Justin Timberlake has demanded southern state officials in the U.S. remove statues commemorating Confederate leaders.
Timberlake, who hails from Tennessee, has weighed in on the debate over the future of the statues dotted throughout the south after watching TV news footage of Black Lives Matter protesters tearing down monuments to historical slave owners and bigots.
“If we plan to move forward, these confederate monuments must come down,” he wrote on Instagram.
“When we protest racism in America, people think we are protesting America itself. Why is that the reaction?” he asked fans, before concluding: “Because America was built by men who believed in and benefitted from racism. Plain and simple.”
Timberlake’s comments come days after officials at the American Civil Liberties Union noted that a statue celebrating the memory of Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader Nathaniel Bedford Forrest still stands in the Tennessee State House.
“There are roughly 1,848 confederate statues of in the U.S. (sic),” Timberlake explained, “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’s post follows a similar one written by Taylor Swift last month, in which she called for the removal of statues honouring Edward Carmack and Forrest in her adopted Nashville, Tennessee.
Swift told her followers she had asked Tennessean officials to “consider the implications of how hurtful it would be to continue fighting for these monuments,” and admitted it made her ‘sick’ to see monuments to “figures who did evil things”.