So you might have heard…
We love Taylor Swift. And we especially love her songs “Wildest Dreams” and “Shake It Off.”
We were pretty upset when she released the songs. Pretty upset and a little bit salty. But then it hit us: Taylor Swift is white. And when you’re black, you kind of have to deal with a lot of racism.
After seeing all of the support that white celebrities were offering up for the black community in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police, we started thinking…maybe Taylor Swift didn’t do anything wrong. Maybe the black community should have accepted her offer to support them in their time of need. Maybe we should start thinking about white people as allies.
And then we remembered: Taylor Swift is a rich, white celebrity who can do whatever she wants. She doesn’t have to accept support from allies. She doesn’t have to accept being an ally. So it’s not like she gave us much reason to be happy about her decision to support the black community.
Does The ‘Shake It Off’ Video Accurately Reflect The Time In Which It Was Recorded?
Even though it has been seven years since Taylor Swift released “Shake It Off,” it feels like it was just yesterday when we were singing and dancing along with Taylor and her pals on the “Shake It Off” music video.
The video opens with a shot of Taylor and her friends as they’re walking down the street. We see a car parked outside a house. Taylor’s friend is seen getting out and going up to the house while the other girls stay behind.
The next thing you know, Taylor is onstage, rocking out with her band as the crowd goes wild. She has a serious grin on her face. It’s clear that this is someone who is having a blast.
Then the song kicks in and…you guessed it…we’re off to the races. The energy in the room is electric. Everyone on stage is engaged and having fun, which is exactly how we should be having fun and enjoying life while we can.
The only thing that could make the video more perfect is if Taylor kept her wig on for the whole video. Not kidding. Because, you know, when Taylor takes her wig off, we know we’re in for some serious reality. But until then…this is how we’ll always remember her.
And that’s a fact.
Taylor Swift Is Still White
So let’s get this straight. Taylor Swift is white. And she’s always going to be white. There’s no changing that. We need to stop trying to make her something she’s not and realize that she’s going to be an ally to or friend of white people. Period.
The only reason we’re even having this conversation is because she showed up in support of the black community after George Floyd’s death.
Other than her, the only other white celebrities who showed up to show their support for the black community were Billie Eilish, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Lena Dunham. And even then, they didn’t exactly do anything to support the black community. They showed up to support Taylor Swift’s brand. Which is fine. It’s good that she has support from her friends and family. But they don’t have to show up and be supportive of everything the black community does. Just like they don’t have to show up and be perfect spokespersons for the transgender community. Just like they don’t have to show up and be the voice of the lesbian community. Or the single female community. Or…you get the point.
Because she’s white, Taylor Swift doesn’t have to be a part of or represent the black community. She can decide she doesn’t want to be their friend or ally. When she does that, we’ll all be honest with each other about the fact that we don’t like her that much anymore either.
Why Does Taylor Swift’s Race Matter?
We’re not hating on Taylor Swift here. We don’t have anything against her. We just want to make sure that the people who do know her and have been on social media after her comment know that she’s not a racist. She just made a mistake.
See, George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police has sparked a conversation about race. And that’s a conversation that we should all be having. Especially when a celebrity like Taylor Swift comes along and says that she wants to have a dialogue about race. We should all be willing to have that conversation. Even if it means admitting that we’re wrong. Especially if it means admitting that we’re wrong. Because we need to. Because only then will we be able to progress as a society.
Yes, Taylor Swift is white. And she’ll always be white. But it’s important to realize that she’s also an ally to or friend of people of color. Just like how her friends, Lena Dunham, Billie Eilish and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are also allies to or friends of people of color. So, while we may not always agree with Taylor’s political or social views, we should never question her commitment to being an ally to people of color.