Justin Timberlake on Confederate relics: ‘These monuments must come down’

Justin Timberlake at arrivals for Songwr...

I’ve said before that I don’t think “the removal of Confederate monuments” is the biggest priority for Black Lives Matter and the larger racial justice movement. There are so many real-life changes that need to be made in policing, police funding, prosecution, criminal justice reform and more. But one of my blindspots has been these Confederate relics, how symbolic they are of systemic inequality and how cathartic it is to see them removed. Is it the biggest priority to remove Confederate relics? No. Is it still important symbolically to remove them? Yes. And it’s one issue where white people are coming to the table. White people like Justin Timberlake. He posted a video on his Instagram (which I’m including at the end of the post) with this message:

A lot of you know I’m from Tennessee…a state that happens to be the home of many many confederate monuments. I’ve been listening closely to the ongoing debates about what to do with these statues — and I really want to take a minute to talk about this. ⠀

When we protest racism in America, people think we are protesting America itself. Why is that the reaction? Because America was built by men who believed in and benefitted from racism. Plain and simple. This is when you hear “But that’s all in the past”. So let’s be clear… those men who proudly owned and abused Black people are STILL celebrated all over the country. ⠀

There are roughly 1,848 confederate statues in the US. More than half are in The South, and it’s not acceptable. No one should be protecting the legacies of confederate leaders and slave owners. If we plan to move forward, these monuments must come down. But let’s remember: Removing these statues does not erase our country’s vile history of oppression — removing them is a symbol of respect for Black people in America and it’s a step towards progress and actual equality for all. ⠀

This video is by @aclu_nationwide, which has been fighting hard to remove these statues across the country. Their Legal Director #JeffreyRobinson has been speaking on this issue for years (you can find more in the link in my bio). Please follow them and learn more about the history of the monuments in your own states and counties.

[From Justin Timberlake’s IG]

Is Justin Timberlake the ideal spokesperson for this issue? No. But I don’t think he’s trying to be the spokesperson. For what it’s worth, Justin has – at no point – made BLM all about “the Justin Timberlake Show.” He’s used his social media to “pass the mic” to the NAACP’s Tiffany Dena Loftin, Stacey Abrams and Rashad Robinson (President of Color of Change). While JT has done a lot of stupid sh-t in his life, I have zero criticism for what he’s been doing the past two months.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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12 Responses to “Justin Timberlake on Confederate relics: ‘These monuments must come down’”

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  1. Nev says:

    sit down trick. don’t need your input.

  2. Seraphina says:

    Justin has no clue, is so far detached, and is ill equipped to discuss this matter in a manner that will help people understand. And helping people understand WHY the statues have to come down is half the battle. I live in VA and this issue has been ongoing for a very long time. Recently it has divided the city of Richmond and caused looting, rioting and harm to innocent people. Downtown Richmond looked like a war zone weeks ago. And it was so bad (the rioting) that the fire department had difficulty getting to a fire with a little boy trapped inside.
    Senator McClellan spoke this year during session about the statues and how the Black community feels having these statues up. Others spoke out as well that day. She also referenced an article in the first Black Press which was written the day the statues were erected, some 40 years AFTER they lost the Civil War. How people celebrated with confederate flags and celebrated the Old South.
    I also think that all these wand wagoners need to sit down and focus on bigger issues and helping turn around their small part of world then giving advice on a city and state they don’t know or understand.

  3. Nina Simone says:

    Bye!!! #neverforget

    Has he apologized to Janet yet? Or to the black community for benefitting off of our culture and shedding it when it was no use to him? Or wait, when he performed at the Super Bowl after they blacklisted Colin, or wait, when he called us “colored” or wait, when he condescendingly told folks on twitter that racism doesn’t exist because we are all the same?

    This reeks of performative and we don’t care about his input he can keep it. He’s the type of person that goes where the wind blows as long as it benefits him. I don’t respect people that clearly stand for nothing but their dollar.

  4. Tiffany says:

    Taylor Swift got Tennessee covered Timberdouche, sooooo you can go back to cheating on your wife.

  5. Sunday says:

    I mean, at least he’s not blue lives matter-ing it, but this is obviously a ‘say the right thing’ PR campaign. To me, the most impressive statement I’ve heard from a celebrity during all this was from another Justin, Justin Bieber, who directly acknowledged that his entire career is based on appropriation of Black culture. I think Timberlake saw that, freaked, and swerved into this safe lane in the hopes that it will prevent him from really getting called out on all his appropriative, exploitative bs.

  6. Soupie says:

    Justin Timberlake did not write this stuff. That’s all I’ve got.

  7. LolaB says:

    What is going on with the cut of the crotch of his pants in that header photo.

  8. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Monument removal is the easiest thing for some to wrap their head around. I see it as a symbolic gesture, sure. The word, ‘monument’ is what’s disturbing to me. It might be interesting to create a historical monument cemetery providing a walk through the past — you know, for people who are having coronaries over the ‘horrific loss’ lol. There are exalted monuments on high, maybe we should have a somber monument purgatory for ongoing perspective lol. It’s my grandmother in me, I hate throwing repurpose possibilities away. The money from this monumental cemetery tour could be distributed to pertinent charities, movements and of course anything having to do with monument relocations.

  9. Dazed and Confused says:

    Last night, I watched Jeffery Robinson’s “The Truth About the Confederacy in the United States” and I highly recommend it. In it, he stated that the Confederacy lost the war but won the peace. It was incredibly interesting. It’s long — 1 hr and 40 minutes, but it didn’t feel long when I watched. It’s available on YouTube.

    The creation of Confederate monuments was deliberate and targeted. The Daughters of the Confederacy knew what they were doing.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      yup and while removal isn’t the biggest priority, it is something that can be done immediately as a gesture of good faith as we hunker down to get to work on the long-term remediation that will take a while to get done

  10. Hello Kitty says:

    JT HAS BENEFITTED FROM RACISM AND HE HAS HAPPILY USED IT TO HIS ADVANTAGE SO HE CAN GO SIT DOWN AND STFU.

    thank you.