After going radio silent for a few weeks after he shared “bye, I left” on social media May 19, Bad Bunny has broken his silence and spoken out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
In a poignant statement titled “Forgive Me” published in TIME magazine, the chart-topping artist asks his fans to forgive him for not speaking out sooner but, “I can’t even believe this is still happening. Maybe it’s because I’ve always seen people’s hearts and, in my house, I was always taught that we are all the same regardless of race, religion and surname; that we are all brothers/sisters. I SWEAR I don’t feel well, and I don’t think I can express myself properly.”
Amid national outrage and protests following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by a white police officer, the “lyrical” statement comes after people questioned his silence on the matter given that he has been vociferously against trans issues and femicide, and he doesn’t shy around politics. Back in September, he was on the front line when Puerto Ricans demanded the ousting of former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.
“There are artists who only upload a photo or a basic message just to calm public pressure or to look ‘good,’” Bunny told TIME. “Not me… I want to go deeper and see in what way I can serve, how I can support the fight against a systematic monster that has been [around for] centuries.”
Adding, “In the case of reggaetón music, we have always struggled against discrimination, and even though today it is the world’s number one Latino genre, we continue to suffer from that discrimination, both in the world for being Latino, and in the Latino community itself for being a genre that comes from the street.”
Below, read Bad Bunny’s translated statement and find the original Spanish version here.
Forgive my silence.
But I can’t even believe this is still happening.
Maybe it’s because I’ve always seen people’s hearts and, in my house, I was always taught that we are all the same regardless of race, religion and surname; that we are all brothers/sisters.
I SWEAR I don’t feel well, and I don’t think I can express myself properly,
I swear it hurts!
It hurts to know that people are still being killed because of the color of their skin.
LIVING IN A WORLD LIKE THIS, NONE OF US CAN BREATHE!F–K DONALD TRUMP!
PRESIDENT OF RACISM!
YOUR HATE AND TYRANNY,
DON’T STOP THE FIGHT,
DON’T LOWER YOUR FISTS,
KNOW THAT WE ARE ALL HOME,
THAT THIS IS OUR LAND.
I remember the white boy with the “bad hair,” that’s what they would say,
just like they did to my black neighbors, and they believed it too.
Bad? Bad are those who still think that way,
WITHOUT REALIZING THAT THE SAME BLOOD RUNS THROUGH OUR VEINS.
Who taught you to be this way?
Why don’t you seek change?
MAYBE THE PRESS IS TO BLAME FOR NEVER SHOWING THE TRUTH
OR HISTORY CLASSES THAT DON’T TEACH US A REAL ACCOUNT OF EVENTS
AND SHOW BLACK SLAVES WITH SUCH NORMALCY
AND WHO STILL CALL THIS BRUTALITY A “DISCOVERY.”
TO MURDER AND HUMILIATE THOSE OF ANOTHER SKIN COLOR,
THAT 500 YEARS LATER,
THAT PAIN KEEPS DRAGGING ON.
HATE DOESN’T STOP HATE,
IT JUST MAKES IT WORSE.
IN A WORLD LIKE THAT, WHO WANTS TO GIVE THEIR LOVE?
IF IT WAS UP TO ME, NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED, IF IT WAS UP TO ME, NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE EXISTED.
YOU CAN’T KNOW SOMEONE BY SIMPLY LOOKING AT THEIR FACE,
YOU CAN’T KNOW SOMEONE BY ONLY LOOKING AT THEIR OUTER APPEARANCE.
FORGIVE ME THAT MY ANGER TODAY IS SILENT.
FORGIVE ME FOR FEELING IMPOTENT TODAY.
I SWEAR TO YOU I LOVE YOU AND I WILL ALWAYS STAND BY MY PEOPLE,
BUT WHAT’S IMPORTANT IS THAT YOU GUYS ALWAYS FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN.
NEVER WAIT FOR ARTISTS, OR FOR FICTITIOUS HEROES, YOU ARE THE ONES WHO HAVE THE POWER!!! TEACH YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS TO RESPECT AND LOVE REGARDLESS OF SKIN COLOR. EDUCATE THOSE WHO DO NOT SEEM TO KNOW ABOUT THE HISTORY OF SUFFERING AND STRUGGLE THAT BLACK PEOPLE HAVE ENDURED, ABOUT THE INJUSTICES WE CARRIED FOR CENTURIES. MAYBE WE WON’T CHANGE THE WORLD TODAY, BUT TODAY WE CAN WORK ON MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR TOMORROW.