Rapper Vic Mensa Says Justin Timberlake Benefits From Black Culture But Turns a "Blind Eye" When It Matters
"We're not feeling him being down when it's beneficial to him and turning a blind eye when it could be dangerous," Mensa said on 'The Nightly Show.'
Vic Mensa joined The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore on Wednesday to address Justin Timberlake's controversial response to Jesse Williams' BET Awards speech.
After Williams' inspiring speech, Timberlake tweeted his support for the actor and his words, but then drew some backlash on social media when he responded to a tweet accusing him of cultural appropriation, saying, "Oh, you sweet soul. The more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation."
Stressing that it's not just Justin Timberlake who is the problem, Mensa, rapper and spokesman for Respect My Vote!, said on The Nightly Show that "the issue is not Justin Timberlake having an input or even appreciating what he said in his speech, that's something most people can resonate with. Our problem here is that Justin Timberlake himself is definitely benefiting from using black culture for his sound, his dance moves, his dancers ... "
But, he adds, when he looked at the past two years of Timberlake's Twitter feed, "you see nothing that supports black people when it's more difficult — when there's a struggle."
"There's no 'praying for Baltimore,' there's no 'praying for Flint,' because that's a dangerous subject for him to touch," Mensa said, "and we're not feeling him being down when it's beneficial to him and turning a blind eye when it could be dangerous."
Later, contributor Robin Thede added, "you can't 'All Lives Matter' us, and then also be inspired by his speech," in response to Timberlake's comment that "we are the same."
Watch the Nightly Show segment below.