Earlier this week a reader named Larry alerted me to this picture of Taylor Swift posing with a guy who painted a swastika on his shirt. Before I wrote about this I needed to calm down and so took a day or two to think about it. The picture was taken at Katy Perry's birthday party. Apparently at the party guests wore white and were encouraged to paint all over their clothes.
One of the guests decided he was going to be an a-hole and painted a swastika. Taylor posed with him and so she gets the bad press. For the rest of her life people will say that she is anti-semetic or make up things about her. They will also say that the JH stands for Jew hater, but it isn't true. It stands for Julianne Hough who had a TS painted on her clothes.
Taylor's rep said that Taylor posed for lots of pictures that night and didn't see what they guy was wearing. That may be true or maybe she didn't know what it meant or it's implications. She should have, and she won't make the same mistake twice.
I am less upset with Taylor for making a dumb mistake than I am for all of the other hundreds of guests who didn't do or say anything when this guy was walking around all night. No one kicked him out and no one made him change clothes. They just let him be. He was seen hanging out with Katy and Russell and so many other guests and no one bothered to call him out on it. Why? Because it was a party? Because they didn't want to get involved? Because no one was offended? I guarantee you lots of people were offended but no one wanted to be the first to confront. No one wanted to rock the boat. The responsibility was on Katy Perry or the management of the place to make him change or kick him out. Barring that, someone else needed to step up. When people remain silent or scared to say anything then others with negative views feel emboldened and know they will not be challenged. Then you start to have problems. Katy should apologize. Taylor did.