AceShowbiz - Justin Bieber spoke out against racism when he opened his "Justice Tour" show in Buffalo, NY on Saturday, May 14. The "What Do You Mean?" hitmaker hit the stage just hours after a gunman killed 10 people at a local grocery store in a racially motivated attack.
The Canadian star took to his Instagram account to share a video from his show, during which he took a moment of silence to honor the victims. "When we first decided to name this tour the Justice tour and the Justice album, we wanted to make an intentional moment where everyone felt the love, they felt included, they felt a moment of unity," he explained on stage. "Because as we know there's so much division in this world, so much racial injustice. And as you and I both know, racism is evil and it is diabolical."
He went on to say, "But what you and I get to do is be the difference makers. We get to be the people who continue to have the conversations with our friends and our family and our loved ones, we continue to be allies." The husband of Hailey Baldwin later introduced the next song in his lineup, "As I Am", noting that the track is about "taking each other as we are."
Meanwhile, Justin wrote in the caption, "RACISM WILL NOT PREVAIL GOD DOES. WE STAND WITH YOU BUFFALO AND STAND AGAINST THIS RACIST ACT OF TERROR."
In another post, the "Sorry" singer could be seen holding a prayer circle with his production team right before he took the stage. "You guys probably heard what happened, pretty horrible stuff," the star said with his arms around his crew. "But I'm looking forward to tonight, doing what we do best and having a good time and bringing joy to the city. It's much needed."
One other post, meanwhile, featured the pop star calling out fans who could not stay silent when he was trying to address the tragedy. "You know, as we know there's been a tragedy in the city. But what we're gonna do tonight is we're gonna honor those people. And I would love if we could just take a moment of silence. That would mean a lot to me," he told the audience in a clip.
While most fans complied and prayed for the victims alongside Justin, there were a few of them who still could be heard screaming. Writing in the caption, the 28-year-old penned, "To the people who couldn't stay silent to honor the lives that were so tragically lost, I urge you to ask yourself why?"
Around 2 P.M. on Saturday, 13 people were shot at the Tops Friendly Market by 18-year-old Payton Gendron. According to Buffalo police, 11 of the victims were black and 2 were white. Ten of them died, while two people remain hospitalized with one wounded victim being discharged from a local hospital.
Payton was arraigned on a first-degree murder charge on Saturday evening. The tragedy is being investigated as a hate crime and "an act of racially-motivated violent extremism," the U.S. attorney general said in a statement. "The evidence that we have uncovered so far makes no mistake that this is an absolute racist hate crime. It will be prosecuted as a hate crime," Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said on Sunday. "This is someone who has hate in their heart, soul and mind."