When Justin Bieber was 15 years old he was recorded telling a racist joke that also involved him using the N word
. The recording had been suppressed since then, but over the weekend was finally released. Yesterday Bieber released a statement that said, “As a young man, I 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. 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.”
Setting aside the question of whether he acts like a man now or not, he was 15 years old and yes, he should have known better, but I have never met anyone who thinks he is racist and I also believe him that he does not use the N word any longer. He had lots of people rush to his defense yesterday and lots of people knew the recording existed, but it didn't stop them from associating with him and I don't think its release will probably change any of that.