Singer Taylor Swift has no time for statues dedicated to commemorating dead racists in her home state of Tennessee.
The pop star on Friday joined the surging nationwide backlash against monuments honouring racist historical figures with a withering thread on Twitter, in which she declared “it makes me sick” that the statues are still standing and advocated for the state to stop preserving such tributes.
Swift described newspaperman and politician Edward Carmack, whose newspapers published racist rhetoric, and Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan — who both have statues in their honour — as “DESPICABLE figures in our state history” who “should be treated as such.”
The “Shake It Off” singer said plans to repair and replace the statue of Carmack, which was toppled in anti-racist protests last week, were “a waste of state funds and a waste of an opportunity to do the right thing.”
Swift, who remained relatively silent during the 2016 election but has since become increasingly political in the last two years, acknowledged that “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 wrote.
“We need to retroactively change the status of people who perpetuated hideous patterns of racism from ‘heroes’ to ‘villains,’” said Swift. “And villains don’t deserve statues.”
“When you fight to honour racists, you show black Tennesseans and all of their allies where you stand, and you continue this cycle of hurt,” the musician concluded. “You can’t change history, but you can change this.”
Check out Swift’s full Twitter thread here: