Taylor Swift has been flexing her activist muscles more and more lately, using her platform to address political issues and call for change. The pop star, who was once silent on political issues, tweeted about racial injustice this week, urging her followers to vote.
“Racial injustice has been ingrained deeply into local and state governments, and changes MUST be made there,” Swift wrote. “In order for policies to change, we need to elect people who will fight against police brutality and racism of any kind.”
She also linked to a recent essay penned by former President Barack Obama, in which he addressed how the nationwide unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis could prove to be a “real turning point” in efforts to reform policing and the criminal justice system if demonstrations lead to increased participation in state and local elections.
Mr. Obama said in his essay, published on Medium on June 1, that the protests must be met with political action on the state and local level to secure the types of reforms to police departments and prosecutors’ offices the demonstrators are seeking.
“When we think about politics, a lot of us focus only on the presidency and the federal government. And yes, we should be fighting to make sure that we have a president, a Congress, a U.S. Justice Department, and a federal judiciary that actually recognize the ongoing, corrosive role that racism plays in our society and want to do something about it,” he wrote. “But the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.”
When sharing the essay on Twitter, Swift said it was “a fascinating read about changing policy at the state and local levels.” In another tweet, she wrote about the need to fight for mail-in voting for the 2020 election. “No one should have to choose between their health and having their voice heard,” Swift’s tweet read.
The 30-year-old was once known for staying silent on political issues, until about two years ago when she urged her followers to vote blue in Tennessee, and to vote President Trump out of office in the 2020 election.
Last month, Swift spoke out about Mr. Trump again, condemning his tweet about “looting” and “shooting” during the protests. “After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence? ‘When the looting starts the shooting starts’??? We will vote you out in November. @realdonaldtrump,” she tweeted.
In 2019, she called out the Trump administration during the MTV Video Music Awards. During her acceptance speech, she criticized the administration for not responding to a petition urging lawmakers to swiftly pass a bill that would protect LGBTQ rights. She highlighted the Equality Act bill at the end of the video for her hit song “You Need to Calm Down.”
Swift, like many celebrities, also participated in “Blackout Tuesday” last week. Instagram users, including Swift, posted a simple black square instead of their normal content. The movement was meant to acknowledge the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other black citizens at the hands of police.