The Black Lives Matter movement has created a lasting impact on social activism when it comes to the rights of people of color. It’s also been a source of inspiration for musicians like Beyonce, JAY-Z, Chance The Rapper and J.Cole. Justin Bieber can now be added to the list.
The 23-year-old posted the organization’s logo on Instagram Friday (Sept. 22), paired with a statement about rights of black people. “I am a white Canadian and I will never know what it feels like to be an african American,” he said. “But what I do know is I am willing to stand up and use my voice to shine light on racism, because it’s a real thing and it’s more prevalent now than I have ever seen in my lifetime.. we are all Gods children and we are ALL EQUAL.”
In the past, the singer was mute about the topic. With his mentor Usher and industry friends residing from the hip-hop world, the singer’s stance isn’t too surprising. Bieber was once accused of appropriating the culture.
He’s also been the center of a few racial blunders including a video of the singer at 15 mocking his single, “One Less Lonely Girl,” with the n-word replacing “girl.” “I thought it was OK to repeat hurtful words and jokes, but didn’t realize at the time that it wasn’t funny and that in fact my actions were continuing the ignorance,” he said in 2014.
However, Bieber might’ve been close to declaring his stance with BLM during the presidential election. Mic reports the singer was approached to perform at the Republican National Convention in 2016 for $5 million. The singer turned it down after he was told he couldn’t state his political views, meaning his proposed “Black Lives Matter” banners wouldn’t be allowed in the performance. Donors would’ve given the singer a pass–only if he sang in front of “All Lives Matter” banners, but he and his predominately African-American band refused the offer.
Bieber has used his platform in recent tragedies like the terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester and the recent telethon for Hurricane Harvey victims, conducted by Bun B and longtime manager Scooter Braun.
Amazing. Thanks everyone. Let's keep helping eachother. https://t.co/RNbmGPeJqX
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) September 13, 2017