Justin Bieber Addresses Past 'Uneducated' Comments While Taking a Stand Against Racism
Justin Bieber is speaking out against racism.
The 25-year-old singer took to Instagram on Tuesday with a message encouraging his fans to "stand against racism." In the caption of the post, Bieber acknowledged his own past "uneducated" remarks.
"When I was young I was uneducated and found myself saying really hurtful things not knowing the power of my words," Bieber wrote. "Racism Is still very prevalent and I want to use my voice to remind we are all human being[s] and all of EQUAL VALUE BEFORE GOD!"
In a video that was released in 2014 -- which was first published by The Sun and appeared to have been filmed during the making of Bieber's 2011 documentary, Never Say Never -- the singer was seen and heard telling the joke, "Why are black people afraid of chainsaws?"
Despite a number of objections voiced by others in the clip, Bieber delivered the racist punchline, "Run n*****-, n*****, n*****, n*****, n*****," imitating the starting and revving noise of a chainsaw.
After the video's publication, Bieber said that, "as a kid," he "didn't understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt."
"I thought it was OK to repeat hurtful words and jokes, but didn't realize at the time that it wasn't funny and that in fact my actions were continuing the ignorance. Thanks to friends and family I learned from my mistakes and grew up and apologized for those wrongs," his statement read. "Now that these mistakes from the past have become public I need to apologize again to all those I have offended. I'm very sorry. I take my friendships with people of all cultures very seriously and I apologize for offending or hurting anyone with my childish and inexcusable mistake."
"I was a kid then and I am a man now who knows my responsibility to the world and to not make that mistake again. Ignorance has no place in our society and I hope the sharing of my faults can prevent others from making the same mistake in the future," the statement continued. "I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say but telling the truth is always what's right. Five years ago I made a reckless and immature mistake and I'm grateful to those close to me who helped me learn those lessons as a young man. Once again....I'm sorry."
The Sun published a second video days later, this one showing Bieber repeatedly using the N-word and joking about joining the Ku Klux Klan in a racist parody of his hit 2009 song, "One Less Lonely Girl."
In the clip, Bieber laughed as he sang, "One less lonely n*****" to the tune of the chorus of "One Less Lonely Girl," adding, "If I kill you, I'll be part of the KKK, there will be one less lonely n*****."
"Facing my mistakes from years ago has been one of the hardest things I've ever dealt with," Bieber said in a statement after the second video was made public. "But I feel now that I need to take responsibility for those mistakes and not let them linger. I just hope that the next 14-year-old kid who doesn't understand the power of these words does not make the same mistakes I made years ago. At the end of the day I just need to step up and own what I did."
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