Taylor Swift Shake it Off
noslideshow

Taylor Swift Celebrates Cultural Appropriation in “Shake It Off”

Neither Lily Allen nor Miley Cyrus took notice of our open letter “Stop Twerking, It’s Racist!” Now it seems that Taylor Swift wants a piece of the action too. In her new music video for “Shake It Off,” the country musician appears in several dance and music scenes, including two scenes of black stereotypes in which she moves and dresses herself to fit in. Of course, there are also scenes of cheerleader stereotypes and of ballet dancer stereotypes. However, fortunately for them, we are not often witness to the murder of unarmed ballet dancers at the hands of prejudiced police officers.

It didn’t take long for a Black artist to take a stand against the video.

Indeed, Earl is right— you don’t have to watch the video to understand that Taylor Swift is engaging in the same dialogue as her predecessors Lily Allen, Miley Cyrus, and indeed Lil’ Debbie. And for many, it will not come as a surprise that Swift is trying to get down with the “homeboys” and “homegirls” in order to seem relevant in 2014. But at what cost? 2014 is also a year of an astonishing number of deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers, which makes us realize that while white people have a level of unparalleled access to the joys of black culture, black people do not have anything close to the same level of access to the privileges of whiteness.

What is perhaps most insensitive about this video is its arrival at a peak of great tension in American race relations. Popstars and musicians often feel that music is an apolitical space— after all, Swift tells us to just “shake it off”. In fact, it is directly responsible for the images which we use to digest notions of race in this country. More importantly, songs are powerful tools of political inspiration and motivation. There were few songs that chose to tackle Trayvon Martin’s murder directly, but we salute Rick Ross for his attempt. J. Cole has taken a stand and now Nelly. These are the songs you hear playing in Ferguson because they have real significance to people and inspire action and solidarity.

This white writer is ashamed that this is the image of American culture that other white people want the world to see.

Related Posts

Art
Art

Graffiti Artist Lush Trolls the Fuck Out of Taylor Swift

Music
Music

PREMIERE: Swift ft. Quavo “Show Me”

Music
Music

Samiyam ft. Earl Sweatshirt “Mirror” Video

Music
Music

Taylor J Takes Over a Five Guys in His New Video For “Five Times”

Music
Music

PREMIERE: Mike Taylor Just Wants You to ‘Feel Good’ with New EP and Single “Colours”

Ad

Latest News

Donn T Music Video

PREMIERE: Donn T ft. Chill Moody “Clear” Video

Questlove's sister has got soul
Lil Peep and Lil Tracy Music Video

Lil Peep’s “Cobain” with Lil Tracy Finally Has a Video

The 'Hellboy' classic rides again
haiti News

Donald Trump Moves to Deport 59,000 Haitians

Racist-in-Chief strikes again
Momo PIxel's 'Hair Nah' Hey, You're Cool

Hey, You’re Cool! Momo Pixel, Creator of ‘Hair Nah!’ Video Game

"I was trying to explain how it feels when people touch your hair"
jay-z lebron james king new york News

JAY-Z Gets LeBron Back for That Whole “King of New York” Thing

"I'm the king of Cleveland now!"
marshawn-lynch News

Trump: Marshawn Lynch Should Be Suspended for National Anthem Protest in Mexico

Oh shut up
Waka Flocka Flame and Pete Rock Music

Pete Rock And Waka Flocka Flame Agree — Hip Hop Could Be Better

Waka loves the kids, Pete Rock loves the culture...and somehow that equals beef.
ol-dirty-bastard Features

The Best 36 Ol’ Dirty Bastard Solo Cuts, Ranked

There is no father
Ruste Juxx Music

PREMIERE: Ruste Juxx & The Last Composer ft. Flashius Clayton “Never Ran Never W...

"Boom, bang, bang, bang!"
the rare n.e.r.d adidas hu nmd's which sell for thousands of dollars on the resale market Style

Craigslist Sneaker Reseller Robbed at Gunpoint of $6,000 N*E*R*D Adidas

Congratulations, you played yourself
doe boy Video

Open Space: Doe Boy

"All my fans like me for that gangsta shit and that's what I'm back on."
russell simmons News

Russell Simmons Denies Sexually Assaulting Model Keri Claussen Khalighi

The Def Jam co-founder says everything was consensual
Keak the Sneak Music Video

PREMIERE: Keak Da Sneak ft. Ike Dola “Zippin” Video

Keak straight whippin'
jaden-smith-lr Reviews

Jaden Smith Gets Serious About Rap On ‘SYRE’

Will Smith’s son drops New Age mumbo jumbo for real talk
method man Features

The Best 36 Method Man Solo Cuts, Ranked

Gunnin', hummin', comin' at ya!
drake News

Beef No More: Drake Shouts Out “Free Meek Mill” During Concert

Is it the start of their reconciliation?