Taylor Swift has issued a statement advocating for the removal of statues depicting racist figures in her native state of Tennessee. “As a Tennessean, it makes me sick that there are monuments standing in our state that celebrate racist historical figures who did evil things,” she wrote. “Edward Carmack and Nathan Bedford Forrest were DESPICABLE figures in our state history and should be treated as such.”
Carmack, a newspaper editor who published pro-lynching editorials and served as a U.S. Senator near the beginning of the 20th century, had a statue in front of the Tennessee state Capitol that was torn down amid the protests that took place in Nashville on May 30. Earlier this week, the state announced plans to reinstate the statue, which Swift has denounced. “Replacing his statue is a waste of state funds and a waste of an opportunity to do the right thing,” she said.
Swift also called for the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest Equestrian Statue, a monument to the first Grand Wizard of the KKK that currently stands in Nashville. A bid to remove the statue recently failed to pass the Tennessee House, but the Tennessee state legislature recently voted to free Governor Bill Lee from a long-standing law that previously required him to declare a “Nathan Bedford Forrest Day” every year.
“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,” she wrote. “I’m asking the Capitol Commission and the Tennessee Historical Commission to please consider the implications of how hurtful it would be to continue fighting for these monuments.” Find her full statement below.
Find resources in the fight against police brutality and systemic racism, including a list of organizations to donate to if you’re able, here.
Originally Appeared on Pitchfork