Justin Bieber is being criticized for using excerpts of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches on his latest album.
Released Friday (March 19th), Justice starts off with the famous quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat everywhere,” from King’s April 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” It also includes the track, “MLK Interlude,” a nearly two-minute snippet of the Civil Rights leader’s 1967 sermon, “But If Not”.
Twitter users and professional critics alike questioned why the singer chose to include these clips on an album comprised of love songs. Variety reviewer Chris Willman wrote in his review, “Now, if you're wondering why anyone thought it was a good idea to conflate civil-right martyrdom with the thought of succumbing to a hot woman, keep wondering: It, like the other MLK bit, or the socially conscious-sounding rationale for the album title, for that matter, doesn't make a lick of sense.”
Additionally, Twitter user @cxtilyn wrote, “justin bieber using mlk speeches about justice… to sing about his white wife?”
However, King's daughter Bernice King appeared to co-sign Bieber's new project in a tweet Thursday (March 18th) before the album's release.
She wrote, “Thank you, @justinbieber, for your support, in honor of #Justice, of @TheKingCenter’s work and of our #BeLove campaign.”