Recently, we’ve seen the toppling of statues and monuments dedicated to those guilty of racism, as well as calls for those statues still standing to be taken down. Now Taylor Swift has lent her voice to the cause, singling out specific statues in her adopted home state.
“As a Tennessean, it makes me sick that there are monuments standing in our state that celebrate racist historical figures who did evil things. Edward Carmack and Nathan Bedford Forrest were DESPICABLE figures in our state history and should be treated as such,” she wrote on her socials.
“Edward Carmack’s statue was…torn down last week in the protests. The state of Tennessee has vowed to replace it,” she adds.
“FYI, he was a white supremacist newspaper editor who published pro-lynching editorials and incited the arson of the office of [NAACP co-founder] Ida B. Wells…Replacing his statue is a waste of state funds and a waste of an opportunity to do the right thing.”
As for the statue of Forrest, Taylor writes that he was “a brutal slave trader and the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan who, during the Civil War, massacred dozens of black Union soldiers in Memphis.”
“His statue is still standing and July 13th is ‘Nathan Bedford Forrest Day.’ Due to social pressure, the state is trying to overrule this, and Tennesseans might no longer have to stomach it…” she added.
“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,” writes Taylor, noting that she’s personally asking the Capitol Commission and the Tennessee Historical Commission to consider removing the monuments.
“When you fight to honor racists, you show black Tennesseans and all of their allies where you stand, and you continue this cycle of hurt,” she concludes. “You can’t change history, but you can change this.”
As a Tennessean, it makes me sick that there are monuments standing in our state that celebrate racist historical figures who did evil things. Edward Carmack and Nathan Bedford Forrest were DESPICABLE figures in our state history and should be treated as such.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 12, 2020
By Andrea Dresdale
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