Adolf Hitler quotes being attributed to Taylor Swift via memes could be indirectly responsible for elevating the songstress to über-stardom among Neo-Nazis, who are suddenly hailing her as an “Aryan goddess.”
An Internet subculture is behind the public relations headache Swift has faced during the last month.
Factor in her pale, blonde, blue-eyed beauty — and what might be a touch of celebrity worship syndrome — and you have the makings of fans as vicious as the Bey Hive, as jealous as Beliebers, and as potentially scary as Mark David Chapman and John Lennon.
What’s behind it all? This strange status for Swift started in 2013 when Emily Pattinson, a young Pinterest user, posted the Hitler/Swift memes under the heading “Real Taylor Swift Quotes.”
Swift’s lawyers were quick to respond, stating in a letter to Pinterest, “The association of Ms. Swift with Adolf Hitler undisputedly is ‘harmful,’ ‘abusive,’ ‘ethnically offensive,’ ‘humiliating to other people,’ ‘libelous,’ and no doubt ‘otherwise objectionable.'” But parody and fair use laws prevented Pattinson from having to remove her questionable and misleading creations.
And now the alternative right’s belief that Swift is an underground Nazi who hopes to incite race riots is now going viral.
Better known as “alt-right,” this group, explained by the Vice blog Broadly as, “an Internet subculture that is best described as the Venn diagram of hipster culture and white supremacy,” is behind the public relations headache Swift has faced during the last month.
She has not dignified the accusations (or adulation?) with a response.
So now Swift has officially been called a fascist deity.
White-supremacist blogger Andrew Anglin wrote on his site The Daily Stormer, “Firstly, Taylor Swift is a pure Aryan goddess, like something out of classical Greek poetry. Athena reborn. That’s the most important thing. It is also an established fact that Taylor Swift is secretly a Nazi and is simply waiting for the time when Donald Trump makes it safe for her to come out and announce her Aryan agenda to the world. Probably, she will be betrothed to Trump’s son, and they will be crowned American royalty.”
One wonders whether this is mental illness, theoretically funny hyperbole, or mere internet trolling designed to rile people. After all, white supremacists like nothing more than to spark controversy.
As Breitbart reporter Milo Yiannopoulos noted, “To the vast majority in the alt-right, Swift is simply an opportunity for mischief. Manipulating internet searches to turn unsuspecting public figures into neo-Nazis is a favorite pastime of Internet miscreants and has little to do with politics or race. It’s all about the memes.”
Beyond the memes and Anglin’s blog, which the Southern Poverty Law Center says is the largest hate site on the web with more than 10,000 daily readers, there’s also a 20-thousand-member-and-growing Facebook group called Taylor Swift for Fascist Europe. Registered as a “comedian” page, this group has grown by at least 2,000 people in just the last few days.
Broadly spoke to the page’s anonymous community manager via email and was told that “he wishes ‘to preserve Europe’ through fascism. ‘Not only has fascism traditionally opposed Marxism, rather than simple opposition to Communism in the spirit of many traditional conservative ideologies, but anti-Marxist principles are at the core of its ideology. Only through the destruction of Marxism can Europe be restored to its former glory, and only fascism can ensure this destruction.'”
The community manager added, “Being Aryan is not simply a matter of blood, but it is also a matter of spirit. Take Kim Kardashian or Miley Cyrus as examples of this. Both began their lives with the same Nordic blood that Swift did, but what makes these two degenerates unfit for consideration as fascist icons? It is because, although Aryan in blood, the two are not Aryan in spirit. To be Aryan in spirit is what completes the fascist.”
In one more piece of “evidence” that seems to lean toward mental derangement, Anglin also wrote, “The entire alt-right patiently awaits the day when we can lay down our swords and kneel before her throne as she commands us to go forth and slaughter the subhuman enemies of the Aryan race.”
What else is there to say — beyond “They’ve got to be kidding”? … We hope.