Here comes another celebrity who has been dying from lack of attention during quarantine and feels the need to “speak out.” Singer Justin Timberlake has offered his views regarding the ongoing debates and protests over racism, saying that the issue is “plain and simple.”
In a social media post, Timberlake argued for the removal of Confederate Statues. “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 benefited from racism. Plain and simple,” Timberlake wrote. He added that if we continue to move forward then the confederate statues should come down.
Timberlake also shared a link from the American Civil Liberties Union, noting a statue still on display in the Tennessee State House. The link shares the history behind statue Nathaniel Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and KKK leader responsible for The Fort Pillow Massacre, one of the worst atrocities of the Civil War.
Timberlake shared a longer post on Instagram talking about how men who proudly owned and abused black people are still “celebrated” all over the country. This post on American white supremacy comes several weeks after he declared that “black people in America are not safe.”
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The characterization of America as a fundamentally white supremacist nation has become a popular talking point since the Black Lives Matter protests took root nationwide. Timberlake isn’t the first celebrity to speak out. Colin Kaepernick has declared the Fourth Of July as a “celebration of white supremacy,” Danny Glover has said that the police are the “guardians of white supremacy,” a range of white celebrities have spoken out in a cringe PSA about benefiting from their “white privilege,” and the list goes on. I’m sorry, but what world are we living in right now?
Since the death of George Floyd, numerous Confederate statues have been torn down or peacefully removed throughout the Southern U.S., and many statues of the Founding Fathers such as Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson have also been toppled because the men owned slaves. Statues of abolitionists such as President Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Frederick Douglass have also been destroyed during the ongoing riots.
A number of Twitter users have spoken out against Timberlake claiming he and his celebrity friends are using their wealth to provide bail money for looters and rioters, as well as supporting the destruction of property, removal of statues without process, and attacking innocent people who just “happen” to be there. It has become mobs burning the American flag and destroying businesses, not protests. Freedom of speech is only when it suits for some, specifically the liberal “activists” in this sense.
Many also spoke out that we learn from history, both good or bad. The monuments are used as a tool to teach us. These things can’t be erased. The truth comes from learning from mistakes made. That is how the change of behavior begins. If you erase history, it is sure to repeat itself.