Published 3:37 PM EDT Jul 7, 2020
Justin Timberlake is joining a growing list of celebrities calling on their hometowns to remove Confederate monuments and memorabilia amid national anti-racism protests.
The “Mirrors” singer, 39, wrote on Instagram Monday that his home state of Tennessee “happens to be the home of many many confederate monuments.”
“If we plan to move forward, these monuments must come down,” Timberlake wrote. “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.”
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).
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Timberlake is one of many celebrities weighing on the controversial Confederate symbol, which has been slammed by critics as racist and hailed by supporters as a part of their heritage. The ongoing debate was renewed by the death of George Floyd on May 25 while in police custody.
Here’s what other celebrities are saying.
Timberlake’s fellow Tennessean, pop star Taylor Swift, also called on her lawmakers to remove all “racist” monuments.
The pop star, 30, made an impassioned plea on June 12 to Capitol Commission and the Tennessee Historical Commission to stop honoring historical bigots.
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“As a Tennessean, it makes me sick that there are monuments standing in our state that celebrate racist historical figures who did evil things,” Swift wrote in a message shared on Instagram. “Edward Carmack and Nathan Bedford Forrest were DESPICABLE figures in our state history and should be treated as such.”
In the caption, Swift added: “When you fight to honor racists, you show Black Tennesseans and all of their allies where you stand.”
‘It makes me sick’: Taylor Swift calls on Tennessee lawmakers to remove ‘racist’ monuments
The “Little Fires Everywhere” actress, who was born in Louisiana and raised in Tennessee, questioned why “this is even a conversation” on Twitter June 10.
“A statue that honors a KKK founder?” Witherspoon tweeted, referring to a statue of Forrest, a former Confederate Army general and the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Tennessee also observes “Nathan Bedford Forrest Day” on July 13.
“We need to get rid of this disgusting symbol of racism,” the actress wrote. “And every other marker of White supremacy in the state. The Great state of TN deserves better.”
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Hill, 52, took to Twitter on June 26 to call on the Mississippi legislature to create a new state flag “that represents ALL of the citizens.”
“I understand many view the current flag as a symbol of heritage and Southern pride,” the country music superstar said in a series of tweets. “But we have to realize that this flag is a direct symbol of terror for our black brothers and sisters.”
Mississippi’s state flag features three horizontal blue, white and red stripes with a square bearing the controversial Confederate battle emblem, the last flag in the US to display it.
“Now, it is time for the world to meet the Mississippi of today and not the Mississippi of 1894,” urged Hill, who calls herself a “proud MS girl.” “I love my home state. When I think of Mississippi, I think of my mom and dad, the church I grew up in, high school football, and where I fell in love with music.”
Days later on June 30, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill that mandates the removal of the state flag and bans future use of the Confederate emblem.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signs bill to replace state flag
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