In an Instagram post Monday, the singer explained why he’s advocating to have the statues removed.
“When we protest racism in America, people think we are protesting America itself. Why is that the reaction?” he wrote along with a video he reposted from the American Civil Liberties Union. “Because America was built by men who believed in and benefited from racism. Plain and simple.”
“This is when you hear ‘But that’s all in the past.’ So let’s be clear… those men who proudly owned and abused Black people are STILL celebrated all over the country,” the singer continued.
He wrote there are “roughly 1,848 confederate statues of in the US,” with more than half of them in the South, which he said is “not acceptable.”
“No one should be protecting the legacies of confederate leaders and slave owners,” he argued.
“If we plan to move forward, these monuments must come down,” he added. “But let’s remember: Removing these statues does not erase our country’s vile history of oppression — removing them is a symbol of respect for Black people in America and it’s a step towards progress and actual equality for all.”
His comments come after Taylor Swift last month made a similar statement, calling for the removal of Confederate statues in Tennessee.
“I’m asking the Capitol Commission and the Tennessee Historical Commission to please consider the implications of how hurtful it would be to continue fighting for these monuments,” she captioned her post.