There may not a have been a more polarizing event in the music industry, last week, than the discovery of two videos showing a young Justin Bieber gleefully telling racist jokes. While frequent collaborators like the Young Money camp, Soulja Boy and Migos defended the Biebs, Ice Cube, Lupe Fiasco and Lord Jamar expressed their disdain for the singer’s actions.
Earlier today, Usher, who helped discover the young singer, and wrote the original song that Bieber flipped into a racist mockery in the second video that surfaced, finally broke his silence about his protégé’s inexcusable actions. Posting a picture of him and Bieber on Instagram which looks to have been taken around the time the racist videos were shot, the R&B star posted the following statement:
“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. 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 naive 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.”
What do you think? Is the Canadian pop star getting a pass? Or, should people let the past be the past?