Justin Timberlake says statues of Confederate leaders “must come down”

"If we plan to move forward, these confederate monuments must come down."

Justin Timberlake has called for statues of Confederate officials to be pulled down in the wake of renewed conversations about racial justice in the US.

“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 on Instagram.

“If we plan to move forward, these confederate monuments must come down.”

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Timberlake’s post was a reaction to an Independence Day tweet from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which noted that a statue celebrating the memory of Confederate general and KKK leader Nathaniel Bedford Forrest still stands in the Tennessee State House.

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…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 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. ⠀ 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.

A post shared by Justin Timberlake (@justintimberlake) on

Forrest was responsible for the Fort Pillow Massacre during the American Civil War, when  African-American Union troops were killed under his command.

Timberlake, who is originally from Tennessee, added: “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.”

A whole host of musicians and celebrity figures have shared their support for the Black Lives Matter protests, which continue across the globe after igniting following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.

Speaking to NME about the protests, Megan Thee Stallion recently said she considers the current wave of global Black Lives Matter protests to be “part two of the civil rights movement”.

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“For this recent outburst and outpouring of pain to be seen as ‘finally the moment’ is a complete fallacy. It’s a complete misrepresentation of how many moments have been won up to this point and just how futile those moments have been.”

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