Usher had kept quiet initially after two videos surfaced of his protégé, Justin Bieber, repeatedly using racist slurs and telling racist jokes. But on Saturday (June 7), he came to his defense.
In one leaked video, Bieber sings his 2010 song, “One Less Lonely Girl,” adding rampant use of the N-word and also makes an offensive Klu Klux Klan joke; in the other he tells a racist joke. Bieber has since apologized, and on Saturday (June 7) his mentor insisted that his mentee is “unequivocally not a racist.”
“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,” Usher wrote. “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 added that five years ago, Bieber was a “naive child” who didn’t understand “the negative power and degradation that comes from playing with racial slurs,” and contended that now that Bieber is older, he “has the opportunity to become his best self, an example to the millions of kids that follow him to not make the same mistakes.”