Yes, this is a blog rooted in Kanye quotes. Unfortunately, you can’t have a wikipedia overview of Kanye without mention of Taylor Swift. Taylor’s feud with Kanye was just a small example of the ways she’s allowed racial bias to aid her career and reputation. As a public persona, Taylor has been routinely interpreted as a symbol of white supremacy, that even white supremacists have vocally claimed her their kkkween. These human-drafts-God-accidentally-hit-send-on have written a number of pieces deigning her their princess, outlined beautifully by Mitchell Sunderland (a white supremy buddy in his own right). Sunderland writes that one person wrote that she was not only aryan in blood but also"aryan in spirit." While Taylor herself has called white supremacy repulsive (which, like, yeah I’m glad you care about your career too), her actions as a public persona make her the ultimate Karen. So we’ll take a look at Taylor’s most Karens With Attitude moments.
So on Election Day 2016, when my English professor (a TOTAL Karen) returned to class to tell us that she saw Taylor at the Nashville polls, our class was left to conjecture with the rest of the country who Taylor was going to vote for. As a white woman from Pennsylvania with executive parents and an early career in the conservative-leaning country music industry, Taylor could easily be coded as a republican Trump-supporter. Her silence throughout 2016 in the face of Trump’s repeated bullshit seemed to be a subtle endorsement of him, or at least an attempt not to alienate the sizable portion of her fan base (see - all the white supremacists). Not only did her voice matter, but that was 1) the most important election of our lifetime *gestures wildly at the current bullshit* 2) the easiest election to endorse one candidate over the insanity of the other. And of course, her silence from her immense platform was entrenched in a white privilege that didn’t need to concern itself with the things Trump said about minorities throughout the campaign. Swift, likely a Simon & Garfunkel fan, gave us only the sound of silence, and white supremacists' notions of their aryan princess remained unchallenged.
'Shake It Off' and 'Wildest Dreams'
Taylor’s "Shake It Off" music video was so racist I don’t even want to talk about it. So I will not, and you can read about that bullshit here. She also had a music video set in colonial Africa (*eye roll*).
Then there was the Nicki Minaj feud. Six years after Kanye's fateful VMA outburst, the VMA’s again displayed the music industry’s penchant for racism. Once again, Taylor did nothing but play the victim and capitalize off of the situation at a Black artist's expense. When Nicki’s "Anaconda" did not receive a nomination for video of the year, Minaj criticized the decision, noting that notable videos featuring slim (white!) women consistently received such nominations. Taylor, having learned nothing a year out from the "Shake It Off" controversy, which represented some of the issues Minaj highlighted, responded poorly. Instead of recognizing the racial bias and hopping on the Good Ship Ally, she made herself the center of the issue, saying, "I've done nothing but love & support you. It's unlike you to pit women against each other. Maybe one of the men took your slot.." Eventually, she came around and realized that Nicki’s statements had nothing to do with her, and that she had played her powerful little white feminist card for no reason. She promptly put it in back her pocket and reconciled with Nicki. However, it is clear that when she is confronted with the issue of racism in the music industry and the way it positively impacts her career, her immediate reaction is to ignore the glaring inequalities and posture herself as a victim to Black aggressors.
The Girl Group
Swift, a self-proclaimed feminist, embraces a form of feminism that wreaks of racial exclusion. Taylor loves to tout the importance of having a group of women that support one another and her ever-empowering girl group. Issa lot of women, and they are all white. (Some have pointed out that her group does include one Black woman, which isn't the point they think it is.) Also, it includes Lena Dunham who is her own lil headache.
They couldn’t even get one, not one, non-white woman? Not even at the 4th party?? Taylor Swift’s friend group is so white, they received an invitation to the Trump White House just for taking that photo. Taylor Swift’s friend group is so white, everyone in that photo has asked to talk to the manager at least once. Taylor Swift's friend group is so white, they thought Bring It On had a sad ending.
I was in a sorority; I've belted "Blank Space" in between recruitment rounds. So unfortunately I have Swifties in my life. I love them, but they also bare a Scarlet T. It will always disturb me when people willfully ignore the ways in which Swift has represented white supremacy and white womenism in this country.