Tags: taylor swift | aclu | white supremacy

Taylor Swift, ACLU in White Supremacy Tangle Over Blogger

Taylor Swift, ACLU in White Supremacy Tangle Over Blogger

(Press Association via AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 November 2017 09:18 AM

Taylor Swift and the ACLU are in a white supremacy tangle over a blog that suggested that the singer's music has been embraced by the alt-right and criticized the artist for failing to speak out on it.

Swift threatened to sue the blog PopFront and writer Meghan Herning in an Oct. 25 letter over her post about the singer's music and white supremacists, USA Today reported. In the post, Herning charged that one of the singer's latest songs was a "dog whistle" to white supremacists.

"Taylor's lyrics in 'Look What You Made Me Do' seem to play to the same subtle, quiet white support of a racial hierarchy," Herning wrote. "Many on the alt-right see the song as part of a 're-awakening,' in line with Trump's rise. At one point in the accompanying music video, Taylor lords over an army of models from a podium, akin to what Hitler had in Nazis Germany. The similarities are uncanny and unsettling."

Herning suggested that the singer's silence on the issue of white supremacy "has not gone unnoticed."

In a letter to Herning, Swift's attorney William J. Briggs II wrote that the PopFront column was a "malicious attack" on the singer, per USA Today.

"The story is replete with demonstrable and offensive falsehoods which bear no relation to reality or the truth about Ms. Swift," Briggs wrote. "It appears to be a malicious attack against Ms. Swift that goes to great lengths to portray Ms. Swift as some sort of white supremacist figurehead, which is a baseless fiction masquerading as fact and completely misrepresents Ms. Swift."

Briggs demanded that Herning take down the post and issue a retraction no later than Oct. 24 or it would proceed with litigation.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California responded on Herning's behalf on Monday, after the blogger contacted the organization, charging that Swift's attempted to intimidate Herning into removing the post that was clearly protected First Amendment speech.

"In short, your claims that the blog post has defamed Ms. Swift are completely unsupported," the ACLU wrote in a six-page response to Swift. "If the blog post's interpretation of Ms. Swift's lyrics were defamatory, your letter's slanted interpretation of that post would be, too (and more so, since you misquote the post).

"The First Amendment and our nation's 'profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open' prevents these types of differences of opinion from being censored by the threat of defamation lawsuits," the response continued.

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Taylor Swift and the ACLU are in a white supremacy tangle over a blog that suggested that the singer's music has been embraced by the alt-right and criticized the artist for failing to speak out on it.
taylor swift, aclu, white supremacy
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2017-18-07
Tuesday, 07 November 2017 09:18 AM
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