Taylor Swift is getting piled on by Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashian, and now Katy Perry in the Twitter dust-up that will someday be called “The Day Perez Hilton Died and Went to Heaven.”
I won’t rehash it all here, as breathless accounts can be found everywhere from gossip sites to the freaking NY Times. But I just want to stop and note how Tay-Tay is living the most perfect existence of anyone, anywhere on the planet. She has it all: perfect looks, rabid fan-base, rising power, amazing friends, and a string of lovers the envy of every straight female serial monogamist around. And it isn’t a case of “being born on third base and thinking you hit a triple” — her stellar rise truly has Taylor Swift to thank more than any parent, agent, manager or producer.
She’s the one person who does everything perfectly and better than you, and has never experienced a single set-back or failure in her life. She’s the girl who shows up every day looking amazing when you’re happy if your hair is going in fewer than six different directions. That girl in high school is always hated on by the other girls, and always unfairly.* (UPDATE: see below) Swift has no reason to apologize for winning life, nor does she have to apologize for making a diss track about Perry after the latter stole Swift’s backup dancers.
That said… as I’ve talked about before, there is almost no way a white person can talk about race without automatically losing. Look at the show White People, which was designed purely to paint all whites as racists. if you’re on that show, and you are doing anything but reciting politically correct pablum straight out of a college diversity seminar, you are automatically either the schmuck or the villain. Or both.
Part of it is due to political correctness, yes, but it is mostly because we really fail to empathize with people of color because we never experience anything like what they have to go through. No, Nicki Minaj was not snubbed because the VMAs are run by the Klan. But there really is a passive indifference to POCs among whites, even white liberals, that causes this sort of thing, or a fraud like Iggy Azalea being held up as the world’s best female hip-hop artist. And that’s before you get to the more street-level stuff like parents mouthing all the usual PC talking points before turning around and sending their little Ethan to a lily-white private school because their local public school has too many… well, it just hosts kids who are too… oh, let’s change the subject!
Anyway. Yes, I’m still one of those male Swifties everyone gives the side-eye to. I know she meant well, even if she was clueless about it. And I can’t judge. After all, in social situations, I pretty much never have a clue no matter how many clue phones are ringing with urgent clue messages from Clue Headquarters.
And as for actual racial outrages go, the case of Sandra Bland has far more consequence than the friggin’ VMAs from a network slowly fading to irrelevance. A racist white cop decided to get tough with a black woman who did not show him the proper fear. She was thrown in jail after a violent (on the part of the officer) arrest and wound up dead in custody 2 days later. If a white man had been treated like Bland for sticking up for his rights the way she did, FoxNews would have been raging 24/7 like they did for Clive Bundy. Swift committed a gaffe. Officer Brian Encinia committed assault, racial intimidation, and possibly far, far worse if the suspicious “suicide” story doesn’t hold up. Maybe Nicki and Katy’s fans need to talk about THAT a bit more.
* Update: after posting this, I saw a Salon writer proved me exactly right. Money quote: “She’s like the prom queen who drives the brand-new Mercedes to school, whose parents buy everyone cookies: If you defy her you are some kind of envious grouch or killjoy.” Damn, dude! You shouldn’t automatically hate the prom queen just because she would never date you…
Update 2: A ceasefire has been declared, the war is over, conscription into the armies of Team Taylor and Team Nicki is halted and service is once again voluntary, peace has settled across the land and our long national nightmare is over
I thought I was being called out. I missed the point, I misunderstood, then misspoke. I’m sorry, Nicki. @NICKIMINAJ
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) July 23, 2015
That means so much Taylor, thank you. @taylorswift13 ❤️❤️❤️
— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) July 23, 2015