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Taylor Swift Calls to Remove Controversial Statues in Tennessee

Taylor Swift speaking out on social issues, especially when they involve her home state of Tennessee, has become commonplace in recent years, as covered in her 2020 Netflix documentary Miss Americana. She's been especially vocal since the murder of George Floyd, namely when she tweeted that President Donald Trump has been "stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism (his) entire presidency."

The country artist turned pop megastar spoke her mind once again with a series of June 12 Tweets regarding the potential removal of the "equestrian statue" of Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, slave trader and Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and the replacement of an Edward Carmack statue toppled during a protest. The Forrest statue sits on private property in Nashville, while the Carmack statue was on the State Capitol grounds.

"As a Tennessean, it makes me sick that there are monuments standing in our state that celebrate racist historical figures who did evil things," Swift wrote in the first of a series of 10  tweets. "Edward Carmack and Nathan Bedford Forrest were DESPICABLE figures in our state history and should be treated as such."

Swift went on to define Carmack as "a white supremacist newspaper editor who published pro-lynching editorials and incited the arson of the office of Ida B. Wells (who actually deserves a hero's statue for her pioneering work in journalism and civil rights)."

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The Forrest statue is not to be confused with the Forrest bust located inside the State Capitol.

"His statue is still standing and July 13th is 'Nathan Bedford Forrest Day,'" Swift Tweeted. "Due to social pressure, the state is trying to overrule this, and Tennesseans might no longer have to stomach it. Fingers crossed."

Swift went on to explain how the removal of Confederate monuments and statues of controversial figures might benefit Tennessee.

"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," Swift wrote.

"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 adds. "You can't change history, but you can change this."

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