Justin Timberlake Says Confederate Statues in Home State Tennessee ‘Must Come Down’

“Removing them is a symbol of respect for Black people in America and it’s a step towards progress and actual equality for all,” pop star says ⠀

justin timberlake super bowl halftime hindsight
Getty Images

Justin Timberlake is calling on the South and his home state of Tennessee to remove monuments and statues to the Confederacy, saying doing so would be a symbol of respect for Black people throughout America.

Timberlake joins a chorus of people who in the wake of George Floyd’s death have started a renewed conversation about taking down statues or monuments that celebrate racist slave owners and people who fought against Union soldiers, while others defend the monuments and the Confederate flag as symbols of the South’s heritage.

“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 said in an Instagram post. “There are roughly 1,848 confederate statues of in [sic] 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.”

In addition to his post, Timberlake shared a video from the ACLU and legal director Jeffrey Robinson that explains that the erection of monuments in the South saw a spike in construction around the time of the early 1900s when “Birth of a Nation” was still being shown in the White House” and during the Civil Rights era in the ’60s.

“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,” Timberlake said in the post. Removing them is a symbol of respect for Black people in America and it’s a step towards progress and actual equality for all.”

Timberlake is not alone in the music industry when it comes to considering how references to the South and Confederacy are perceived. The band Lady Antebellum changed its name to Lady A to remove its reference to the slavery era, and the Dixie Chicks also changed its name to simply The Chicks. Faith Hill also called on the Mississippi legislature to remove the Confederate symbol from its state flag.

See JT’s full post below: