racism in music video

by kessmcrae on September 10, 2015 - 9:22pm

Summary

In the article, “Taylor Swift's 'Wildest Dreams' video draws backlash for racism” written by Kelly Lawler submitted to USA today on September 3rd, 2015, the author states that Taylor swifts new music video for her song “Wildest Dreams” has some racist components. The music video depicts Taylor Swift as an actress in the early 20th century who falls in love with her handsome co-star who happens to be married, while they are filming a film in the African savannah. The author states that the music video has a very colonialist feel, people still feel strongly about the history of colonialism in Africa, since it was a terrible time in history. In Swifts video, the beautiful African savannah is show casted and many animals are seen in the background but no indigenous people are shown. The author states that swift has been accused of “accidental racism”, this music video was about to be about a romantic couple film based in the savannah but it ended up having some after taste of racism.

 

Response

            In my opinion, the music video “Wildest Dreams” is not racist. One main point of conflict is that the video is based in colonial times, Taylor swift loves all thing vintage, the 20th century was a lovely time period. Africa is not show casted badly in the video, yes you do not see the true side of Africa but the beauty is seen. Nowhere in the video is there a indigenous person, many people think that is bad but it’s an American movie being filmed in Africa, the production crew isn’t going to be made up of Africans, they’re going to bring their own professional make up artists, tech crew and more. It s a music video, people need to stop looking at every little detail and enjoy the music which is what its all about. Its about a doomed romance, that’s it that’s all, there is nothing racist. According to Jared Diamond, we need to stop the arbitrary system of classifying races. Everything has to be about race, Nicki Minaj can make a video of her in a thong showing off her almost naked body and no one turns their heads but as soon as Taylor swift goes to Africa everyone freaks out and calls her racist. It is the 21st century and people are still seeing race and racism, Taylor Swift did not do it intentionally, people need to stop taking things personally when it is not done in a hurtful way. If Taylor was trying to be racist she would have been making black people work for her or had them chained up and stuff, yes that would be racist but there is nothing racist about her video. At the end of the day it is a music video and people need to see as just that and nothing else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

-       Lawler, K. (2015, September 3). Taylor Swift's 'Wildest Dreams' video draws backlash for racism. Retrieved September 10, 2015.

-       Diamond, J. (1994, November 4). Race without color. Retrieved September 11, 2015.

Comments

I chose to comment on “Taylor Swift's 'Wildest Dreams' video draws backlash for racism” summarized by Kess Mcrae because this was something that I had a lot of opinions on. I wouldn't consider myself a die hard fan of Taylor Swift but I do enjoy her music. If you didn't already know, Taylor Swift is a very famous person and her life is put under a magnify glass. One single thing she does bad, the whole world knows about it and shame her for it. This particular music video, people of African decent really took this music video personal. They called her racist because she used stereotypical animals such as lions and giraffes in her video. The also didn't like the fact that she wore such an offensive wardrobe. They especially didn't like the fact that she didn't include people from Africa in her video. I understand how the African Americans feel because since she's in Africa, she should show African American people but if Taylor had used African American people, they would still be offended. Taylor Swift is always going to get negative comments for whatever reason. She doesn't show African Americans, she's racist. She does show African American, she's just trying to show that she cares. She can never win. Whatever she does, she's always going to offend people. I agree with Kess when she says that when Nicki makes a video half naked, it's typical Nicki Minaj but when Taylor does something out of her comfort zone, she gets a lot of backlash and gets called a racist. There’s also a double standard on coloured people. Black people can do one thing and it’s socially acceptable but white people can’t and it’s not socially acceptable and vice versa. As said before, there is always going to be conflict with people. People are always going to be offended by what someone else did. I think people are over analyzing her music video. In conclusion, I don't think Taylor had any intentions to offend anyone. Whatever she does, she’ll always receive negative comments. With that being said, my question is, did Taylor think about the type of comments she’d receive after debuting this video. Did she think of the black people and how their feelings may be hurt?

I definitely respect your opinion on Taylor Swift. She's a great person and this is probably an "accident". However, it's also important to know that she is a feminist and noticing these kind of problems in her music video shouldn't be too hard for her.

This is a pretty funny article because something similar happened between Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj. Essentially, Nicki Minaj said something about how mad she was that her music video "Anaconda" did not receive a mention for the Music Video of the Year probably because she is a black woman. Taylor tried to comfort Nicki Minaj but in a very detrimental way. She basically claimed that Nicki Minaj did not win because she was a woman but completely ignored the fact that Nicki Minaj is a black woman. This is an important distinction because of a concept called intersectionality. All type of oppression are in a certain way connected. Nicki Minaj receives discrimination from two sources: racism and sexism. Taylor Swift probably fails to understand the concept of intersectionality because she has more privilege as a white woman than Nicki Minaj. She embodies white feminism as opposed to what feminism truly is.

Maybe what Taylor Swift did in her music video was not intentional. However, hearing the voices of oppressed groups about her video is important to promote equality on all sides as opposed to denying it.

Sources:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/taylor-swift-minaj-white-feminism_us...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersectionality

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privilege_(social_inequality)

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