Did Justin Timberlake deserve the shade after Jesse Williams’ BET speech?


Do you think it was a mistake to schedule this year’s BET Awards opposite the season finale of Game of Thrones? Perhaps. But everyone is still talking about everything that went down at the BET Awards, especially Jesse Williams’ speech. Williams received the “humanitarian of the year” award for his years of activism around Black Lives Matter and the Advancement Project. Williams made an incredible speech, saying in part:

“This is for the real organizers all over the country. The activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers of students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do…this is for the black women who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves… We can and will do better for you,” he said.

The honoree went on to call for more effective policing while decrying the extrajudicial killing of black people, invoking the memory of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and Rekia Boyd, among others.

Williams also lambasted the practice of consuming black culture while devaluing black life: “We’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment… ghetto-lyzing and demeaning our creations, then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is — just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”

[From USA Today]

A powerful message about appropriation, about the white artists and activists who use, abuse and copy black artists and black activists without paying homage, without paying respect. Here’s video of Jesse’s speech:

What happened next could not have been scripted. Justin Timberlake was at home, watching the BET Awards, and he was moved by Jesse’s speech. So he tweeted about it:

And within SECONDS Justin was being dragged for his history of appropriation, his history of throwing black women under the bus (hello Janet Jackson) and more. It was glorious. Some sample tweets:

And then this happened:

And then Justin was being dragged so hard that he had to eat sh-t and apologize in a half-assed way, which is basically what he does whenever he screws up.

Hahaha. What should have been a story about an inspiring speech from one of the most eloquent activists in Hollywood was thread-jacked by Justin Timberlake trying to make everything all about Justin Timberlake. I love it when Twitter get all riled up!


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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225 Responses to “Did Justin Timberlake deserve the shade after Jesse Williams’ BET speech?”

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  1. Tiffany27 says:

    I am so in love with Jesse Williams. So in love. I hear music when I think of that I man.

    • Kitten says:

      He’s so beautiful to look at….it’s almost startling when he opens his mouth to speak and so much truth, spoken with such eloquence comes out.

      It seems impossible that someone can be this good-looking and this thoughtful at the same time. Magic indeed.

    • sunny says:

      He is so so wonderful and what he said is too true. The strange fruit reference really got me. I cannot imagine what it is to be a black person in America. I live in Canada and although we have(and I have experienced) racism here, it is a different experience and a different legacy than our neighbours. But so much of Jesse’s speech really did resonate with me- as one of the early lessons my parents taught me was about cultural appropriation and how it affects black artists and black communities. Or as my mom often says, “Darling, lots of people want to be black just without the downside of actual blackness. They can try on our cultures without the fear, hatred, and racism that comes from living in our skin”.

      • ohdear says:

        : ) @sunny
        I try to talk to my kids about the experiences of visible minorities (race, mental health and learning exceptionalities), and I love your mom’s quote.
        Her point is why I think it is so important that our teachers are very diverse – they need to be able to live their experiences and teach our students about them, they shouldn’t just be filtered through the dominant society who have never experienced the situations and deep realities that other groups have suffered.
        FNMI (first Nations, Metis, and Inuit) are taught every grade from 1-9, except grade 3. But the teaching is often limited to what kind of houses different tribes used and how/what they hunted. I think we are obligated to invite FNMI groups into schools to teach all of us about the social/political/identity fallouts about our policies and biases. (I think this extends to any minority culture, too). Not because we can ‘live’ in their shoes but I think it is VERY important to discuss and bring forward the issues other members of our community live with.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        Do you find it to be very different? I don’t know that I do.

      • GingerNYC says:

        I saw a man-on-the-street show once where the host would ask white people about the state of race relations. When most would respond by saying how little racism there is & blah blah blah, the host would follow up by saying, “ok, great! So let me ask u this, how much would I have to pay you to become black? If things are so great then it should be no big deal right?” It was hilarious to watch the woke trying to come out.

      • sunny says:

        @Jo”Mama”Besser- I do. I truly do find it very different. Equality doesn’t exists here yet but I don’t think it really exists anywhere. But while racism does exists here in Canada and I have felt it- I have never once feared for my life because of my blackness and that is the difference to me. And while racial injustice exists here, look at what we have done to our indigenous population, the incidents targeted at Muslim Canadians, amongst other issues, I believe it is less widespread here in Canada. I put that in sharp contrast with parts of America where I have genuinely felt physically unsafe. Years ago when my younger brother was in college, he went on a road trip with his American friends( all white and coming from fairly well off families(our family too was pretty comfortable). He mentioned that they were driving through the south and his friends told him, “It’s best you don’t drive” and they stopped to eat at a diner which had confederate flags out front as it was the only place for miles. He decided to just eat in the car. More recently, a friend’s company sent her to a training exercise in Florida and on her first day there a group of teenage boys crossed the street to yell some truly hateful things at her. She told me she felt unsafe.

    • Nicole says:

      SAME. Definition of a sexy man inside and out. He doesn’t just speak on issues he’s been on the ground working with BLM

    • Sixer says:

      I read the full transcript of the speech this morning. I actually cried! Ok, I’m emotional what with the idiots that lead us here in the UK having just let all our horrible people out of the box we’ve had them contained in for so long, but still. What a speech. On point. You can’t just declare yourself an ally when all you actually are is an appropriater. But nevertheless, real allies welcome. Made me reflect on myself all the way over here in Blighty, anyway.

  2. Almondjoy says:

    You guys… The amount of popcorn I consumed watching this unfold last night… No words.

    Black Twitter will drag you for filth. Every single time 😩

    • Lama Bean says:

      And I live for it every time! Black twitter is the best.

    • Nicole says:

      Black twitter is NO JOKE. People like to sleep on us because they never learn. We have the natural ability to drag
      Meek and kind beware the day we change our minds…that day is today

    • Marty says:

      Like, how is JT THAT clueless? Jesse was talking about people like him, then JT had to drive the point home with his we’re all “one race” comment. SO stupid.

    • Pinky says:

      I MEAN….Don’t come at Black Twitter. You will be DEE-stroyed!


    • QQ says:

      NO COUNTRY NEVER COUNTRY FOR JT I Am GLAD today that I lived to see Black Twitter gather that corny ass Coward ( cause NO I still won’t Own or listen to anything of his to this day, I smelled that turd way back when)

      2015 Radicalized us all … God Bless that King Jesse for setting that room on Fire!! the enormity of this airing on Viacom affiliates!! WHOOO!! he gave me goosebumps again!, hands hurt from clapping AGAIN! ( My TL last night was the living conflict of black women trying to Church stomp while also throwing the panties at the tv)

    • THE OG BB says:

      I was able to see video of Jesse’s speech and Bey and Kendrick’s opening, but I was super sick last night (missed GoT, too) and I missed this gold. Justin, you need to take several seats because you are the modern king of appropriation. Did he think he wasn’t going to get dragged for that nonsense. We are all one, yeah no, that’s what people who want to ignore talks about race and privilege say.

    • GingerNYC says:

      What’s good, Justin? He got his black card TAKEN lol. Next up, all lives matter!

  3. Mia4s says:

    Did Justin Timberlake deserve the shade..


    I really didn’t need the rest of that headline. He’s deserved all of it since he whiny babied his way out of the Super Bowl controversy (and left a black woman to take all the blame and ridicule).

  4. KittenFarts says:

    I guess whites just need to learn to shut their mouths

    • detritus says:

      The ones that steal others culture, erase it when needed for their own gains and capitalize off of it without supporting said culture – they do.
      So JT needs to stfu. The dragging was totally deserved.

      • claire says:

        What does he need to do to be allowed to make music without being considered a thief or ‘appropriater’? Serious question.

      • detritus says:

        TBH, I don’t know definitely. I have issues drawing the line between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation. I think an understanding of the unique issues a culture faces and the historical context is a start. Make some sort of effort.

        Macklemore, for example, is doing a good job. JT is more like a male Iggy Azalea.

        Also JT is a giant turd, so I tend to take everything he says poorly.
        I’m not forgetting Janet and the wedding video of him making fun of the homeless.

      • Naya says:

        Robin Thicke is a dbag in other ways but he got the appreciation part right. He never came off as a tourist partly because he had a black wife but also because he paid his dues in black clubs and on black radio stations. HIs early target audience was black women so even when mainstream success came, it never felt like he was selling “black music” to white audiences. He was just doing what he had always done and white people were suddenly responding.

        Incidentally, music writers said that JT pinched his later sound from Robin Thicke which is the ultimate in black erasure.

      • almondmilk says:


        Perfect summation of why Robin is different than Timberlake. Though Thicke, as mentioned is not without his detractors.

        Also it’s always bugged how big acts in black music cape for jt (which is all about the greenbacks). Like even with this I expect at any minute for someone like Jay or timba, to step in and defend.

    • Maria says:

      this. white people will not be the majority for much longer anyway.

      • Bill says:

        The above comments are incredibly offensive and extremely racist.

      • FingerBinger says:

        Globally white people are already the minority.

      • Ambrosia says:

        Globally they’re not already, but if you’re talking about in the US, I’m afraid that’s not correct. Population statistics at the CIA World Factbook state that nearly 80% of the US is predominantly white. Honestly thought this was obvious.

    • frankie says:

      Justin was dragged because he has made questionable remarks about MJ, Prince and totally left Janet to be dragged and destroyed after their Superbowl thing. He uses black culture when he can but never significantly supports anything and when sh*t hits the fan he runs. That’s why he was dragged

    • Wilma says:

      Oh please, you’re proving the point here. It’s very simple: JT has enjoyed and used black culture without proper due and is now trying to say that we’re all one race as if being anything other than white isn’t still something that means you have to work harder to get a little amount of the appreciation white people get.
      If you are white, you really need to learn what this means for you and your life. Yes, you may experience difficulties, but your difficulties would be worse if you were another color. This is about listening to the experiences of other people, thinking about them and trying to level the playing field.

    • Ambrosia says:

      That’s a terrible thing to say. To anyone. Especially about skin color when you loathe being treated they way yourself.

    • QQ says:

      Sure Kittenfarts, Listen, If that’s what YOU got out of what he said , then YES Please that applies for you and only you

  5. Itsme says:

    How is tweeting support making it all about him? And does that logic apply to everyone everywhere who uses social media to share their opinions about current events?

    • Cynthia says:

      I agree with you. He misspoke, and also Justin has busted his ass, and he is talented, nothing was given to him. I just don’t know where the line is anymore? What is considered cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation?

    • Colette says:

      Everyone on social media is criticized by someone for their opinion why should he be exempt from criticism?

    • Ambrosia says:


    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Tweeting support for something that he himself is guilty of?

      Well that’s adorable.

      Republicans who vote against gun control tweet support for gun control speech.

      Iggy Azalea who has appropriated and used racist speech tweets support about empathy among races.

      Hmm, how many more obvious and silly examples can I name to make you understand that when someone tweets ‘support’ for an issue they continue to abuse no one is impressed.

      Ooh. Here’s a good one. Oscar Pistorious tweets ‘support’ for domestic violence resources for women.

      • THE OG BB says:

        Absolutely. Justin has a terrible track record, thus he was called on it. No one is just pulling stuff out of thin air.

    • Merritt says:

      Because Timberlake’s own history is terrible. And when called out for it, he wanted to play the victim. He is a terrible person.

    • caitlinK says:

      I really don’t understand how JT’s tweeting his support was making it “all about him?” It was the responders to his rather innocuous remark that dragged him into the center of it all–I certainly don’t get the feeling he wanted to be there. Anyway, I don’t know much of anything about JT, nor do I care to: that little “prank” or “joke” on the homeless for his wedding revealed him to be a thoroughly repugnant human being. I don’t know anything about his music, however, and it sounds as if I’m missing nothing genuine or good.

      • ohdear says:

        I think (correct me if I am wrong), but his first tweet was tone-deaf because he is exactly who Jesse was talking about.
        Then his follow up tweets were about how he was misunderstood instead of addressing the topic and issue being discussed. My read is that he just reaffirmed the problem Jesse was pointing out. If JT had any sense, he would have acknowledged his own missteps, or given kudos to come pioneers/members of the black music community who had supported him along the way. He jumped into a conversation that he really had no place commenting on unless he had owned his own responsibility first.

    • Amberica says:

      Right? I think he screwed himself when he tried to backpedal and made it much worse, so I’m not talking about his subsequent tweets, but are we really at a point where a white person isn’t allowed to even agree anymore? Again, his subsequent tweets are totally deserving of shade, but for just agreeing? Please. Pfft.

  6. Toot says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed the dragging of JT.

  7. Colette says:

    Rather than saying “we are the same” acknowledge we are treated differently.I agree we all you should be treated the same,though.Part of the criticism toward Justin is based on comments he has made in the past so it’s not just that tweet.

    • Jenna says:

      Ugh, I know. We’re all human, yes, but every one of us comes at life through vastly different experiences, be it race, gender, class, sexuality, and so forth. Saying “we’re all the same, come together” is such a cop out.

      We can only learn and adapt through listening to one another’s singular experiences, and realising that only that person can know the truth of that life. You can comment and critique and share, but from YOUR perspective only. You’ll never actually know what it’s truly like how the other half lives.

    • sunnydaze says:

      THIS. Granted, I’m a white female, but I cannot stand the whole “colorblind” argument. My race loves to do this – we are all one, we don’t see color, we don’t treat people differently. Which COMPLETELY misses the mark. When we deny that others have a different experience than we do, we deny our privilege, we deny there is MUCH work to be done. There’s a lot of privilege going on with JT, being a white, straight male. It would do him some good to A) realize he lives in the gold plated tower of ivory towers and B) he can use his platform for good, to bring attention and awareness and set an example. He chooses none of these options.

  8. Brittney B. says:

    This man.

    His beauty is nothing compared to his way with words, his strength, his righteous anger.

    Justin heard nothing he said, but that’s not surprising.

    • Myrna says:

      He is spectacular looking, isn’t he?
      I didn’t watch, but his words are powerful.

      As to why JT chimed in – does he always make it about him?
      Sometimes it seems this way (can’t wait to ready Lainey’s take on this).

      Did he deserve the backlash?

      But the topic is up for interpretation, isn’t it?
      JT does follow a vibe – he embraces black music/art.
      But is that hijacking it?
      Or is it a nod?

      I don’t know anything about JT’s stance on social issues.
      Did he dump JJ in the Super Bowl debacle?
      Seems it.
      But does that define him as an artist who doesn’t stand up for social equality?

      Back to Jesse…he’s freakin GORGEOUS.
      This is the stuff I like to come here to comment on.
      The more serious stuff just gets us all arguing.

      • MrsBPitt says:

        I agree with you…I think it is “embracing” black culture, not appropriating it…This Country is supposed to be a melting pot…where cultures collide…I like Mexican food…am I appropriating their culture, no, I am embracing it…I love so many black artists, and, if I could, I would be up there singing their songs, because I love them, not because I want to steal something from anyone….

      • Nicole says:

        The only reason I don’t drag JT as much as like JB is because JT grew up in an area that influences his sound. He grew up in Memphis the home of blues and jazz. But he absolutely borrows from our culture and I’ve never heard him say anything about social issues

      • Marty says:

        If JT “appreciated” black culture so much he wouldn’t pick and choose what aspects he likes to acknowledge like he’s at a clothing store. Culture is not just about music or food.

      • Cynthia says:

        @Nicole what you said.

  9. Lbliss says:

    So..what’s good, Justin? Ugh. Same old same old, some dumb musician/pop star/actor is so self absorbed and ignorant they fail to recognize basic concepts of the world around them, then back tracks. Rise and repeat.

  10. eggy weggs says:

    WHAT A PATRONIZING TURD: “Oh, you sweet soul. The more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation.”

    Also: “I feel misunderstood.” Cry me a river, JT.

    • Pinky says:

      ^All this. All day!


    • lucy2 says:

      That was extremely patronizing. He seems completely unaware of his own privilege.

    • HH says:

      I know! It was very Iggy Azalea of him. He really doesn’t get it and gave the “colorblind” argument. UUUUGGGHHHH!

      This hurts especially because I used to LOVE me some JT. But, I had no idea he was THIS clueless (love is blind, people). At least it’s coming at a time when his music is on the downturn.

    • Adele Dazeem says:

      I can’t get past the “oh you sweet soul” condescension. beyooooond obnoxious

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      He thought he was gonna swoop in with a white messiah tweet and get showered in love, backlash well deserved.

      • THE OG BB says:

        Yes and again, the accusations are not coming out of nowhere. Justin has a loooonnnggg history of appropriation.

  11. TheOtherMaria says:

    Timberlake should have stayed quiet ESPECIALLY after how dirty he did Janet 😒

    The sad thing, he probably believes he did nothing wrong then nor really believe he appropriated a style of music, granted, white artists CAN do soul/R&B— authenticity matters.

  12. Ayra. says:

    “We are the same.” see if that were actually the case, Jesse probably wouldn’t have made a whole speech about how we aren’t treated the same and the lack of actual equality..

    • Bira Kawooya says:


      This is why Black twitter dragged him for filth. As black people know damn well (I’m black) that we, in theory, are all the same but unfortunately are not treated as such. If we are all one human race as JT said on his twitter then can we all be treated the same, please?
      Some of us are treated as sub-human- it’s a disgrace. I’m a Londoner and they since the whole Brexit mess went down people have been sharing stories on twitter about racially aggravated attacks on EU nationals. My work friend told me today she saw a group of men tell a Polish couple, ‘ What the f@@@ are you still doing here? Go home! We don’t want your kind here!’ People need to understand that we are not all treated with the respect and dignity we deserve. It’s so sad.

      • Pinky says:

        I know this will sound ignorant, but how can a bunch of white English people tell the that someone is Polish? Is it by listening to them speak? The Polish hatred that I’ve been reading about is truly blowing my mind.


      • claire says:

        Why are Polish people being targeted? I saw some headline yesterday about some card that was being passed around to people, something about, if you see a Polish person, report them, or something like that. It was really weird.

      • Nicole says:

        SAME. Black female here and something that grinds my gears is when people are all “I believe in one race the HUMAN race” my eyes seriously are in danger of rolling out of my head at that

      • Rachel says:

        Near my home in Cambridge someone left a load of English/Polish cards that read ‘get rid of Polish vermin’. They were found near a primary school; one Polish child found one.

        The sad racist agenda is that Polish immigration to the UK has meant British people have been deprived of employment taken up by Polish people, and that the increase in Polish migrants has led to a cultural change (e.g. Polish shops, street signs in Polish in some areas, etc.) which has left British people feeling their culture is being diluted.

        It’s all rubbish, of course, as Polish migrants contribute overwhelmingly positively to the economy and those who freak out about a Polish foodstore are the same people who fantasise about a mostly-white Britain of the early 20th century.

      • Mimi says:

        “something that grinds my gears is when people are all “I believe in one race the HUMAN race”

        I hope everyone believes that way! It would make this messed up world a much better place. I see your point, though. I am a white woman (nothing to be ashamed of, by the way) but I still know better than to believe this world or the people who inhabit it, is fair and impartial. Expressing anger or aggravation at someone who chooses to believe that people are equal is not helping the matter. We NEED more people to think like that. It’s not necessarily ignorance. It’s HOPE.

      • Bira Kawooya says:

        Pinky/Claire- In the UK I’ve definitely noticed increasing amount of anti-polish rhetoric. I’ve heard English people moan about the Poles coming over and taking construction jobs from Brits. Maybe that has something to do with the resentment? I don’t know. I think it’s all rubbish- some people here love blaming Polish and other Eastern Europeans for their lack of employment opportunities. But I just think the Eastern Europeans are willing to do the type of work that the English think they are ‘too good for’. It’s all so ridiculous!

        Nicole- Those of us who have been made to feel lesser than since childhood know better than to be believe in that ‘one human race’ BS. When I was being called a n~~~~r in Primary School (Elementary School) I sure didn’t feel like we all part of one human race.

      • Nicole says:

        Except the people that typically make those statements never have to deal with inequality. To say that you don’t see race just the human race is an insulting response to the struggle of inequality. They use that line as a way to side step any REAL conversation

      • Zip says:

        “Expressing anger or aggravation at someone who chooses to believe that people are equal is not helping the matter.”

        What are whites or non-PoC supposed to say or do instead to show support? I’m also white. I also think that we all should be treated equally. Sadly this is not the case, it makes me angry and there needs to be change. But it’s also disheartening to always read comments and complaints about whites who say stuff like “I believe in one race the HUMAN race”. Sure, whites normally do not face the amount of racism PoC might experience but it also does not mean that whites cannot be an ally. That we do not want to things to change. Does one need to be queer to support rights of the LBGT community? I think not. Same with skin color related issues.

      • Jenny says:

        I don’t think it’s about people who believe we are all the same and should be treated as equals. I think most of us commenting on Celebitchy feel that way very strongly.

        It’s about about people who say “there is only one race: the human race.” As though that erases the obstacles or unfairness that many in this world face and the privilege that others enjoy simply based on the color of their skin or their cultural heritage. You can believe in equality and fairness and still acknowledge that in reality this has not yet come to pass.

      • Jwoolman says:

        Mimi- because all white people don’t look alike. When the distinctions are important, people learn to recognize the different facial traits that go along with an ethnic heritage. My name is not Irish, but an old fellow from the Netherlands decades ago said something after meeting me that indicated he knew I was mainly of Irish extraction. Astonished, I asked him how he knew. He just laughed and said “You have the map of Ireland on your face”. There is no way I could have passed for anything but Irish in 1830s Boston, when shops had “no Irish need apply” signs and the mayor said we would never be the intellectual and social equal of his people. Me, fast forwarding to the 1970s, in contrast hadn’t even noticed how Irish I looked. Most people around me were similarly clueless. Somewhere along the line, it had become less important in most areas. Not all, though – the Protestant preachers were going apoplectic when an Irish Catholic, John F. Kennedy, was running for President a few years earlier. They told their congregations that the consequences of a papist in the White House would be a disaster, that the Vatican would be running the country. So old prejudices can easily resurface in various forms.

        My brother often heard people say he looked like President Kennedy after the election. He doesn’t much to me, but he’s another Irish type and looked more like JFK than most others in town, who were mainly Dutch or German heritage. Very few people in town were Irish. Even little kids noticed the Irish resemblance, once they had seen the image of that other Irish guy in the news often enough.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Exactly! He claims to be inspired then proceeds to miss the whole point of Jesse’s speech.

      • Bira Kawooya says:

        Zip- Of course white people can be PoC’s allies- I dont think I’ve anyone on here has suggested otherwise. Do you follow Matt McGorry? He’s an awesomely woke white guy! I find him very inspiring.

        I’m not gay but I fully support the LGBTQ’s civil rights movement. I’m just expressing my frustration with people who try to ignore/dismiss/down play societal inequalities. Any type of inequality. In theory of course we are all part of one human race- so if we are all part of one race then lets make a concerted effort to make sure we are all treated with dignity and respect regardless of ethnicity/sexuality/religious beliefs.

  13. Nev says:


  14. MrsBPitt says:

    It kind of annoys me that JT got lambasted….maybe the JW’s speech inspired him and perhaps, more importantly, made him think….

    • Myrna says:


    • Marty says:

      Hahahaha…..obviously not if he’s making “we’re all one race” comments. That shows he clearly didn’t get Jesse’s speech.

      • MrsBPitt says:

        @Marty…why?? Shouldn’t that be our goal….to be considered just “the human race”? Why is that wrong??

      • Erinn says:

        I’d say it’s wrong because in this case – it’s undermining the whole point of the speech. The whole speech is saying that white people are huge on cultural appropriation and then acting like the things they’re ‘stealing’ are their brand new idea. So to follow something like that up with ‘we’re allllll one’ is just completely ignoring what he was supposedly so inspired by.

        Yes – we all should strive to be treated, and to treat people equally – but ignoring the different life experiences between cultures when you’re in the place of power is just brushing the whole thing under the rug.

      • Snowflake says:

        I used to think that way, that we are all equal. But then I realized, that’s kind of ignoring the racism POC experience and sort of sweeping it under the rug, so to speak. I’m white and I think, for me, anyway, it’s uncomfortable to acknowledge that people of our race have and do treat POC differently. But, I think, to POC, saying we are all one race is not acknowledging the racism they have and continue to experience. We should all be treated equally but that’s not reality. But I think, to POC, I think it’s a slap in the face to say we are one race. It’s like ignoring all the issues they have to face. It’s an example of our white privelege, cause we don’t experience it, we want ignore it. That’s my take, anyway, please correct me as necessary, as I am not a POC. But I think that’s why it’s so offensive to POC.

      • Cynthia says:

        @ Marty, i did not read it like that. I read it like we are all striving towards the same thing.

      • Marty says:

        Erinn and Snowflake did a great job of explaining it, so thank you both very much for that.

        I’ll add, while it’s fine for the “one race” ideology to be a goal it can’t be the only goal because it dismisses the here and now. PoC fight oppression from all sides on a daily basis so how does ignoring that help us in the long run? There is no “one race” future if we don’t deal with the problems plaguing us today.

        @Cynthia- But we’re not all striving for the same thing. Being dismissive of criticism for lack of awareness was one of Jesse’s points. If you’re only giving lip service to equality but not putting it into practice, how does that help us? How does that help anyone?

      • lucy2 says:

        It may be the idealistic goal, but it’s not the reality, and I think Snowflake and Erinn’s points about ignoring the reality are spot on.

    • Iknowwhatboyslike says:

      Yes, we’re all one race and that we should aspire to treat everyone the same. But aspiration shouldn’t come at the expense of acknowledging that people of color are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to the criminal system, the educational system, and the job market. When the massive institutions begin to treat us as one race, then a speech like Jesse Williams’ will not be necessary. Justin Timberlake’s should have ignored the troll. Their has to be an acknowledgment and correction of systemic racism before there is this “we’re all equal” thinking.

    • Ambrosia says:

      I know. You can’t even say congratulations and that someone was inspiring anymore without someone crawling up your butt. Like really? He was being genuinely complimentary and he got railed. Pick your battles, seriously. If you nitpick and are vitriolic with every single little thing that comes out of the mouth of someone with different skin pigmentation, then people are simply going to stop listening, roll their eyes, and be on their way.

      • GingerNYC says:

        It’s not about him writing that he’s inspired. It’s that he responded very dismissively to criticism with the we are one race stuff. That’s the part that is problematic. Yes, everybody get inspired! But don’t then turn around and act like there are not issues surrounding race. Be inspired to admit those issues and address them. Especially when you have the ability to reach so many people with your message.

      • THE OG BB says:

        What Jesse was calling out is something that Justin has been guilty of numerous times but has not come out and given dues or props to the community he has taken his inspiration from. That is why Justin praising Jesse’s speech is so ironic and that is why he was dragged for it. Justin uses blackness as a costume or a prop. There is an explanation above about how Robin Thicke had a completely different approach. He has said a bunch of problematic things that he has not yet answered for. Also, sorry, but saying things like we are all one, we are all equal is indicative of someone who does not understand white privilege (namely, their own). The problem with a public figure is that we have all sorts of documentation of past behaviors to be able to call them out on their hypocrisy. That is starting to happen to us common folk, too, with the extreme documentation of things on social media.

  15. Pansy says:

    I don’t mean this at ALL in a negative way–I understand African-Americans have had to (and some still have to) work harder than whites to get recognized, paid, etc.–and I admire Jesse Williams for his outspokenness. But he is half white. Is this white guilt speaking? Does he have a bad family history with his white ancestors? I’m only asking because he’s biracial, and beautiful, so I figure he hasn’t had a ton of prejudice or struggles in his life… He strikes me as incredibly smart, was a teacher I believe as were his parents. I just find it a little odd given his genetic makeup.

    • Itsme says:

      Love this fresh air

    • Kitten says:

      I was curious about that too…how being half-white affects his perception. Or maybe it doesn’t affect/change it at all?

      • Tiffany27 says:

        I have a friend who is biracial and she always told me that in spite of being half white she always felt like a black woman because she was immediately recognized as not being white. I can’t speak for her or Jesse, but I would imagine being half white doesn’t protect them from racism.

      • Ayra. says:

        There’s an interview where he discusses it. Basically saying that being biracial has opened doors to him by letting him see both sides and that because of the way he looks, he was given a “better seat” compared to other blacks that are darker than him.

      • Kitten says:

        Yeah that makes sense, Tiffany27.

        Just to be clear, I wasn’t saying that I thought because he’s half-white that he can’t experience racism. Not at all. I was just wondering how being half white affects his perception of white people as a whole…like, how/if he dances between the two cultures..

        @Ayra-Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for.

      • Stephanie says:

        As someone who is half Black and half White, I think we are struck harder by racism. Our White parents raise us from a point of White privilege, without realizing it won’t apply to us. Without realizing it’s a thing at all. We can do whatever we want, be whoever we want. All we have to do is follow the White formula for getting our piece of the American pie. Then we get a little older and realize the rest of society doesn’t see us the way they see our White parents. We realize the system for us is meant to destroy us. We see how our non White family members are treated. I haven’t seen anyone state it specifically, but I know a lot of the beauty people talk about in Jesse Williams are his White traits. His lighter skin. His blue eyes. We also become aware that our features grant us a certain amount of privilege and will allow us to be heard more. So we use it.

      • Almondjoy says:

        Stephanie… That was DEEP. Thanks for sharing.

      • Kitten says:

        Thank you for that, Stephanie, and thanks to commenters below as well.

    • lisa2 says:

      He is seen in society as a “black man”.. and with that comes all the REALs of a Black man

    • claire says:

      Light-skinned PoC do experience an interesting mix of prejudice though. From the white community, from the black community. I imagine part of why he has such interesting, and often, well-rounded perspectives, is because of the various depths to which he’s seen discrimination and privilege intersect for himself. I know he speaks out about being biracial quite a bit.

    • Snowflake says:

      Just cause he’s part white doesn’t mean he escaped prejudice. To racists, I think they believe being part white means you’re black. For example, my husband’s went to use the bathroom at his old job and some as@hole told him it was a whites only bathroom. no b.s! He tried to laugh it off and say well, I am part white. this guy told him basically, that’s not good enough. My husband is mixed, and I ignorantly asked what he was, as in mixed with. I found out later that he hates getting asked that, and all his life, he’s felt like he never fit in, with black or white people. I think to white men he’s a threat, to ignorant white men that is, not all. Cause people esp women, find my husband very attractive. But in the black community, I think he’s seen as getting better treatment because he’s lighter in color. So that inspires jealously. IMO.

      • Kitten says:

        Wow..your husband’s coworker thought that was a “funny joke”? :/
        Thanks for sharing his experience though. That sounds like a tough tightrope to walk along….

      • Pinky says:

        WTH are you talking about?!?! Someone told your husband it was a “Whites Only” bathroom? In which country? And in which century? These are serious questions.

        The human race will never evolve. We are doomed. I’m done.


      • claire says:

        Yep. You’re black to white people. And you’re not black enough to black people. There’s a lot of “we don’t claim him/her” that comes from both sides, so I feel for people who are biracial. You’re placed in some weird middle category and everything is analyzed as, is that your white side? your black side? Lots of prejudice from both communities for people of mixed race. I guess that’s what I admire about Jesse – he acknowledges it and seems to rise above it all.

      • Colette says:

        Last year here in Houston,Tx a white teenage boy made the same” joke” to me.We were at the public library,He said ,”That’s a Whites Only restroom.”I smiled and said,”Perfect, because my last name is White”.(My last name isn’t White) He and his friends laughed and he said he was joking.Interestingly he was with about five other boys and a couple of them were either mixed race and/or Latino.One of his white friends said they were studying the civil rights period(school segregation,Jim Crow laws) in school.We actually had a nice little discussion.I warned him to be careful making that joke,he might make it to the wrong person and get hurt.So it was a teachable moment,I guess.

      • I Choose Me says:

        He said what to your husband? I’m just. . . wow. I’m with Pinky. It’s hard to have hope for our species when sh-t like this is still taking place.

      • Sam says:

        There is a strain of racism that gets directed at mixed people that is particularly insidious because it’s premised upon the idea that mixed people are evidence of “betrayal” of one’s race. This happens a LOT among Native Americans. Many NA spaces and organizations still prioritize “pure” NAs over mixed ones (despite the 2010 census showing that now, mixed NAs are, for the first time ever, a majority of us). The presumption is that if you’re “pure” that means your parents really “cared” about the race and had too much “pride” to go outside of it. Biracial children are seen as evidence of failure, of a lack of pride on behalf of their parents. Even the blood quantum laws are held over our heads – if you “marry out” too much, your children will lose the right to become tribe members. And it happens in other races. One of my neighbors had a horrible time at school once her classmates realized her father was black, but her mother was white. She had to deal with black classmates telling her that her father must “hate” himself, that he must be confused, why else would he choose a white woman? Even if you believe it’s wrong to intermarry, why try to make the child atone for her father’s “sins?”

        This is not to diminish other forms of racism in the least, but only to point out that I do believe that there are forms of racism that solely impact mixed people as a group, that we have to deal with.

      • Eden75 says:

        I am mixed and get interesting comments from both sides. I am Metis (half Native, half White) and was told once, while working as a waitress by a guy I was serving, that all Natives should be put in the middle of a lake in a boat with a hole in the bottom and drown. Apparently that went double for me because one of my parents dirtied themselves with an Indian. From full-blood Natives I have been spit on during parades, swore at for being a privileged white woman because I am successful in my career and told that I was not good enough to be Native because one of my parents dirtied themselves with Whitey. Yeah, it’s fun. You’re not good enough for either and now that our government officially recognizes the Metis, it has gotten worse. We half-breds are the the s**t on the bottom of everyone else’s shoes.

        Racism exists everywhere and if we want to talk cultural appropriation, Natives could give some lessons on that too. This is the world we live in, have always lived in. All cultures experience racism from somewhere else. If you don’t think so, ask around to what a lot of people think of Americans outside of the US. That whole mind frame is why so many travel with Canadian flags on their luggage. Is it the same? I don’t believe it’s any different that the Polish example above. Humans do not like anything that is different to them, from skin colour to beliefs to nationality. It’s a sad thing and I hope for change but I don’t know if it will ever go away. If teenagers are making ‘whites only’ bathroom jokes, I would say that we are not as far advanced as we had hoped.

    • Karen says:

      Do you think racists look at him and think maybe he’s 1/2 white, I should be 50% nicer to him?

      It is possible to be proud and critical of part of your heritage.

    • FingerBinger says:

      @Pansy The world sees Jesse Williams as a black man. There are many who wouldn’t know him from a can of paint. All they see is a black man. When he’s pulled over for driving while black they know he’s half white.

    • Tiffany27 says:


      Thank you so much for what you wrote. I imagine it must be quite difficult for biracial people because as you stated, their white parents raise them from a point of privilege. I would imagine this leads some to the “I don’t feel like I belong anywhere” mind set. His mother seems very proud of him.

    • Sam says:

      There is a special kind of prejudice that mixed-race people can experience (along with their families). Part of it is that some mixed people can “pass” as white, and there’s a perception that they use it to their advantage (despite the fact that their complexions are out of their control). To some people, biracial people represent what they see a betrayal of POC – especially if one of your parents is white. My dad still, to this day, has relatives who will not speak to him because he “betrayed” his race by marrying a white woman. That’s a real thing.

      It’s hard to be mixed. Look at what happened to Taye Diggs. He is a black man who has a child with a white woman and a while ago, he stated in an interview that he teaches his son to identify as mixed, or biracial, or white/black, or something to that effect. He said that he would not teach his son to identify as African American, since he felt that was an erasure of his son’s white heritage. Some people really laid into him, but a lot of mixed people got it. We live under a lot of pressure to come up with labels that will please everyone, and it’s not possible. However, on the other side, the world doesn’t respect your self-identification. Jesse Williams gets treated as a black person by the world at large, because that’s how he looks.

      So no, being mixed is not a guard against prejudice. If anything, it often invites MORE.

      (And just FYI, Jesse Williams is not “half-white.” His mother is mixed herself, Swedish-Native American. Just pointing that out. He is not biracial, he is multi-racial).

    • Pansy says:

      Thank you all! This is extremely enlightening. As one of you kind of said, being biracial doesn’t mean people are 50% less racist to you. And I see that every now and then in the little town I live in. I guess I would feel guilty speaking out against half my heritage, if that makes sense?

      • Tiffany27 says:

        I understand what you’re saying Pansy. As someone else has stated, however, you can love your heritage and acknowledge the problematic nature of your heritage as well. Just think of family. I have some family members who are beyond sketch, but I’ll love them no matter what. I also get the feeling that his mother raised him to be aware of these issues. She was there standing and cheering with everyone else in the room.

        Sidenote: Thank you for asking about something you were unsure of and being willing to listen and discuss with intelligence. That is so hard nowadays.

    • Ambrosia says:

      Wow, he’s half white? What a hypocrite.

    • almondmilk says:

      As someone said to @pansy – you CAN be a ‘woke’ human being and a proud black man without having ‘guilt,’ over a part of your lineage.

      Where is that coming from?

      Also, news bulletin…people can’t tell your parentage by looking at you and since most blacks are mixed with European and other admixtures – what matters in terms of identity is how you are seen by others. If you appear asian, the fact that one parent is white won’t be a knowable factor.

      No one can tell that it’s Jesse Williams with the white parent and not Vanessa Williams. That it’s Lenny Kravitz with the white parent and not Prince. That it’s Hallie Berry with the white parent and not Beyonce. That it’s Blake Griffin with the white parent and not Steph Curry. That it’s Drake with the white parent and not Rhianna.

      What happens is that sometimes *some* biracial people have ‘special snowflake syndrome.’ Which is always baffling to me for reasons I’ve detailed above. Unless you had a parent teacher day in school there was no way people could tell who had a white parent. Jesse Williams very obviously does not have ‘special snowflake syndrome.’

      He recognizes he is a black man in these United States, he has a black wife and a black child.

      His being woke and proud is a testament to his parents seeing the way the world really is, why would he have guilt? There are white women with black children who know the score. Jesse’s mother is biracial herself anyway.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      If being biracial meant anything the one drop rule wouldn’t be centuries old and still in full effect.

      Whoever said “Do you think racists only hate 50% of him?” hit it on the head perfectly. Black is black is black is black unless you’re able to pass completely.

      • THE OG BB says:

        Or people say “what are you? Mexican? Puerto Rican? Indian?” like every damn day.

  16. Natalie says:

    Justin Timberlake always deserves shade. Default answer.

    And is Justin trying to fight? We all saw him on Punk’d crying and calling his mom.

    Did he ever apologize for laughing at homeless people at his wedding?

  17. Brea says:

    It was glorious, it’s like the dragging he deserved for how he treated Janet came back to haunt him.

  18. Maria says:

    it was a typical white person response. your voice isnt needed Justin.

  19. HollyG says:

    I don’t really care if Justin timberlake feels misunderstood, but I think the original shade for him saying Jesse Williams’ speech was inspiring was over-shade. He didn’t help himself with his responses, though. So shade pre-paid?

    Is there a backstory to why JT owes JJ an apology? I remember the Great Nipple Scandal of ’04 but surely everyone realizes that was staged? Did he throw her under the bus afterwards? The interwebs is not helping me with this one.

    • Ayra. says:

      Apparently Janet was banned from the 2004 Grammy’s and blacklisted from multiple music channels who refused to play anything of hers (MTV, CBS and more..) for a while because of the whole stunt, it was brutal for HER.. Meanwhile, Justin was all fine and dandy.

      • sunnydaze says:

        I “*think* there was also a lot of talk that he lied about knowing what was going to happen – that, according to him – he didn’t know making that movement would expose her, but she did and that’s why she was blacklisted (the whole, “it was her idea! I was just as shocked as everyone else!” cop out). But logically, I’m not sure how anyone could buy that…he RIPPED OFF A PIECE OF MATERIAL COVERING HER BREAST. And yet, people bought his excuse (or at least didn’t care what part in it he had) and he skated.

      • Crocuta says:

        But that’s not his fault. It’s the fault of the channels. Justin and Janet both decided to do that stunt, which backfired, but that doesn’t make Justin guilty (at least not any more guilty than janet).

        And nobody believes the whole thing wasn’t staged, so I doubt his excuse had anything to do with anything.

        Demanding him to apologize is ridiculous.

      • Bridget says:

        He hung her out to dry. There were 2 people up on that stage, and yet only 1 career was utterly and completely destroyed. JT never stood up for her, nothing. He will always deserve shade for that.

      • Crocuta says:

        Why would he try to save her career? That’s her job. Seriously. He has to worry about his.

        I agree she was treated unfairly. probably both because of her race and sex (possibly age too), not to mention an overreaction to something as silly as a nipple, but that’s not HIS problem. He has nothing to apologize to her for.

        (I can’t believe I’m taking Justin Timberlake’s side at something, heh.)

      • Bridget says:

        When there’s an incident involving two people, and ONE person gets the blame and all of the punishment while the other slinks off an hopes to god that everyone forgets that he was ever involved, then yes he has some responsibility.

      • Crocuta says:

        He has as much responsibility as she does. Not more. That’s why he does not owe her an apology. It was the media and the viewers that overreacted and caused her problems, not Timberlake.

  20. Common Sense says:

    Jesse Jesse Jesse, words are not enough to express my love, admiration for this man. I have been following him; his passion, his activism for some time now. I am in awe of this man, he is truly amazing.
    Justin on the other hand, I am indifferent about him.

  21. Eleonor says:

    I think Jessee Williams is a beautiful human being: he made a powerful speech, and the “strange fruit” reference moved me.
    About JT: if the shade he got brings more attention to him than to that speech, than I think it wasn’t good.

  22. Suzanne says:

    So someone says something you don’t like so they deserve to harassed and bullied? Obviously we’re on the internet.

  23. Marty says:

    What did Jesse Williams do last night? THAT.

    He was getting so hype I thought he was going to throw his award down. He was incredibly inspiring last night, and I truly appreciate how he dedicated his award to black women.

  24. mini says:

    Why do some people think they have to tweet about everything. What happened to just listen and learn.

  25. Dyan says:

    YES! He deserves to be dragged for his cultural appropriation. I have followed Justin from when Nsync started, and I can’t believe the amount of crap he has gotten away with. He’s like Teflon – nothing sticks to him

    Does anyone remember his “I have a weakness for the sistas” crap he pulled when he was starting his solo career? And then the way he talked about his sex life with Britney just for a few more radio spins. Then the whole Janet situation.

    They should shade his ramon noodle head forever. To then have the nerve to tweet about Jessie Williams – the narcissism and self-delusion is strong in him

  26. LuluPolly says:

    Poor Justin. Can’t even be inspired. Twitter is for jerks.

  27. WallFlower says:

    I don’t feel that JT deserves to be dragged in the mudd for saying he was inspired by Jessie Williams’ comments. He felt inspired, which is a good thing and the kind of thing Williams was looking to do: to inspire people of all races to care. As a black woman, I don’t think that JT appropriates black culture; he embraces it. What Iggy Izalea was doing was appropriating black culture by changing her accent to sound more southernized black when she was a white Australian. However, I do think JT could have handled the Superbowl thing with Janet better by taking up for her. Some have asked if Jessie’s righteous indignation is appropriate because he has a white mother. I say, yes it is. Biracial blacks get treated with the same maltreatment as regular blacks and with the same racism as regular blacks. It doesn’t matter that he’s educated, a lot of blacks are educated and still get denied job promotions because of their skin color. Also, it doesn’t matter that he grew up a suburban black with a good education. People don’t ask are you a poor black or a suburban black before they mistreat you, they just do.

  28. Tiffany says:

    The answer will always be, yes, JDouche deserves all the shade to the point he sees no sunshine.

  29. Craig says:

    “This invention called whiteness”?????

    Isn’t it interesting that these wealthy, privileged black entertainers kept mentioning that things must “be fixed” in an America run by a black president and their choice for change is an old, white lady.

    • Kitten says:

      Every successful black entertainer is voting for Hillary?
      You know that..how, exactly?

    • Colette says:

      Who was your choice an old white man or an old ,orange man?

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      LMAO, we literally had ONE black president out of 40+ others and you think you’re gonna use him as a scapegoat?


      You think one achievement wipes the slate clean and then lack any knowledge on the Clinton’s MANY interactions and assistance for the black community.

  30. Mira says:

    I think we should focus more on the message of Jesse williams, and less on JT. Don’t make this speech all about JT please!

  31. The Original Mia says:

    When I read JT’s tweet, I gasped, like the rest of Black Twitter. Then I started gurning like Kate Middleton because BT was about to school his ass. And they did. Gloriously so. Jesse’s message went totally over his head because he thinks he’s “one of us” because he “appreciates” black music. Have a seat, son, and open your eyes and mind to some truths.

  32. Goobie says:

    Black folk been sampling aka stealing white music and culture from tge beginning and hey they do it in Afrika. So this is a lot os b f’n s.

    • Colette says:

      Classical Music? Polka Music?

    • MellyMel says:

      Oh you poor ignorant soul. See this is why education is so important. Know your history.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      LMAO, yup, we sure do play country music in Africa, and walk around in cowboy hats, and – wait…NOPE. Just an invention of your mind.

  33. Craig says:

    LOL “old orange man”!


  34. Ali says:

    Tired of explaining things to white people. When will their parents start doing it…

    • Lynnie says:

      hA. Never ever. Just look at “Bill’s” comment below. What with “my child is a special snowflake and can do nothing wrong” syndrome, plus the fact that they just don’t care, the majority of parents and older people will continue to be ignorant. The only hope is that the message starts inspiring younger people to seek out more, but I’m not holding my breath on that one either

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Girl, SOME of their parents started it and have no plans to stop. Don’t expect anything from them. The knowledge is out there, educated minds will find it, don’t waste time on those who refuse to.

  35. Bill says:

    I guess I taught my white children wrong. They are in their late 20’s now. I taught them that the color of ones skin didn’t matter, that we were all the same and deserved respect. I taught them that listening to and learning others music and culture were a good thing. I was obviously wrong. I should have taught them that we are not the same. That color does matter. That they should treat people of color differently. That we will never get along. I used to think that racism in the US was a white problem, I now see after these comments that both black and white are equally to blame.

    • Marty says:

      Someone else is going to have to tag in for this 👆BS comment right here. I’m tapped out on ignorance today.

    • Dyan says:

      You are full of crap.

      Not you Marty – sorry if it seemed I was responding to you!

    • Snowflake says:

      We won’t get along until white people acknowledge that POC are not treated the same and while everyone should be treated the same, they are not. You have to acknowledge the problem before you can fix it. If you were bullied as a kid, and people told you, you’re treated equally now,forget about being bullied, that has nothing to do with today, wouldn’t you be pissed? That would be like erasing your memory of life as a bullied child. It’s great that you taught your kids to treat everyone the same, but the experiences of people of color deserves to be acknowledged. You can’t just sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened. I’m white, but being with a multi-racial man has taught me that racism is indeed alive and well. And you saying everyone is equal does not erase the hurt he has experienced from racism. Not everyone believes all people are created equal, and ignoring that does not help the quest for racial equality.

    • Put says:


    • Almondjoy says:

      Bill: My parents also taught me that all people deserve respect. They taught me that I should never favor or disrespect a person because of the color of their skin. We also learned music and other cultures. At the same time, they were realistic. They taught me that because of the color of my skin I might not always get the respect I deserve. That people would view me differently and that I might be faced with unfortunate situations because of the racism that exists in the world. They were realistic. There’s nothing wrong with teaching your children the history of how people have been treated because of the color of their skin. And that’s what this debate is really all about. YES we are all equal and should all be treated the same but history has shown that this is not the case. Sad but true and very uncomfortable for many to acknowledge.

      The fact that almost all of your statements begin with “l” kind of shows that you are only concerned with seeing things from your point of view 😔

    • Nopity Nope says:

      Someone get me a bucket for this man’s White Tears. Here’s a tip, Bill: stop thinking about YOUR experience and try, for a minute, to think about it from the experience of someone NOT WHITE. If you can, I mean.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      That’s so cute.

      So because black people admit they don’t live in a perfect world where everyone treats them equally and fairly you’re going to put on a little show about how you really tried to solve all the problems and since it’s not happened instantly that you guess you’ll be racist?

      Well how could we not all drop to our knees and thank you for the oh so difficult effort of teaching your kids equality skin color not included. That must be as hard as parents explaining to their kids that they could be targeted for violence simply because of their skin color, or sexual orientation, or religion and that a country that is supposed to LEGALLY treat everyone fairly will turn a blind eye and shrug and let their deaths and suffering be excused as something else.

      Poor Bill has to explain to his kids black people are kinda angry and other parents have to bury their ‘thug’ kids. Poor Bill you guys.

  36. HK9 says:

    He said what needed to be said. Good for him.

  37. Stacey says:

    The reverse racism that is allowed to go on is really disappointing…

    Because the answer to this is segrating the music industry so you can only listen to and appreciate music from “your” race?! Are people losing their minds? Do you want people to beg to prove themselves worthy before they can claim to enjoy listening to “your cultures” music? Art should transcend this kind of crap…

    I really think its up to the creators of music. If they want to only allow certain races to enjoy their musical creations thats their choice to make not anyone elses. And id be very interested to hear what the actual artists have to say about who they want enjoying and hearing your music.

    can you imagine greats like stevie wonder or aretha telling millions of their fans they dont have a right to enjoy their music because they are culturally appropriating black culture by loving the music they have created?!

    Marc anthony telling fans only puerto ricans can truly understand and respect his music?

    Segregation is not the answer

    • HK9 says:

      I think you missed the point. That’s not what he’s saying.

      • Marty says:

        She didn’t just miss the point, it went over her head and straight to another continent. I didn’t even bother reading past “reverse racism”.

      • Stacey says:

        You guys are so full of anger…and are misdirecting it at the people who want to be your allies in this…

      • Marty says:

        You’re right, Stacey. Nothing says “ally” like bringing up the angry PoC trope to defend yourself. I feel safer already now that I know you’re trying so hard to be any ally to PoC.

      • Alex says:

        Right? Gosh let me nice to the “well meaning” white people who are offended by my anger. Let me get right on that.

        Please go have several seats Stacey

      • THE OG BB says:

        Pro tip: Allies don’t really say things like that. Allies never use the term “reverse racism”.

      • claire says:

        Again, I’ll ask the question, because I want to know from someone who is not white: when ARE people allowed to listen to certain music or perform certain music?

    • MellyMel says:

      Reverse racism is not going to happen, stop trying to make it happen. No but seriously, that’s not a thing and I wish ppl would stop using that as some sort of defense. My grandma used to say God gave us two ears and one mouth…stop talking so much and listen. You might learn something…

      • Lindsey says:

        It just seems a little off that a person can’t support the movement with a simple acknowledgment tweet of an excellent speech (just the first one). Perhaps he’s trying to change and grow, show support to the community because he realizes he’s been lacking, use his fame to draw attention from non-POC to a POC event and an excellent example of POC contributions. Instead he’s immediately shut down and basically told that he’s not allowed to speak because he was less-informed in the past. I would have preferred to see more responses encouraging him to walk the walk if he’s going to inject himself into the conversation and to be an example for those who engage in appropriation. Instead, now he probably feels vindicated in not engaging anymore because why bother?

      • Kitten says:

        Without getting into the explanation of why the term is BS (it’s been explained 1,000,000 times around here) grammatically-speaking it makes ZERO sense. The reverse of racism is NO racism.

  38. jenn12 says:

    Jesse Williams’ speech was beautiful- inspiring, touching, eloquent. Hopefully, it continues to help bring about much needed change. Justin Timberlake, we are all one, except for the fact that you don’t suffer from racism. You don’t have to fight for the minority roles in Hollywood, you don’t have to fight stereotyping, you don’t have to worry about people appropriating your culture. He really is SUCh an ass. As to what comes out of people’s mouths, I’ve ceased being surprised. NYC is a melting pot, culturally liberal, and the things said leave my mouth open. The other day I was waiting for my kid to finish her game, and a bunch of young, white men behind me were talking about “f—g Jews in the park” and how they could “kick their a—s” to get them out. I finally turned around and was like, “My kid is 8 and part Jewish. Are you going to kick part of her a–?” And they just sat there, giggling. Racism is still alive and well. Someone like Jesse Williams is beautiful and brave in the way he states it.

  39. Penelope says:

    This is someone who thought a video of homeless people congratulating him on his nuptials was really funny stuff. His apologies over that disgraceful incident were also fake and only came after a public outcry. He’s an entitled asshole and a complete douchebag.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Ugh, thank you for reminding me about that. He has been on douche patrol for a while hasn’t he?

  40. Denise says:

    Justin is VERY simple. As in not bright. I don’t give him a pass at all for this, but I honestly don’t think he’s capable of understanding anything that is nuanced. he seems to see in one-dimensional terms. He’s probably pretty close to the character he played in Bad Teacher.

  41. shannon says:

    I think JT deserves shade for anything and everything, but that’s just me. Anyone who has friends that mock homeless people, video it, and then show it at your WEDDING has humanity issues. Also, not sure if Lainey got a new writer or what (Kathleen), but she needs booted for saying she believes that JT is truly a decent person. “Decent” is the last word that comes to mind when I think about him.

    • Wren33 says:

      Yeah, I don’t think if some other artist said that, he would deserve as much backlash. But his responses and past behavior show that he never understands how to not make everything about him. I don’t think he is not allowed to be inspired just because his sound evolved from black music – musical influences has gone back and forth in this country and JT, with his collaborations with Timbaland, is a bit different than white artists blatantly stealing stuff from black artists. However, he obviously doesn’t get it. At all.

  42. N says:

    For the patronising “you sweet soul” and the 3 apology tweets that had “I” in them 3 times each, yeah he deserved it

  43. eggy weggs says:

    If I may tack this on to the discussion…

    The truth is that being a #wokewhiteperson (can there be such a thing?) or #wokeally (maybe that’s a better term) sometimes means just being quiet. It means sitting back. It means letting people who have faced centuries of physical, emotional and institutional oppression have their time to speak — and be heard. White people: black people are NOT always talking to white people or about white people; we don’t always need to insert our white perspective into the issue. It’s not about segregation or so-called reverse discrimination. It IS about altering your white-centric POV. It IS about recognizing white privilege, and using that privilege for good — not just for attention.

    We get invited to a lot of parties, white people. Sometimes we aren’t invited, or we are invited as a plus one and we are expected to be gracious, quiet guests. JT was lucky to have been at many parties; it seems he often left with too many slices of cake or stole the silverware on his way out. He won’t admit it, but he wants everyone to know he was at those parties.

    If you are, say, a white woman, and you’re struggling to understand this, let me give you some perspective: think about how you felt the last time a man tried to explain to you how you were supposed to feel about an issue. Or the time you were celebrating something uniquely female, or mourning something uniquely female, and someone tried to wrest those emotions away from you, all the while telling you we’re all equal, and they don’t see what the fuss is about. How did you feel then? If you were cool with that, OK then.

    Forgive me if someone else said this above. I know this will likely not change anyone’s mind, but such is life.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:


      Allies are appreciated for their help and support but sometimes all you need to do to be a good ally is hand the proverbial mic over to the person who doesn’t get the chance to be on the stage everyday and deliver heir impassioned plea for justice.

      JT knows he’s been getting the side-eye for years and he knows why (unless he really is that simple) this wasn’t the time for someone who hasn’t said a peep about the BLM movement or any other social justice issue to suddenly claim to feel inspired after decades+ and then when someone calls him out go into condescending mode. If he wanted a pat on the head for something then he must really think we’re all stupid.

    • THE OG BB says:

      Truth! I think there are woke white people and they tend to be the ones who sit back and don’t try to steer the conversation.

      • eggy weggs says:

        Then I’ll be a #wokewhiteperson now and be quiet and listen. 😀 Love your style, kids! xoxo

    • The Original Mia says:

      Excellent response!

  44. Wess2 says:

    I to have suffered racism as a women but could not even imagine to understand the racism that black people go through. I have two older white children and adopted 2 younger biracial children, male-white/black and a female-black/white/Hispanic. I too am concerned about their future and the discrimination/racism they will face. As it was discussed earlier, them not feeling like a part of either race. Being confused with having two white parents and where they fit in. I want to prepare them for their future and be realistic with them. I can tell them that color shouldn’t matter. That everyone should be treated the same and with respect. But I know that doesn’t happen. How can I prepare them when I haven’t been through it? Any suggestions?

  45. Stardust says:

    Jesse Williams is black?

    • almondmilk says:


      Why yes Stevie Wonder, he is – and Taylor Swift is white. That’s why Jesse is accepting an honor at a black awards show and why Taylor says she can’t dance and has no azz.

      That said…have you guys noticed this weird thing racists are doing lately- trying to shame black folk for their white admixture and deny them their blackness?

      Lol, it’s quite the oddity….that after 300 years of making the whitest lightest blondest black folk sit in the back of the bus, be a slave wench or buck and not have any human rights… Suddenly in 2016…they’re out to make biracial and multiracial people white. It’s bizarre and frankly insulting…because you sense they’re just taunting black folk in a racist hateful way.

  46. Tris says:

    You are all disdainful of JT culturally appropriating black culture, and you were all disdainful of Taylor Swift appropriating British culture. I’m truly curious what kind of originality you are all producing in your fashion and your art, since no one is apparently allowed to admire or be influenced positively by anyone other than their own biological parentage.

  47. Stardust says:

    No, Justin Timberlake did not deserve the shade he received. He made a supportive comment about Jesse’s speech. He admired what he Jesse said and he received nothing but abuse for it from “black twitter”. LOL. Justin Timberlake is twice as talented as any black musical artist ALIVE today, except for Stevie Wonder and Lionel Richie and maybe John Legend. No one can touch them.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Please do elaborate on how the white man is more talented than ALL the black artists save the select few.

      Love how offended people prove the point again and again and again.

      • Stardust says:

        If you don’t like Justin’s music, don’t buy it. I know I’m not buying Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Beyoncé and Chris Brown.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Aw, but you were gonna tell me how the white dude does it better than every single black dude except for three and how that’s totally (not) racist, cause you know it’s not like by saying that you also wouldn’t be mimicking the level of condescending self righteousness and ignorance to black struggle that Justin exemplified.

        So please…elaborate.

  48. Audrey says:

    I don’t even know what I’m allowed to do anymore. I’m white but spent half my life in a mainly black city. I’m sure a lot of things i learned and therefore do would be blasted as cultural appropriation.

    I’m in Canada now thankfully. Not as racially charged here and i don’t really see much talk about these issues here. Well our cultural issues are more to do with aboriginals where the line is more clear.

    I don’t see how justin made black music though….

    • Karen says:

      Good for black people to champion their culture and maintain it. How I wish my Irish ancestors had fought back in the same way rather than be assimilated to the point of cultural death…it happens ( the bastardization of Halloween, St. Patrick’s day drunken parties, music stolen, language suppressed) and they have a right to call out the disrespect

      • Audrey says:

        It’s not black culture to me. It’s my culture too. I grew up in it. My cousins (my mom remarried and it was to a black man, i was raised closer to his family than any other) braided my hair into corn rows and other black hairstyles which i see blasted as cultural appropriation. But to me it was something fun we did together while watching movies and stuff. I cook foods I’ve seen identified as black foods because i was raised to cook them. I was raised listening and dancing to what is identified now as black music. And i don’t even want to reject those parts of me, they make me who i am.

        I support black lives matter. I will fight for those rights. I will fight against discrimination. I will openly discuss privilege with others and certainly do not believe that i had it as hard asmy black family and friends. I recognize and accept my own privelege and the duty that goes along with it.

        But i also won’t reject how i was raised and my daughter will be raised with some “black” traditions because they’re also my family traditions.

      • Snowflake says:

        @ Audrey
        There is a difference between growing up in a black culture and adopting some of it vs. Being a rich white person like the Kardashians making cornrows popular. That’s the difference. Growing up in it vs. Adopting a few things to look street. Hopefully that will help you understand. People can tell the difference between grew up with it or doing it to look cool.

  49. Tiffany :) says:

    I really liked what Jesse had to say! Sometimes a pointed phrase can have so much power, and he made so many great illustrations in just one speech! Wow.

    I am not going to waste time on JT, because really, the headline should be Jesse’s speech. It deserves all the focus.

  50. Miss M says:

    ❤️ Jackson Avery❤️

  51. Unmade_bed says:

    I’m currently re-watching “The Office” on Netflix, and realizing, for the first time, that the humor in that show would never be allowed in today’s world.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Sure it wouldn’t.

      That’s why South Park has been cancelled, Family Guy’s created had to do a public apology, Key & Peele wasn’t given a second season and…oh wait.

      Nope all those daring rule breaking comedy shows are still revered and allowed to run.

      Just folks aren’t making excuses and apologies for appropriating white douches anymore, well some folks aren’t.

  52. rudy says:

    Timberlake did NOT deserve the shade for the FIRST tweet.

    However, every single tweet that followed was witless and ignorant and everything he is accused of. What a douche.

  53. samab says:

    his father was incredibly proud of him.rightly.

  54. Tbhno says:

    Isn’t it interesting that all of the artists that Jt has worked, who have been predominantly PoC’a have written songs and music for him and haven’t worried once about appropriation
    “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery” all you guys do is embrace it
    Shame really Prince would be ashamed at the lot of you

  55. Jesse Williams is one crime away from being considered as white as George Zimmerman.