Justin Beiber has not looked up the term performative activism, it seems. On his recent album “Justice” he said that the album was meant to inspire justice for all, and even had a two minute long interlude of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream speech right before a song called “Die for you” but the thing is, except for two clips, one at the beginning and one in the middle, the whole entire album did not reference social justice at all.
Not one. Justin simply took clips of these two speeches and put them on his album, when he knew that the album was going to be about your standard love and relationship fare.
Thou shalt not profit off the dream, Justin!
Granted, Justin Bieber writing a song about social injustice and racial inequality would be pretty weird considering he’s not exactly in the demographic to have ever experienced either one so we get that he couldn’t actually write about the two topics without coming off as, well, uneducated.
However, he could have featured an artist who was better able to explain that in those terms and written a song that way and that would have probably come off a lot better than the trainwreck that ensued. Now fans are mad.
Why did Justin do this? Probably to capitalize on the BLM movement and garner some brownie points with all his ‘woke’ fans but he doesn’t realize that this comes with a double-edged sword. Woke fans don’t want performative activism from people who can’t speak to their struggle.
Woke fans want to hear from artists who have experienced the struggle and what they have to say about it. People like Justin can be allies, most definitely, but in cases like this aside from featuring an artist who could broadly appeal to the demographic he was after, he needed to put his money where his mouth is and sit down.
An announcement saying that a percentage of his sales was going to go to organizations that fight injustice would have been much better received from fans than randomly namedropping Dr. King.
Although before you go thinking that Justin can’t do anything right, allegedly he got permission from Dr. King’s daughter to use the clips and actually has been working with her on some projects. Looks like you just can’t please everybody these days. Stay tuned!!!