Justin Timberlake [Photograph]. Retrieved via http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nora-oravecz/justin-timberlake-always-pretend-that-you-are-a-beginner_b_7158780.html on 6-28-16.

Justin Timberlake [Photograph]. Photo Credit: Getty Images
Justin Timberlake [Photograph]. Photo Credit: Getty Images
Who knew an empowering speech followed by a positive tweet would lead to a timeline of ridicule?

After the 2016 BET Awards premiered Sunday, social media turned into a slanderous storm as several fans lashed out on singer Justin Timberlake for tweeting his inspired thoughts following “Grey’s Anatomy” actor Jesse Williams’ humanitarian acceptance speech. In the midst of Williams expressing his gratitude, he dropped gems about global division, mobilizing as a people, equal rights for African Americans and so much more.

He stated, “This invention called whiteness uses and abuses us. Burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil — black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations, then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit.”

As he concluded his speech, he departed with a memorable quote, “just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real,” which left the audience feeling overly inspired and moved, including Justin Timberlake.

JT took to Twitter, writing,  “@iJesseWilliams tho…#Inspired #BET2016.

What’s wrong with his tweet, innocent right? Well, apparently the many folks who criticized believe the 35-year-old singer should’ve used his celebrity as a platform to speak out on the various happenings in the world as well as his 2004 Super Bowl halftime show scandal where he exposed Janet Jackson’s chest.

The retweets varied from, “So does this mean you’re going to stop appropriating our music and culture? And apologize to Janet too. #BETAwards,” while another responded, “Inspired you to do what? Continue to emulate black culture through your music while ignoring issues affecting black people.”

Justin humbly responded, “Oh, you sweet soul, the more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation. Bye.”

Of course, those negative tweets continued to roll in until Justin responded with what seemed to be the final statement for this matter:

I feel misunderstood. I responded to a specific tweet that wasn’t meant to be a general response. I shouldn’t have responded anyway.”

He continued, “I forget this forum sometimes … I was truly inspired by @iJesseWilliams speech because I really do feel that we are all one … A human race.”

One person who had JT’s back was R&B singer, Tank. He took to Instagram, writing:

@justintimberlake doesn’t need my pass or yours to feel that we are all one in God’s eyes! We are all part of the human race which is suffering as a whole! You suffer when you’re hated and you suffer when you hate! What about that can these simple minded people not understand! I get it he’s an easy target! But you haven’t sent one dollar to Ferguson or one bottle of water to Michigan! Haters, hypocrites, and social media bullies! FOH wit that dumb shit! How bout registering to vote to make a difference instead of attacking celebrities on social media! #ImDone

While things seem pretty quiet on twitter regarding this situation, hopefully folks can take Jesse Williams’ speech and use it to see the bigger picture.

Written By: Chey Lyn


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