Justin Bieber Speaks On Criticism He Received For Sampling Martin Luther King, Jr. Speeches On New Album, Denies Trying To Be A ‘White Savior’
Justin Bieber might have good intentions when he used samples of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speeches in his Justice album. But he became the center of controversy after doing so. As previously reported, Justin Bieber used Martin Luther King, Jr. samples on 2 Much and an MLK Interlude.
He has now addressed the backlash he received during his first time on the social platform Clubhouse earlier this week.
He explained to the nearly 8,000 people in the room, according to Billboard,
“Being Canadian,… they didn’t teach us about Black history. It was just not a part of our education system. I think for me, coming from Canada and being uneducated and making insensitive jokes when I was a kid and being insensitive and being honestly just a part of the problem because I just didn’t know better. For me to have this platform to just share this raw moment of Martin Luther King in a time where he knew he was going to die for what he was standing up for.”
He referenced the late Civil Rights icon’s “But If Not” speech from November 1967 and continued,
“I say to you this morning, that if you have never found something so dear and so precious to you that you will die for it, then you aren’t fit to live.”
He added that he would have no problem experiencing “as much hate by putting that on the album” in order to speak on the reality of justice.
He denied claims that he is trying to be a “white savior” and said he instead wanted to “amplify” Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “incredibly, touching speech.”
“I want to keep growing and learning about just all social injustices and what it looks like for me to be better, what it looks like for my friends to be better. And I know I have a long way to go. I love that when people are listening to my album, these conversations are coming up and they’re like, ‘Well, how is he going from Martin Luther King into a love song?’ I’m not trying to make a connection between me and Martin Luther King. That’s why I never try to talk about social injustice or I didn’t want to be the one to talk about it because I just have so much more learning to do. But I have this man who was ready to die and what he believed to be true. If I’m not willing to face some sort of ridicule or judgment of people wondering my motives or whatever that is, for me, it was a no-brainer.”
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