Justin Timberlake has made a passionate plea for change in his home state of Tennessee.
In an Instagram post, Timberlake 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.”
Justin went on to say that removing the monuments will be a “symbol of respect” for Black people.
“There are roughly 1,848 confederate statues of 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,” Justin wrote. “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.”
The post was in reaction to an ACLU tweet from July 4th that noted that a statue memorializing Confederate general and KKK leader Nathaniel Bedford still stands in the Tennessee State House.
Timberlake accompanied his message with a video that he said highlights “the history of the monuments in your own states and counties” from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“This video is by @aclu_nationwide, which has been fighting hard to remove these statues across the country,” Justin wrote along with the video. “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.”
Timberlake’s former *NSYNC bandmate, Lance Bass, replied to JT’s statement, writing “Amen!”