE figures in our state history and should be treated as such."
Carmack's statue was located in the state Capitol before it was torn down during protests on May 30. The state said that they plan to replace the statue.
The 30-year-old songwriter explained who Carmack was "a white supremacist newspaper editor who published pro-lynching editorials and incited the arson of the office of Ida B. Wells (who actually deserves a hero's statue for her pioneering work in journalism and civil rights)."
Swift called the replacement of Carmack's statue a "waste of state funds and a waste of an opportunity to do the right thing."
As for the other statue, Swift called Forrest a "monstrosity," explaining he was "a brutal slave trader and the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, whom during the Civil War, massacred dozens of black Union soldiers in Memphis."
Swift informed her followers that his statue is still standing as of June 12 and that he even has his own holiday on July 13: Nathan Bedford Forrest Day.
Although taking down racist monuments and statues would be a step in the right direction, Swift also acknowledged that it would not solve everything.
"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," she explained.
"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," she added.
Swift went on to ask the Capitol Commission and Tennessee Historical Commission to stop fighting for the statues.
"Please consider the implications of how hurtful it would be to continue fighting for these monuments," she captioned her Instagram post. "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."
See the post, below.