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Justin Timberlake Says America's Founders 'Believed in' Racism, Calls for Statue Removals

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With professional athletics and box office films on hold amid the ongoing health crisis, Americans are more strapped for amusement than they have been in a generation.

Yet, as civil unrest persists following the officer-involved deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, folks left of center certainly seem to have found all the entertainment value they could possibly ask for, cheering the nationwide razing of monuments to figures from American history.

This week, however, a real “expert” weighed in from Hollywood. His word on America’s founders and figures of repute? It boiled down to this: “Baby bye, bye, bye.”

Esteemed pop musician and B-list actor Justin Timberlake joined with his fellow Hollywood leftists this week in decrying celebrations of the nation’s flawed history, forwarding claims the United States was created by men who “believed in” racism and “proudly owned and abused Black people.”

According to Timberlake, racism was a core tenet of the American experiment, rather than a heinous and inhumane normality of the times.

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The Southern-born musical artist’s proposed solution to this premise was uninspired: to move forward with mass monument removal.

“A lot of you know I’m from Tennessee … a state that happens to be the home of many many confederate monuments,” Timberlake wrote in an Instagram post Monday. “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.”

“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,” the artist added.

“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.”

The post came complete with a video from the American Civil Liberties Union detailing the history of the Confederacy and the nation’s many monuments to its leaders, generals and combatants.

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As with many left-wing social justice overtures, however, the post lacked boundaries.

Timberlake did not stop where common ground may, in some cases, be found: with considerations for the removal of Confederate monuments.

The Confederacy was a “nation” of traitors. Its very creation, following multi-state succession, fractured our fragile and beautiful union for decades to come.

Its subsequent attack on Fort Sumter was treason; nothing less. And its leaders’ arrogant unwillingness to work through peaceful political change within a representative democracy led to the deaths of more than 600,000 Americans.

In fact, these traits of the Confederacy — unyielding divisiveness and unprompted aggression — are forces antithetical to conservatism.

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With that in mind, simple discussion surrounding the potential merits of removing celebratory monuments to the men of the Confederacy seems relatively inoffensive. There is, at least, room for that debate in the American political discourse.

But Timberlake and his compatriots trample any good will toward such a dialogue with their willingness to leave the door open to the removal of other monuments — monuments to figures like the Founding Fathers, for instance.

The social justice left does not simply stand in protest against enemies of the American social ideal. They stand in protest of America’s very foundation. Timberlake said so himself.

“When we protest racism in America, people think we are protesting America itself,” Timberlake also wrote. “Why is that the reaction? Because America was built by men who believed in and benefitted from racism. Plain and simple.”

For the social justice left, the goal is not a just society but a social utopia.

As a result, the bar for placement on any sort of societal or historical pedestal is not simply astounding accomplishment or vision, but modern sensibility.

The left assesses historical figures not by what was acceptable or exceptional according to the metric of their day, but of ours.

Of course, they lack the foresight to recognize they are in the process of creating a system by which no flaw may stand.

Today, we tear down yesterday. Tomorrow, we tear down today. The past is at the mercy of the present.

Let’s hope the social justice arbiters of tomorrow are more merciful — or before long we will go the way of the Confederates and the Founding Fathers.

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Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosted the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.