*Rapper Vic Mensa weighed in on the recent backlash against Justin Timberlake’s response to Jesse Williams’ BET Awards speech on racism and cultural appropriation, saying the singer benefits from parts of black culture while choosing to ignore more “difficult” issues facing the black community.
It all started when Timberlake tweeted support for Williams’ speech, saying he was “#inspired,” but received a torrent of criticism on social media — many pointing out that Williams was speaking about people like him when discussing cultural appropriation.
As part of the panel on Wednesday’s “The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore,” Mensa said, “Our problem here is that Justin Timberlake himself, you know, is definitely benefiting from using black culture for his sound, his dance moves, his dancers and blowing up off of it. But if you roll down Justin Timberlake’s Twitter for the past two years, which I just did, you see nothing that supports black people when it’s more difficult, when there’s a struggle. With everything that’s going on and everybody that’s been killed by police on camera in the last couple of years, there’s no ‘#BlackLivesMatter,’ there’s no ‘praying for Baltimore,’ there’s no ‘praying for Flint,’ you know, because that’s a dangerous subject for him to touch. And we’re not feeling him being down when it’s beneficial to him and turning a blind eye when it could be dangerous.”
On Thursday, Mensa said he wasn’t trying to “bash” Timberlake on “The Nightly Show.” He wrote, “I was just shedding some light on the idea of cultural appropriation.”
My statements on @TheNightlyShow were not to bash Justin timberlake. I was just shedding some light on the idea of cultural appropriation
— still alive (@VicMensa) June 30, 2016