Justin Bieber Blames Canada's Education System for That Martin Luther King Sample
Published Mar 31, 2021Justin Bieber's new album Justice has proven to be a big hit for the artist, but it didn't arrive without its share of controversy. In addition to pissing off the French touch duo Justice, Bieber has also gotten plenty of well-deserved flak for a pair of awkward, misguided Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes on the album. Now, the singer has responded to the controversy.
As Billboard reports, Bieber addressed the backlash to his usage of the quotes while speaking to his fans in Clubhouse. Seemingly responding to the criticism, he suggested that he was trying to right the wrongs of his own past. He also blamed Canada's education system for his past ignorance.
"Being Canadian... they didn't teach us about Black history. It was just not a part of our education system," he said. "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."
Bieber added that he was willing to put up with "as much hate by putting that on the album," adding that he wanted to "amplify" MLK's speech. That said, he also defended himself against suggestions that he was playing into the "white saviour" trope.
"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," he said. "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."
Read Exclaim!'s review of Justice.