On Friday, night the Canadian pop singer and eternal pretty boy Justin Bieber voiced support for Black Lives Matter in a post on Instagram. While the act of posting a photo expressing solidarity against racism might not be much on its lonesome, the message stands out given Bieber's relatively apolitical persona.
“I am a white Canadian and I will never know what it feels like to be an African American. 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."
Some of his fans were ecstatic at his acknowledgement of systemic racism.
While others had some questions.
One of the primary questions is what exactly drove Bieber to post now? Systemic racism has been around (sadly) since before he was born, and Black Lives Matter started in 2013. Was Bieber's come-to-Jesus moment about racism linked to his new identity as a Christian?! Also, what does he intend to do with his growing knowledge of racism?! There are many questions to be asked.
People are also curious how his newfound awareness of racism corresponds to his past use of the n-word.
If he's serious about supporting Black Lives Matter, it'd be wise to write and speak candidly on his past racist behavior. Every one has a lot to unlearn about race, particularly incredibly privileged white celebrities, but if he wants to dismantle racism he'll have to look at his complicitness.
Despite their questions, people are encouraged to see the young star speak on issues that matter.
If it's genuine, it could signify a lot of growth.
Hopefully, this signifies a genuine change of heart. Because if it does, Bieber has a lot of cultural and financial currency he could funnel towards racial justice. If not, well, we'll find out soon enough.