As more and more Confederate monuments are toppled or mothballed in the United States, Justin Timberlake is speaking out in support.
The actor and Oscar-nominated singer-songwriter went on social media to support the movement, advocating for the removal of a bust from the Tennessee State Capitol. “When we protest racism in America,” the Memphis native wrote, “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.
“If we plan to move forward, these confederate monuments must come down.”
Timberlake’s tweet links to a post by the American Civil Liberties Union that advocates for the removal of a bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, a slave trader who after the war became the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan leader. As a cavalry general, he led the controversial Fort Pillow Massacre in April 1864, during which hundreds of Black soldiers, women and children were killed.
In its report, The New York Times said: “On the morning after the battle the rebels went over the field, and shot the negroes who had not died from their wounds. … Of 350 colored troops not more than 56 escaped the massacre, and not one officer that commanded them survives.”