‘RACIAL INJUSTICE HAS BEEN INGRAINED DEEPLY INTO LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS, AND CHANGES MUST BE MADE THERE’
On Tuesday (June 9), the singer took to Twitter to make a passionate statement demanding far-reaching structural change within American politics, while simultaneously voicing her support for the Black Lives Matter movement. “Racial injustice has been ingrained deeply into local and state governments, and changes MUST be made there,” she wrote, urging followers to cast their votes for candidates who are dedicated to combating harmful legislature. “In order for policies to change, we need to elect people who will fight against police brutality and racism of any kind.”
Swift went on to share a link to a Medium article written by Barack Obama titled “How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change,” in which the former United States president advocated for policy updates at the state and local levels. “We need to fight for mail-in voting for the 2020 election,” Swift added, pointing out voter access obstacles that have been exacerbated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “No one should have to choose between their health and having their voice heard.”
Swift’s posts came as demonstrators around the globe continued to gather to protest systemic racism and police brutality against the Black community, and to mourn the deaths of unarmed Black citizens George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and many others. Plenty of celebrities have used their platforms to elevate the work of activists on the ground; some, including fellow pop stars Ariana Grande and Harry Styles, have joined protests themselves.
But this wasn’t the first time Miss Americana had gotten political. On May 29, as unrest in Minneapolis — home of George Floyd, whose murder at the hands of former police officer Derek Chauvin sparked international outcry — reached a boiling point with increasingly violent protests and sporadic looting, Donald Trump released a series of tweets suggesting he would dispatch the National Guard and gun down demonstrators. “Any difficulty and we will assume control,” he wrote, adding, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” His tweets were flagged by the social media platform for “glorifying violence.”
Swift took the opportunity to denounce Trump’s words. “After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence?” Swift publicly responded via Twitter, before warning, “We will vote you out in November.”