Usher Defends Justin Bieber Following Racist Jokes
Last week, TMZ spotted Usher exiting a Los Angeles restaurant — to the outlet, the perfect time to ask about newly surfaced videos of his protege, Justin Bieber, making racist jokes. (Then 15, Bieber used the n-word in one and of sang of joining the Ku Klux Klan in another.) In response, Usher boarded his Hummer without saying a word. TMZ’s takeaway? He missed an “opportunity to join the growing list of BFOJBs.” (Is BFOJBs supposed to stand for “Black Friends of Justin Bieber”? If so, sigh.)
Over the weekend, Usher took to Instagram instead to defend the pop star. On June 7, he posted a photo of the two, where Bieber looks the same age as he did in those videos. With it, he issued a statement far more nuanced than TMZ would have allowed. (Side note: The outlet reportedly blackmailed Bieber with those same clips for years.) “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,” Usher said.
See Usher’s full statement after the jump.
At my core, I am a person that supports growth and understands without judgement [sic], 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.
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