After the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests in Minneapolis, President Donald Trump had a tweet hidden by Twitter for "glorifying violence," which is against Twitter's terms of service.
The since-hidden tweet reads:
"....These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!"
The tweet was sharply criticized across Twitter for Trump's implicit racism and stereotyping.
Trump labeled those in Minneapolis (who are mostly people of color) as "thugs," a term that has been used by law enforcement, racists, and others in positions of power in the past to stereotype black people and condone violence against black lives.
Taylor Swift used her platform to speak on Trump's disabled tweet as well. Calling Trump out for many of these things and encouraging her young fan base to take action in November's general election.
After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral sup… https://t.co/zj5aBuKZfF— Taylor Swift (@Taylor Swift)1590766421.0
For Swift, who commands an 86 million fan platform on Twitter alone, explicitly condemning Trump's words is a huge deal. To put it into perspective, she has a bigger following than Trump's own personal Twitter account which has 80 million followers, and she speaks to a younger demographic whose political activation is important for progressive election prospects in November.
In recent memory, Swift has been more politically active than at the onset of her career, spreading messages of women empowerment, gun control, and LGBTQ rights.
With the country shaken from the death of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and others, now more than ever having someone of Swifts caliber highlighting the racism of Trump has a huge impact.
Trump was feigning moral superiority and condoning the violence of the police force in an explicitly racist way. No President should ever speak of Americans in this way. Police brutality against black lives is a symptom of the innate nature of racism in Trump and his administration. And Trump's tweet only strengthens racism in his followers across the country.
The only way to quell the cycle of murdered innocent and unarmed black lives is to end the normalcy of a presidential administration based on fear, racism, and white supremacy. Swift understands that and that's why she's speaking up.