Usher Defends Justin Bieber Following Racist Remarks


Justin Bieber's mentor Usher is siding with the embattled pop star following some videos leaked that show the 20-year-old singer using racial slurs.

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On Saturday, the 35-year-old Voice judge posted an old photo of he and Bieber on Instagram, writing: "At my core, I am a person that supports growth and understands without judgement, that growth often comes as a result of pain and continues effort. As I have watched Justin Bieber navigate difficult waters as a young man, I can tell you that he hasn't always chosen the path of his greatest potential, but he is unequivocally not a racist. What he was 5 years ago was a naive child who did not understand the negative power and degradation that comes from playing with racial slurs. What he is now is a young man faced with an opportunity to become his best self, an example to the millions of kids that follow him to not make the same mistakes."

Bieber apologized a second time on Thursday after a new video, reportedly taken when he was 14 years old, surfaced of him 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. "Facing my mistakes from years ago has been one of the hardest things I've ever dealt with," Bieber said in a statement. "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."

The first of these videos emerged earlier this week and was apparently recorded during the making of the 2011 documentary Never Say Never. The video shows a then 15-year-old Bieber telling the joke, "Why are black people afraid of chainsaws?" Despite a number of objections voiced by those around Bieber, he delivered the racist punchline, "Run n*****-, n*****, n*****, n*****, n*****," imitating the starting and revving noise of a chainsaw.

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What do you think of Usher's recent statement regarding Bieber's racial slurs?