Taylor Swift released a new music video a couple of days ago and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
Watch here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfWlot6h_JM)
It’s a fun pop song that can get you jazzed up. The theme to her new song is about not listening to “haters” and being your own person. Something I am always glad to hear when celebrities talk opening about those subjects. These themes are not new to her or her writing.
However, some of her critics are calling her new music video racist and perpetuating stereotypes. It is my opinion that folks who make this argument are clueless as to what constitutes as racism. Essentially, the complaints have been that:
“why are white girls ballerinas and the ones that twerk black thats racist af”
“made a mockery of black culture and black womanhood in her new music video!”
These are two of the complaints that are among many on Twitter. Ultimately, I believe they are unfounded and people just wanting some attention. I think there are legitimate issues where there are real attempts where people are being racist. This isn’t one of those times. Often people who interject race into every situation are doing so because that is how they construct their world view.
Their expectations of finding “racism” in the media means they will, in their mind, find “racism” in the media. Your perception is often your reality.
If a person looks for racism in any given situation, no matter the details, they will find racism and there will be no changing their minds. That again is because their worldview incorporates racism in most situations.
The two above complaints presuppose that racism was involved in the selection process of the dancers for the music video.
If I were one of the African-American dancers in the video I would be insulted. I would want to know I got the position I did because I was the best dancer that auditioned. I earned the role on my merit.
Those that affirm the dancers were picked for their skin color are not giving the dancers the credit they deserve. Those dancers were probably the best that auditioned and earned the part they got. Anything else would be insulting.
As for Taylor “perpetuating black culture”, what is “black culture”? Why would you put one group of people in a box? Why would you limit individuals to certain characteristics. Now who is being stereotypical?
Dressing a certain way or speaking a certain way, unless blatantly offensive, shouldn’t be considered a bad thing. Having a world view where people can act “white” or act “black” is divisive. It furthers a racial divide. It also parallels the same behavior the above comments are complaining about.
There are real racial injustices in this country. Even in the world. There are issues that occur that should be complained about and dealt with. This “issue” is not one. There are no racial overtones in Taylor Swift’s music video. She isn’t being racist. However, when you interject your preconceived world view on to different things you will find the “issues” you want to find.
The video, if you watch it, is of a group of people who appear to be having the time of their life. Taylor is singing about being yourself and shaking off what the haters have to say. You do you and I’ll do me. Its fun. Its catchy. And not racist.
Taylor has always been a good role model for her fans. They can look up to her and know that she will always have decent music. Moms and Dads sing along with their children to her tunes. She provides wholesome entertainment in a world that isn’t searching for wholesome. In many ways we need more of that in our lives. Lets hope we find it.
This in itself is humbling.