Most of us know that Katy Perry was raised in conservative, evangelical household. Her parents, Mary and Keith, are Pentecostal pastors. They were born again Christians atoning for a wild youth so they went off the deep end, calling Deviled Eggs “Angeled Eggs” and not allowing anything but gospel music in the home. Katy has discussed her struggles with her parents’ beliefs but still maintains a close enough relationship with them that they pop up in her concert footage and on American Idol, etc. Another subject on which they disagree is politics, Katy’s folks being strong Trump supporters, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been paying attention. Following the election, Katy was one of the first celebrities to start talking about “reaching across the aisle,” starting with our own families. On November 8, she posted this:
the first thing I did when the presidency was called is text and call my family members who do not agree and tell them I love them and am here for them. #FamilyFirst. Call your family today. Happy Sunday. ♥️
— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) November 8, 2020
I hadn’t seen this tweet before now. I saw a lot of tweets from random people urging non-Trump voters to remember what it felt like four years ago when they lost or to have compassion for the Right, and I simply didn’t have the time for any of it. I’ve voted in plenty of elections in which my candidate didn’t win and the other side never owed me anything. My larger argument is that we, the pro-democracy set, have been forced to watch as crimes, atrocities, injustices, and scandals were committed in front of us every day for four years and we were just told we’d been granted a reprieve. If I had any Trump-voting family member I spoke to, their comfort would be the furthest thing from my mind.
I guess Katy meant it, though, because she recently promoted her father’s new clothing line, Nothing But American t-shirts and hoodies. The idea that Keith is promoting is that he’s tired of our political beliefs dividing us as a nation and we if we all put on these cool new shirts, declaring ourselves an American (symbolized by the flag) and not by our political party, then the country will heal, peace will ring out across the land and Coors Light will once again flow from the Rockies:
DListed graciously transcribed the video already:
“Hey everyone, I’m Keith, and I want to ask you a question. Are you tired of the division that is destroying our country? Are you sick of losing your family and friends because they just don’t agree with your political views? Well, I am. And I know there’s a lot of other people out there that have the same feeling… and no matter what you believe at the end of the day, we are all Americans. And I designed this t-shirt because I want people to know that even though you may have a different religion or political view than I do, I still will be there for you and I still will consider you my friend, my neighbor and my fellow American.”
I’m curious where this cry for unity and repair was when the GOP had all the power.
If you go on to the website, Nothing But American Store dot com, there are four items to choose from, two designs available in either a t-shirt or hoodie (no mention of where the product is made). Republican is listed first on both designs, just fyi. Katy was very active during the election, asking people to vote, reminding people of mail-in cut off dates and telling folks to check their information online. So she wasn’t ambivalent to the outcome of the election. But in her caption to the IG above, she said she and her dad haven’t always see eye to eye. Katy is an LGBTQ ally and her parents’ religion believes homosexuality goes against God. Katy was taught “to pray the gay away” at Jesus camp growing up. If her parents voted for Trump, then they supported his comments about white supremacists being very fine people. They voted for his decision to separate children from their parents and have them locked in cages. They supported the dismantling of healthcare for hundreds of thousands of Americans and the stripping away of affordable and safe healthcare. Are those the issues that Katy is referring to when she used cute emojis to say she and her father don’t see eye to eye? Because it would be hard to cover those things up with a cheap t-shirt.
To try and see Katy’s side, she did just have her first baby and she probably very much wants her whole family around her in this moment. So conciliatory efforts are probably important to her. But they are her efforts, with her family and I wish she’d recognize that. Because the things that Trump stood aren’t a matter of not seeing eye to eye and I will not reach out to anyone who doesn’t acknowledge the pain and suffering they’ve caused by supporting him.
Photo credit: Instagram and Getty