It’s late so I will keep this as brief as possible. Today I had some really great conversations with friends around the whole Justin Timberlake ordeal. I love being able to exchange viewpoints and learn from one another. When asked my thoughts on the Justin Timberlake situation, I didn’t realize how passionately I felt until I started giving my response.
For those who don’t know. Justin got himself into a bit of hot water after the Jesse Williams’ speech at the 2016 BET Awards. If you have not heard the speech, stop reading, go watch it, then come back and continue reading. After Jesse Williams’ powerful speech, Justin Timberlake decides to Tweet:
Someone @’d Justin with a snarky comment.
Justin decides he wants to respond and that’s when all hell breaks loose for poor Justin.
After this tweet by Justin black Twitter drug his ass to the moon and back. I’m talking meme’s, gifs, throwback photos, the works! He ended up apologizing. Blah, blah, blah. You know the rest….
Getting to the point of this post. When I first read all of this I was kind of like “ooohhhh Justin”. But no strong feelings came up, not at that moment. Today, while giving my opinion, lots of emotions came up. So let’s get to it. My opinion on Justin Timberlake’s Tweet.
It felt really condescending. For the record, I love me some JT. I think he is very talented and I thoroughly enjoy his artistry. But let’s not act like he has not benefited from appropriating black music ever since he went solo. He does it well. But the fact remains, he does it.
I think his generalization of “we are all the same” is dismissive. Even if he meant we are all human, on some Raven Symone shit, again its dismissive. You as a Caucasian man have no idea what my human experience is as an African-American. You can sympathize, support, and be inspired all you want, but, you cannot empathize. You will never know the fear that takes over when you see those blue and red lights flashing in your rear-view mirror and you’re in your car alone. You will never understand the feeling of being in a small, hick, all white town and the unexplainable nervousness that creeps into your body along with a sudden alertness as all white eyes scan you from head to toe. You will never have to have a talk with your son or daughter about “the appropriate” way to interact with the police. Why? You are not African-American and we are not the same.
I think Justin in trying to provide a snarky response, said the wrong thing. We are not the same and never will be. African America, Caucasian, Hispanic, etc. none of our histories are the same. Our ancestry isn’t the same. Our lineage isn’t the same. All of these things shape our cultures. They make us who we are. They make us all different. Which is perfectly fine. Us being different isn’t the issue, us being treated differently is.
Now listen, I don’t think Justin was coming from a facetious place but I do think he should have chosen better words to convey whatever it was that he was trying to convey. Actually I think he should have just put the phone down. Haven’t these celebrities learned anything from Ayesha Curry? Get off the internet! Turn the Wi-fi off! When you want to Tweet take a 5 minute pause to reflect on the decision you are about to make or be ready to be drug like a rag-doll through the trenches of twitter.
Whelp there you have it. My thoughts.
Until next time……
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