Racism is real. Don’t believe it? Well, perhaps you should open up a history book. Talk to Jews about the Holocaust. Talk to African-Americans about slavery. These events may have happened a long time ago, but they still affect society today. However, Taylor Swift is not the right person to blame. And although her remake of Earth, Wind, & Fire’s “September” is bad, calling it an act of racism or white supremacy deludes the significance of these terms.
On Friday, Taylor Swift’s new version of “September” (hear it now, on YouTube) hit the internet. Needless to say, the song does not live up to Swift’s high standards when it comes to pop music. It sounds like an elevator-tinged version of a classic song that doesn’t even sound good in the elevator. When Swift sings lyrics such as “Now, December found the love we shared in September,” she sounds distant and unemotional.
However, according to Billboard, a co-writer of Earth,Wind, & Fire’s hit has praised the song.
“Taylor Swift is the absolute cherry on top of a very soulful and happy sundae,” says Allee Willis.
However, the attack dogs have been biting Swift since Friday morning.
One author at HuffPost claimed that Swift managed to take one of black culture’s greatest songs and turn it into an awful acoustic version of a cover that white women who frequent coffee shops like so much.
On The Root, another said that Swift really “needs her a** whooped.”
“There are certain songs you don’t mess with, especially if you don’t have the range, and we all know Taylor Swift has all the range of a dial tone,” the author wrote. And a lot of people agree with her.
The main sentiment on many of the bad reviews seems to be that Swift, with a history of white supremacy, committed another racial crime by remaking a song from one of the most popular African-American bands of the 1970s. This accusation is a hyperbole, especially since there is no actual proof that Swift is a racist or a white supremacist. But the reaction sparks of a personal witch hunt against Swift since many white singers have remade classics by African-American artists before without any backlash.
One could argue that the times are different, more politically correct, and more divisive. That is certainly true, and it’s doubtful that Britney Spears would get away with singing a remake of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On” (a remake by Cyndi Lauper, seen here on YouTube, did not perform well on the charts in 1987). But would she suffer the same vitriol that Swift is suffering? It’s doubtful.
For whatever reason, Taylor Swift has been cast as the symbol of female “white privilege.” She’s been accused of being a racist ever since she featured African-American backup singers twerking in her video for “Shake It Off.” It only got worse after Swift’s 1989 album succeeded beyond everybody’s wildest dreams. Then, there was Swift’s feud with Kanye West. It didn’t matter that both Swift and West had valid grievances; only Swift was shamed.
There is a reason why Taylor Swift doesn’t give many interviews these days. Everything Taylor Swift says or does gets twisted out of context by people with an agenda in order to prove she is racist, a white supremacist, a Donald Trump supporter, etc. That Swift’s career has been hurt by this only shows that, as a society, we have regressed rather than progressed.