Taylor Swift wants Juneteenth to be a national holiday & she gave her staff the day off

Taylor Swift arrives at the 2019 American Music Awards wearing a Julien Macdonald dress

Happy Juneteenth! It should be said more often: Taylor Swift has been perfect during the pandemic. I’m being completely serious! She was there, very early on before states began to close, telling her fans to social distance and avoid public spaces. Taylor’s ass has been in lockdown all this time too – the only times we’ve “seen” her in months is through her own social media. She’s been using this downtime to work, reflect and educate herself, and work to be a better ally to all marginalized communities. In recent months, she’s posted heartfelt and accurate statements about Donald Trump’s white supremacy, the murder of Ahmaud Aubry, and the need to take down all of those stupid Confederate statues. And now this message about Juneteenth:

The Root article is an excellent explainer about the history of Juneteenth and the movement to turn it into a national holiday, plus an argument about why it should be made a national holiday right now, in this moment. I agree. Juneteenth is already recognized as a state holiday in many states, and some governors (like mine in Virginia) are now making it a paid holiday for state employees. As for Taylor and “reflect, listen, and reprogram any part of our lives that hasn’t been loudly and ferociously anti-racist…” Good for her. For real.

Taylor Swift wearing an Oscar de la Renta jumpsuit arrives at the 2019 Billboard Women In Music

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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63 Responses to “Taylor Swift wants Juneteenth to be a national holiday & she gave her staff the day off”

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  1. Alissa says:

    I agree, she’s done very well the last few months.

    • Carmody says:

      New PR team?

      • Alissa says:

        I think it’s the change in label tbh, as well as her maturing.

      • Case says:

        She has the same publicist. I have a feeling her old label dictated a lot more of her past America’s Sweetheart image than she has revealed — the pap walks with boyfriends (real or fake) and the silence around political issues stopped as soon as she left her old label.

        Plus, as Alissa said, maturity. And probably educating herself better on issues that matter, too.

    • Shane says:

      Agreed. But real question, does she have black employees?

    • ItReallyIsYou,NotMe says:

      I think it’s maturity. In many ways 30 IS a magic number in the way that people wake up and notice the world around them.

    • minx says:

      Good for her, no shade from me.

  2. Darla says:

    I saw someone tweet that if someone had told 2010 him that Taylor Swift ends up more woke than Kayne West he would have cussed them out as a liar. I laughed. We sure do live in interesting times.

  3. Pj says:

    I’ll admit it. I like Woke Taylor.

    • Mtec says:

      Lol! Me too. She’s grown on me. Still wish I liked her music better, tbh, but this is good.

    • Becks1 says:

      I agree. i’m not going to buy one of her albums lol, but I like what she is saying and doing.

    • Liz version 700 says:

      Woke Taylor is very like able! Good for her. Change and growth are hard, but worth it. She is using her extreme privilege to be helpful which is good to see.

    • lucy2 says:

      Me too. She has such a huge following, it’s great she’s using it for good.

  4. Lightpurple says:

    Just waiting for Taylor to go after her Senator Marsha Blackburn. I sense Marsha is just one or two incredibly racist, stupid statements or acts away from making that happen. It will be fun to watch.

    • C-Shell says:

      For sure. Didn’t Taylor go after her directly in 2018? Did I dream that?

      • Case says:

        You’re correct, C-Shell! That was part of her first political post, because Blackburn was up for reelection and she wrote about all of the horrible policies Blackburn stands for.

      • Lightpurple says:

        She endorsed Blackburn’s opponent in 2018 when the Senate seat was open. That was her first political statement. But she didn’t really go after her as hard as she’s pushing things now and I doubt Blackburn’s faded beauty pageant queen act, combined with her immature antics as a Senator, would withstand a full blast.

    • raptor says:

      It’s not the same as directly going after her, but Taylor did refer to Blackburn as “Donald Trump in a wig” in her Netflix documentary 😂

  5. Diana says:

    She is growing up and maturing! Proud of her!!!!!!!!!!

  6. reef says:

    This feels like the Twilight Zone. I’ve spent my whole life celebrating Juneteenth amongst my family and friends with a nary a white person caring or making a mention. Having a debate with at least one friend or relative with their 3rd eye open why it should be a day of revolution not celebration.
    Now my PWI alma mater is sending out Juneteenth emails and it’s a scheduled day off for Swifty’s and many businesses. I’m…very confused.

    • C-Shell says:

      Little white, red headed baby born in Texas on June 19th, my mother’s LA/TX family always made it sort of a joke, but I taught myself the history long ago (not like I’d ever learn this in school where American history is pretty much about all the times the American white saviors fixed the country and the world). Once a year I get the chance to tell it to everyone who wishes me happy.

      Happy Freedom Day!

    • Betsy says:

      As a white person, I’ve known about Juneteenth for a long time (it certainly wasn’t a thing in my 95% white town, but it percolated in somehow), and it’s an amazing commemorative holiday (and, as you say, a day for further revolution), but I haven’t wanted to have anything to do with marking it for fear of appropriating it.

      It’s not like the end of slavery was the end of white supremacy, but enslaved people finally being freed from outright and unjust bondage is still an important milestone that should be marked hugely.

    • K says:

      The differences of experience around a day like this are wild. As a white woman who grew up in a tiny, unremarkable midwestern American town that was not at all diverse, I was never taught about Juneteenth by anyone. (I also never witnessed any outright displays of racism that I would have protested… because there was a near-total absence of people of color. I know, that sounds almost sinister, but it was mostly just boring and telling about how out of touch some parts of the country are.)

      But I also never heard of Juneteenth from friends or colleagues later as I moved to large cities and my circle grew into more of a rainbow. Finally heard about it in my mid-30′s on a tv show featuring mostly black characters. Representation matters! It’s crushing to realize that you’ve been taught history with so many holes in it, endless white bias and sexism. I’m grateful for Me Too and this movement of re-education and lifting up voices that have been muffled. We have to radically change this system that lies to kids and produces ignorant, un-empathetic adults–it does none of us any favors! I never asked to be sheltered and maybe Taylor Swift feels similarly.

  7. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I’m impressed. Never thought I’d see anything close to this come from her. And the, “I want to thank @TheRoot and @RhapsoDani for allowing me to post this video about the significance of today,” is especially important. Asking for permission is such a huge step in maturity. How many adults in your orbit respectfully ask for permission for anything?

  8. TIFFANY says:

    I too have changed my tune about Taylor. She has been putting in the work. Here is hoping she keeps it up.

  9. Brooke says:

    My company is letting us off a couple hours early. Everyone was surprised when they announced it on Tuesday. That excitement was ruined though when my very white boss asked “who’s going to bring the fried chicken and the watermelon?” We were all shocked at that point, to which he replied, “If you want I can bring the chicken and you guys bring the grape soda and Kool-aid.” Somehow he still has a job and we were all labeled as “negative Nancy’s” who couldn’t take a joke.

    I know that people are racist but I honestly had no idea how many people were as open about it as they are. Over the past few days I have had so many comments about us taking a few hours off. Most people have said they don’t think it deserves to be a holiday. We’ve had a few people close their bank accounts because they don’t support it. Then we had another who said only white people should be able to celebrate the day since it was us who freed them. We closed her account for her.

    I grew up the kid of immigrants. I have been told and called so many hurtful things over the years but this is something different. This is just hate for the sake of being hateful. It’s scary to think how far so many people are willing to go to protect that hate.

    • Sayrah says:

      Good lord your boss is a racist moron. That needs to be reported.

    • Darla says:

      Jesus christ! Where in hell is this bank?

      • Brooke says:

        I live on the west coast and in a city that prides itself on being progressive! What’s crazy too is that so much of the hate is coming from the younger generation. I know it’s wrong at any age but I expect it more from my boss who is in his sixties, not someone in their twenties or even younger.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      Brooke, is this a national or regional chain bank?

      if so, report his azz to corporate; if enough people find out about it, they’ll start a boycott or some sort of campaign of complaints to get him canned.

    • Betsy says:

      Holy sht. That’s bad.

      (I was surprised to find out the significance of red soda on Juneteenth – evidently the enslaved weren’t permitted to drink that newfangled red pop at all, so when they were freed, that was one of the things with which they celebrated. I’d site my source, but I can’t remember and it may have been the non-fiction notes in one of my kids’ books).

    • Deedee says:

      I’m sorry that you have to put up with that kind of nonsense day in and day out. Enjoy your time off and share it with loved ones.

    • Liz version 700 says:

      Dear God that is a not OK statement for your boss to make! And the lady who said white people should celebrate because they freed them? Holy Cow.

    • Maida says:

      Brooke, that behavior by your boss and the customers is truly disgusting. I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with that.

      As much as the current climate is pushing some white people toward reflection and working to become anti-racist (like T. Swift), it’s clearly bringing out the racist reactionary in others.

  10. Case says:

    Good for her. As I’ve said before, I particularly like that socially-aware Taylor focuses on EDUCATION. It’s clear she reads up on things before she speaks about them, shows what she personally is doing about it, shares resources, and emphasizes the importance of her fans researching more on their own. It’s an excellent way to use her platform because it encourages her fans to not just think what she thinks because they love her — to think for themselves and learn more. Really great.

    My company gave us a half day today but made it clear this won’t be an yearly work holiday. I think that totally undercuts the point of having off today — it’s very “we don’t ACTUALLY think this is a worthy holiday but we want to look good this year, so here you go.” Personally, I will be using the time to better educate myself, as I have actively been doing the last few weeks.

    • SomeChick says:

      Sadly I think there will be a lot of that sort of thing. Unless this truly is a shift (and we keep the pressure on).

      As Taylor mentions, TheRoot (dotcom) is an excellent source for learning. They look at both history and current culture. The writing is really good and the writers all have unique voices.

      Good for her! “Snake Fam, take notice and educate yourselves” is pretty much the best message she could put out there. I hope they all click over to The Root and get started.

  11. Kim says:

    It’s very good news Taylor took action. I did a small thing in support of making Juneteenth a national holiday; I just signed the petition.

  12. marilandica says:

    Woke Taylor Swift is an unexpected but pleasant square in 2020 bingo.

  13. Marigold says:

    Actually, in Texas watermelon is a traditional food on Juneteenth. Other red foods as well. I had the good fortune to participate in many Juneteenth celebrations growing up.

    As for Taylor, I have always liked her though she has definitely been silly in the past. I chalked it up to her being young with a lot of early success. All in all, she came out pretty well.

  14. Jerusha says:

    To echo others here, good for Taylor. It seems sincere, not done for PR.

  15. Slowsnow says:

    1) Taylor accepts her curves and no longer wants to be rail thin
    2) Taylor openly professes her love for LGBTQ+
    3) Taylor openly supportive for BLM
    4) Taylor passes the mic

    Waiting for 5) make music I like, and we’re good to go me and Taylor. I know she’s not perfect but she sure is being far more correct than many people out there.

  16. Abby says:

    I like that she’s linking to Black resources rather than pontificating herself. She has a huge influence on a lot of white people. I appreciate that she’s stepping out—but after educating herself.

  17. CROOKSANDNANNIES says:

    It was shocking for me to learn that my coworkers had no idea what Juneteenth was—as in, someone saw it on the Google calendar two weeks ago and said “Juneteenth, what’s that?” Everyone else on my team (all white) shrugged and said they didn’t know. I am white as well. I don’t know if it was growing up in Texas, but I have always been aware of Juneteenth and what it stands for. My sister’s company got the day off, and I felt like that was a great step, but one of her acquaintances said it was just her company’s excuse to be “woke” and “get a free day.”

    Personally, I want to commemorate this day, but I don’t see why I should get the day off/deserve to have the day off. Symbolically, I understand, but as a white person I have a lot of work to do—educating myself further about race by listening to black voices. I should incorporate that into my daily life, and not just feel lucky about getting a day off of work.

  18. Sjehbebsbs says:

    So when is she going to finally cop to the fact that she capitalized off of racism when she played white damsel in distress to Kanye and gaslighted him, the media, and fans for years? Like she’s completely benefitted from racism and not only knows it, but plays into it. I’m sorry but she’s just doing this all because it’s convenient.

  19. Marion says:

    I’m a European who’s been studying Amercian history for 5 years now. My teachers are mostly Americans and it’s the first time I’ve ever read/heard the word “Juneteenth”. I had to check on it and I cannot believe that in my supposed “thorough” studies of American history, not a single scholar has ever mentionned this word! It’s really time to make a change so that us, foreigners, can fathom your history better.which has so many consequences on our lives even as non-Americans.
    Of course, I’ve “studied” the Civil War, Jim Crow laws but how can we grasp the existing problems if we have a biased education too?
    So thank you Kaiser/ Celebitchy in general for this article…even if I hate Taylor!

    • Liz version 700 says:

      Don’t feel bad. I grew up in a town that was the site of a racist massacre and only learned about it when I saw an article on the internet. I lived in the town where it happened and it was never discussed!

    • whatWHAT? says:

      so much of American history is whitewashed, both literally and figuratively. I mean, the whole story of Christopher Columbus that I (and most people) learned in school leaves a WHOLE LOT out about him and his…uh…”methods” of control and punishment. dude was a genocidal psychopath who tortured people for punishment but all we were taught was that he “discovered” America (spoiler: he didn’t, actually).

      • Liz version 700 says:

        Yeah psychopath is a good word for him! You are so correct about the whitewashing

  20. Eugh says:

    Can we take this up and hastily drop Columbus day from existence?

    • Abby says:

      Yeah for sure thus should be a national hills ya. I would also like to substitute Election Day as a national holiday in place of Columbus Day.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      I told my Facebook friends list about 7 or 8 years ago that the U.S. celebrating Columbus Day was like Milwaukee celebrating Jeffrey Dahmer Day, and the reaction was mostly puzzled silence. I think a lot more people are aware of the actual history now. Erasing that holiday name can’t happen soon enough.

  21. suzannah says:

    Please spell Ahmaud Arbery’s name correctly.