I’ve been off the Bieber train for a while now, I just don’t think any of his new stuff has been anywhere near good. But Hold On really roped me back in, and I was all ready for this new album, until I saw that he had a track dedicated to an MLK speech… Bieber used an archival sample of an MLK speech from 1967 as an entire track on his new album Justice. To which I audibly said “what the fuck” and got instantly enraged. Genuinely, my first thought was how can that even be legal? But I guess if he did it, it has to be legal? Bernice King, MLK’s daughter, tweeted her thanks to and support for Justin, but I simply can’t get over how absurd this is.
There is something so incredibly aggravating about white people being praised for not being racist and for preaching justice and antiracism. Um, yeah, that’s the bare fuckign minumum. You don’t get kudos for saying you like Black people. You don’t get a gold star for thinking BIPOC deserve to be treated like a human being…
At a listening party for the album Bieber said, “What I wanted to do with this was amplify [Dr.] Martin Luther King Jr’s voice to this generation,” Bieber said. “Being Canadian, it wasn’t so much a part of my culture.” (Rolling Stone) Okay. Understandable. Sometimes I forget that he is in fact Canadian. HOWEVER. There are much better ways to do this. He has so much fucking money, start an initiative to get more civil rights education in Canada. Post about MLK, share Black leaders thoughts, don’t just rip off an American Hero and put him on your god damn album.
It’s just so god damn infuriating to me that he thinks this is okay. That he can just put a speech on an album, call it educational, and have that be it. Like fuck off Justin. Put your money where your mouth is. Literally. He is supporting some fantastic organizations currently, but is this how we needed to announce it? A simply PR announcement could’ve sufficed.
It’s been a long fucking year of white people’s activism, or lack thereof, and I simply want it all to be over. Stop being performative and actually treat Black people right. Hire them. Create art with them. Don’t profit off of them.