Taylor Swift has added her voice to those criticising Donald Trump, accusing him of “stoking the fires of white supremacy” as he continues to threaten violence against his own citizens.
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis this week led to heated protests in cities across the US, in response to which, the President called for military intervention against protesters.
Taking to Twitter, Taylor Swift wrote:
“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.”
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
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) May 29, 2020
Donald Trump’s “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” tweet was subsequently hidden by the platform, who said it violated rules against inciting violence.
In 2019, Twitter took similar action against Iranian Leader Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, hiding a tweet that appeared to threaten writer Salman Rushdie.
Trump later claimed he did not know the racially-charged history of the phrase, which was infamously used by Miami police chief Walter Headley in the 1960s.
Howard University professor Clarence Lusane told NPR that Headley may have borrowed the phrase from Eugene “Bull” Connor, the Alabama public safety commissioner who turned dogs and fire hoses against civil rights protesters.
The White House was briefly locked down yesterday after protests sprung up in Washington DC, and Trump again responded with threats of violence.
This time, he told protesters they would be met with “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons”, as well as “Secret Service agents just waiting for action.”
Last year, Taylor Swift donated $113,000 to an LGBT advocacy group in Tennessee. In a subsequent essay for Elle, she spoke about her political awakening, saying:
“I took a lot of time educating myself on the political system and the branches of government that are signing off on bills that affect our day-to-day life. I saw so many issues that put our most vulnerable citizens at risk, and felt like I had to speak up to try and help make a change. Only as someone approaching 30 did I feel informed enough to speak about it to my 114 million followers. Invoking racism and provoking fear through thinly veiled messaging is not what I want from our leaders, and I realized that it actually is my responsibility to use my influence against that disgusting rhetoric. I’m going to do more to help. We have a big race coming up next year.”