Justin Timberlake made a passionate plea for change in his home state of Tennessee on Monday (July 6). In an Instagram post, Timberlake, 39, joined Taylor Swift in urging officials to take down or relocate Confederate memorials in the midst of the country’s national reckoning about racial justice.
“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,” Timberlake wrote. “If we plan to move forward, these confederate monuments must come down.”
The post was in reaction to an ACLU tweet from July 4 that noted that a statue memorializing Confederate general and KKK leader Nathaniel Bedford — responsible for one of the worst atrocities of the Civil War during the Fort Pillow Massacre — still stands in the Tennessee State House. Timberlake’s former *NSYNC bandmate, Lance Bass, replied to JT’s statement, writing “Amen!”
Last month, Swift said statues of two Confederate figures, Edward Carmack and Nathan Bedford Forrest, in her home state of Tennessee “celebrate racist historical figures who did evil things,” calling on the Capitol Commission and the Tennessee Historical Commission to permanently remove them.
“Taking down statues isn’t going to fix centuries of systemic oppression, violence and hatred that black people have had to endure but it might bring us one small step closer to making ALL Tennesseans and visitors to our state feel safe – not just the white ones,” Swift wrote as part of her lengthy argument. “We need to retroactively change the status of people who perpetuated hideous patterns of racism from ‘heroes’ to ‘villains.’ And villains don’t deserve statues.”
President Trump has repeatedly defended monuments honoring Confederate figures over the past month, using a racial slur against Sen. Elizabeth Warren last week in vowing to veto any bill that will lead to the renaming of military bases that honor Confederate military leaders Gen. Robert E. Lee and others.
See Timberlake’s tweet below.
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.
If we plan to move forward, these confederate monuments must come down. https://t.co/j2IgZ8Nr7D
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) July 6, 2020