While he’s no Donald Sterling, Justin Bieber hasn’t had the best week in terms of race relations.
Twice this week, TMZ.com has released two videos of the Canadian pop singer that has him making racist jokes pertaining to the African-American race, one of the videos mentioning the Ku Klux Klan. And like every celebrity alive who finds themselves in a public dilemma, Bieber has released a statement apologizing for his wrongful words.
“Facing my mistakes from years ago has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with. But I feel now that I need to take responsibility for those mistakes and not let them linger… At the end of the day I just need to step up and own what I did… Once again I am sorry for all those I have let down and offended.”
“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”
Bieber’s videos, linked here and here, have caused people to refer to the 20-year-old as racist, but based on my experiences in life, it’s hard for me to label such a tag without further evidence. Not too long ago, I was a teenager and at that age, I made plenty of jokes similar to Bieber and I don’t think I’m a racist nor does anyone else who knows me personally think the same. There’s something to be said about the jokes, them being wrong, but there’s a definitive difference between harmless banter and pure racism. You know what racism is? Donald Sterling denying housing because of someones race. That’s racism. What Bieber did isn’t, though it’s completely wrong.
With such a huge following and the media in love with downing Bieber, it’ll be interesting to see how this affects his career going forward.