Vic Mensa Says Justin Timberlake Is “Benefiting From Using Black Culture”

Vic Mensa spoke last night on The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore in a discussion about the backlash that has come from a series of tweets that Justin Timberlake wrote following Jesse Williams’ BET speech last weekend.

Timberlake tweeted that he was inspired by the speech, but after being criticised for that initial tweet he responded to one Twitter user by saying “the more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation.” That tweet copped even more backlash, leaving Timberlake to apologise for any offence he may have caused.

Last night Mensa called out Timberlake for only supporting and benefiting from black culture when it suits him, and not when black people have suffered through the struggles of history. “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,” said Mensa.

“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.”

Following his words, Mensa clarified in a tweet that he wasn’t trying “to bash Justin Timerlake,” but more than he was just “shedding some light on the idea of cultural appropriation.”

At this weeks’ BET Awards Jesse Williams, recipient of the Humanitarian Award, delivered an impassioned and powerful speech touching on everything from the police killings of black citizens to the appropriation of black culture. Relive that speech here below.

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