Watch Justin Bieber Say The N-Word Many Times

The video begins with a 15-year-old Justin Bieber at the tail end of a racist joke that is all too familiar. “What is the least favorite holiday of a Black person? Father’s Day,” he says. Then he continues and you hear in the background from a friend, “Don’t even say it. Don’t even say it.” The video was shot during Justin Bieber‘s Never Say Never documentary. Justin then goes onto drop the N-bomb many times.

Here’s the thing, he’s going to use the whole, “I was just a kid,” thing but when you’re fifteen you know better. If this was no big deal then why aren’t any of his many Black friends or staff in the video? Justin Bieber has an entourage of friends of color and bodyguards but he isn’t making these jokes with them. Why is that? Because he knows he’s not supposed to make fun of Black people in front of his Black friends. If it weren’t such a big deal then why wasn’t this in the documentary? Because you know you don’t want people to see this. If you know this isn’t how you shouldn’t act in front of your Black friends and you know that this isn’t how you want the world to see you, then you do know better. The fact that he is doing this essentially in secret with his White friends and is laughing about it shows that he is at least co-signing the stereotype that Black people don’t have fathers and that it’s OK to say the “n-word” as long as certain people don’t hear it.
Nevertheless it was years ago and I do believe that you can think something “bad” is not such a big deal or problematic when you are young.
Justin released the apology:

“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’m very sorry. 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.”

He basically said what you’re supposed to say, “I did it. It was wrong. I won’t do it again.” When I think about how Justin handled his ignorant mistake and how Macklemore refused to handle his antisemitic mistake, I can’t hate on Justin. The apology is appropriate, the only question is whether or not you believe him. When you combine this incident with some of his past depictions of Black people, it’s a little harder.
Everyone will say or do something ignorant, including myself, it’s just par for the course of living in a world with people different than you. That’s OK. It’s how we deal with those mistakes that speaks to what kind of person we are.

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