dear taylor, we need to talk about the nazi stuff



Dear Taylor,

I'm not a diehard fan, but I've always found your music catchy.

If I saw you at an airport I wouldn't find myself standing in a puddle of my own making, but I also wouldn't throw my breakfast burrito at you. I'd be like, "Woah," and then I'd go on FB and be like "Woah!"

Also, you should know that my 5-year-old and 3-year-old sons agree on only 3 things:

1. Pre-dessert before dessert.
2. Every Hot Wheel is worth dying for, but the only Queen Car is worth killing for.
3. "Shake it Off" is, indeed, a sick beat.

I really respect a lot about you.

Not just your skill in songwriting and on-point management of your brand.

But also the way you fought for artist compensation in what I like to think of as "Dear Spotify, Fuck You Pay Me."

I admire the way you have begun to evolve as a feminist. Nowadays you're all about smashing the patriarchy, talking about misogyny, financially and publicly supporting Kesha in her fight against Doctor Smegma or whatever the fuck his name is.

I mean, sure, you're selling albums on your feminism. And nope, I don't believe you know anything about the foundations of feminism, or who Angela Davis is, or what intersectionality is, but HEY everybody starts somewhere and I'm glad you're on the team! We'll get ya trained right on up, don't you worry.

And I loved the way you took the gloves off when you handled former DJ David Mueller. You know, that skinsuit full of dog turds who grabbed your ass in Denver?

DJ skinsuit sued you when you reported his behavior and he got fired. And instead of just brushing him aside (see how I restrained myself from a "Shake if Off" joke), you said to him, no. No, DJ skinsuit.

You said some shit in court that really resonated with me. "I'm not going to allow your client to make me feel like it is anyway my fault because it isn't." Dang, Taylor. Yes. Simple, clear, and DAMMIT I wish that this shit wasn't newsworthy anymore, am I right girl?

You're also canny as fuck when it comes to your fans.

Remember that whole "No it's Becky" thing? When someone told a story about their friend Becky who died from snorting marijuana?

And someone replied that looks like Taylor Swift, and then the OP said no it's becky?

And then you wore a shirt out that said "No it's Becky"? That was hella funny, girl!

You saw something about yourself on the Internet and you translated it into a public statement, like a cute little wink, to your fans.

girl i'm not even mad about you promoting 1989 on that shit
it was well-fucking-played
and i salute you


So here's my question, Taylor. 
Yeah it's about this:

y'all know I'm not about to link to a Nazi website
but the most-circulated article (by neo-Nazi Andre Anglin) goes like this:

"Firstly, Taylor Swift is a pure Aryan goddess,
like something out of classical Greek poetry. Athena reborn.
That's the most important thing.
It is also an established fact that Taylor Swift is secretly a Nazi
and is simply waiting for the time
when Donald Trump makes it safe for her to come out
and announce her Aryan agenda to the world.
Probably, she will be betrothed to Trump's son,
and they will be crowned American royalty."

Also I know this pic is from 2014.
This shit has been going on forever.
Fast Company literally wrote the same post that I am writing

a month ago.

According to Broadly, there are at least 24 pieces on the Daily Stormer singing your praises.

So where's your "I am not a secret Nazi" tee? 

(I would also accept a "NAZIS ARE SHITHEADS" cropped hoodie.)
(Or an "I'm not friends with Nazis" necklace.)

If Eminem can denounce white supremacists and Donald Trump in his track "The Storm," why can't you respond to straight-up love letters by white supremacists ABOUT YOU?

And any fan of mine who's a supporter of his
I'm drawing in the sand a line, you're either for or against
And if you can't decide who you like more and you're split
On who you should stand beside, I'll do it for you with this:

Fuck you
The rest of America stand up

Eminem
in freestyle cipher
The Storm




(silence since at least 2014)

Taylor Swift
in response to widespread use of her name
likeness
and brand
to promote white supremacy


Your silence on this is another wink to your fans, but it's not cute. It's bad, girl. It's bad. And the longer you are silent, the worse it gets.

And the more cryptic you are about your personal politics, the worse it gets.

Listen, I know it doesn't feel fair. You don't think I have a right to know your politics. I can't imagine what it's like to have so many people feel entitled to knowing every little thing about me. But I am not asking what vibrator you use or which is your fave flave of Halo ice cream.

I don't give a fuck if the Tom Hiddleston thing was a stunt. I don't need to know your blood type or who you cheated on or why. I don't need to know how much you're worth or how much you weigh.

I do need to know if you're a Nazi.
Because if you are
I am for sure cutting "Shake if Off"
from my kids' Morning Jams playlist.


You are a Big Fucking Deal, and Actual Fucking Nazis have staked a claim over you. Silence is compliance. Tell them to get their hands off of you. Speak up. Your voice is powerful, and its absence on the subject of "So Tay-Tay, Nazis sure seem to love you" is fucking conspicuous.

You have leaned into your identity as a feminist role model and an informed, savvy manipulator of your own image.

You supported Kesha as she fought for a way out of her contract with her abuser, whose name, I believe, is Doctor Von Shitnozzle. People loved you for that. You stood up for yourself against DJ Skinsuit. People loved you for that. You wore that "no it's becky" shirt. People loved you for that.

You were publicly embraced by Nazis. People are wondering what is up with that.


You do not get to decide when you are being 
a savvy, in-control role model. 
If you're savvy and in-control, then you fucking are,
and if you're a role model, then you fucking are one, 
and everything you do, or choose not to do, 
is something that a savvy, in-control role model did. 


You do not get to decide not to respond to Nazi fangirling. Or rather, if you do, your decision is pretty fucking damning.

Because here's the thing, Taylor. Your track record on race is... well... it's not great.

1. You feel entitled to appropriate any element of any culture you think looks cool.

Squad? Not yours.

Twerking in the Shake it Off video? I know, you were joking! LOL!
But seriously, that doesn't belong to you.

Your Wildest Dreams music video?

Romanticizing British colonial Africa? YIKES. 

And what about this video that just dropped in October: ... Ready For It? You're seriously rapping while walking through graffitied warehouse labyrinth with Asian characters on the walls?

Girl. No. Just be who you are. 
It's fine. 
It's actually better.


It might feel like no big deal, or like you're making fun of yourself, but it's the textbook definition of appropriation: You saw something, liked it, took it without taking the time to understand its context or its significance to the people who built it, and then made a shitload of money off of it.

You have a colonial mindset of entitlement to other cultures.

2. You have weaponized your whiteness. 

You lie about Kanye West and make yourself look like a victim of a big mean black man.

You attack Nicki Minaj for being honest about the racist biases that limit her ability to move her career forward. You step into a Twitter conversation where nobody is talking to or about you, and shame her for putting down other women, without owning the way that your lyrics and videos explicitly put down other women.

Even though you eventually apologize for that gaffe, it's too late. We see you, girl. Nicki Minaj is speaking out against white supremacy, and you step up to silence her. Whose spokesperson does that make you, Taylor?

3. You have evolved from not-a-feminist to feminist, but you haven't tried to evolve on race. 

Please get a friend in the squad who knows some shit about racism and white feminism and can have some honest conversations with you. Gabrielle Union just spoke up about #metoo excluding women of color. Read that and think on it.

4. MOST importantly, you are a selective activist. You demand feminist justice, but you roll your eyes at racial justice. Or maybe you just close them.


Let me be crystal clear: 
I don't think any of that stuff makes you a secret Nazi.

I think it makes you even more common, and more dangerous: a regular, run-of-the-mill white American girl, with below-the-radar unexamined racist beliefs and behaviors, who happens to have a massive platform from which to execute those unexamined racist beliefs and behaviors.

I do think that you are allowing Nazis 
to use your image and name 
without screaming your public, 
full-throttle, 
teeth-bared opposition 
to everything they stand for.
In 2017 America,
that opposition is not optional.

I know you might not be able to take them to court for expressing a positive opinion about you and your work. But you have a responsibility to your human decency to acknowledge their admiration, and to explicitly, forcefully reject it. If you do.

Because I do think that you are allowing white supremacist ideology to creep into places where it might not otherwise gain entry, like the malleable minds of teenage fans, because through your inaction you've allowed your brand to be paired with white supremacy.

I do think that you are complying with their unchecked manipulation of your powerful image, a seductive, disarming, appealing, strong image that you have built and you have vigorously protected... against bloggers who wonder if you're racist. But not against the actual racists.

You are ON TOP of a blogger 
who writes a theory 
about your engagement with white supremacy. 
You are silent to actual white supremacy.
Your face is on the Nazi breakfast cereal box.
And you're mad at the person who notices
that you seem to be okay with that.


Taylor.
Stop punching down and start punching Nazis.


I'm not trying to stick my head in the lion's mouth here. What I am trying to do is speak up, just like I'm asking you to do.

Because I don't care if you cheat on your boyfriend or your diet or your taxes. I care if you're a Nazi. And right now, your silence is compliance.




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4 comments:

  1. Are you completely out of your mind?

    ReplyDelete
  2. First of all your writing actually makes me weak with admiration and lols. Secondly, of course Taylor Swift is the Nazi poster child, because...Taylor Swift.
    “You have weaponized your whiteness” is genius.
    It’s not possible for this price to be any more on point.
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete