Taylor Swift is slamming President Donald Trump for an early Friday morning tweet in which he implied that those in Minnesota protesting the death of George Floyd should be shot. After the president made the controversial remarks, which were soon flagged by Twitter, the singer, in her own tweet, blasted Trump for feigning "moral superiority before threatening violence" and issued a call to her more than 86 million followers to vote him out.
After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence? ‘When the looting starts the shooting starts’??? We will vote you out in November. @realdonaldtrump— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) May 29, 2020
As the protests spread nationwide following Floyd's May 25 death, in which video footage showed him calling out for help as a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck, Trump slammed them on Twitter. In his tweet, the president said that the military is with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz "all the way" and that "any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts." That concluding statement mirrored remarks from former Miami police chief Walter E. Headley, who, in the 1960s, controversially used shotguns, dogs and a stop-and-frisk policy to fight crime in the city's black neighborhoods. Speaking at the time, Headley said that "we haven't had any serious problems with civil uprising and looting, because I've let the word filter down that when the looting starts, the shooting starts."
Twitter chose to flag the president's tweet due to "the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence and the risk it could inspire similar actions today." Across the social media platform, many have condemned the president for his apparent call for violence, with numerous hashtags, including "Ban Trump From Twitter," trending.
Many fans applauded Swift, who at one point in her career had shied away from politics, for speaking out. While some criticized the singer, others said that Swift posed "an example of an artist using their platform for good instead of selfish." Another person praised Swift for using her "well deserved influence with maturity and responsibility."
Swift's Friday tweet was not the first time she has commented on the killing of Floyd. As protests broke out across the country and celebrities began to speak out, Swift, on her Instagram Story, shared a photo of Floyd with a quote of his final words, adding the "Justice for George Floyd" hashtag.
At this time, the four officers involved in the incident leading to Floyd's death have had their positions with the Minneapolis Police Department terminated, though no arrests have been made and no charges have been brought against them. As protests continue, Trump revealed that the National Guard had arrived in Minnesota "fully prepared."