Celebrities and public figures are reacting to headlines surrounding Justin Bieber and older videos showing the young JB using the N word and other racial slurs. The two video were reportedly filmed when he was was 14 & 15 year old.
Not only have Usher, 50 Cent and JB’s team stood up for him, but longtime rival Drake Bell has too! Checkout what they had to say:
At my core, I am a person that supports growth and understands without judgment, 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 naïve 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.
Don Lemon (CNN Anchor):
Some are saying Bieber is racist. Is he? I don’t know. But I do know that this is the danger of the proliferation of the use of the n-word. Clearly Justin Bieber, a young man who by the way, has immersed himself in black, Hip Hop culture should not be saying the n-word. So the question is, if you want people like Justin Bieber to stop using it and to stop making excuses for using it, shouldn’t you do the same?
I don’t think he’s racist. I don’t think even he knows who he is at this point — he’s so young. When you see people become huge stars real early, it’s tough for them. You have to grow up with all these expectations. I think Justin’s still a baby and he’s lost.
Some mistakes have no excuses. They are just wrong. But how a man reacts to those mistakes… How he owns it and learns from it… That defines him more than the mistake itself.
What I do know whole heartedly is Justin Bieber is not prejudice nor is he racist. He wasn’t raised that way and his family isn’t either. Yes he said some bad jokes and I know if he could he would take back what was said. He’s grown a lot in 5 years and as we all grow we learn.
He will always be criticized and judged every day of his life by people who only know him because of blogs or the press. That won’t change.
As a black man I am telling the world that Justin Bieber is not a racist. I have known him since he was 12 years old and I know his heart.
Black Canadians and Black Americans are two separate groups of people. And how do I know this? Well, I did a movie last year, in Canada. And a young, wonderful Canadian woman wrote it, and I’m reading it and I’m thinking, “We wouldn’t say anything like this.” So I went to the director and I said, what is this? And he said, oh, she lives here. And I said so she doesn’t know anything, she doesn’t get what we’re talking about.
What I’m saying is that, when you are 15 and you’re someplace where that’s not a word that you have associated with people of color … they weren’t calling them that.
I was saying the N word is not something that lived in Canada the way it lived here (in US), part of American history.
Donald Sterling caught saying racist thing and ruins career. Justin Bieber gets caught and the excuse “he doesn’t know any better” is used.
Al Sharpton (Civil rights activist):
Here you have a situation that has really put a black eye in his career because he felt obviously that he could joke with someone, or say something that others couldn’t say. This is inexcusable, and it’s unfortunate.
We’ve got to stop using this word, black, white, young or old, nobody gets a pass on this, and I would hope Justin Bieber uses this as a teaching moment.
Being a kid is no excuse, because that means that racism is being taught to you, so we don’t condone racism nor do we act out of anything of the sort.
Aisha Tyler (“The Talk” co-host):
It is disappointing he was so young. You think maybe an older generation still feels that way, but young people coming up, especially that he is Usher’s protégé, it was shocking to me. The first time with the joke, I thought ‘Okay, he’ s young, it was a dumb mistake.’ Now this new video with the song and stuff, he’s going to have to do something really extraordinary to come back from this. I mean make a full apology in person on camera and then maybe give money to charity. He’s got to do more.
Mack Maine (Rapper):
Justin Bieber does not have a slave mentality. He treats his people with respect. He has legitimately adopted the culture of the hip hop, African American culture.
I remember telling a white man, Chinese man, Black man joke as a kid that was terrible and I told it to my friends because I thought they’d think it was funny.
I really think it’s a good time for Justin — as a very talented artist, which we’re totally forgetting about — it’s time for him to go away for a while. He needs to just disappear, grow up some, love life, learn how to be a guy and be a man, and come back and put an album out and it’ll be number one.
My theory about Justin in that there’s something awful being written about him every week – it’s to the point where I don’t even think people hear it anymore. As awful as these tapes are, I think people are saying, “Oh, well, no surprise there,” because there’s so much negative there about Justin.