Can you unlearn racism? The case of Justin Bieber


So unless you’ve been living under a rock I’m sure you’ve heard about Justin Bieber and the 2 videos where he says ni**er a few times.

Sunday a video showing a then 15 year old Justin telling a racist joke

Then Wednesday, another video of a 14 year old Justin singing a parody of One Less Lonely Girl

A 14-year-old Justin Bieber did a horribly racist version of his own song 5 years ago … looking into the camera and singing … “There’ll be one less lonely n*****.”

Bieber and his team tell TMZ … they want this video out, because he wants to own what he did.

We’re told when Justin was 14 … he had seen a random video online in which a comedian parodied his song, “One Less Lonely Girl,” but the guy replaced the word “girl” with the n-word.

Justin then parodied the parody … right on camera.

We’re told years ago Justin told both Usher and Will Smith about the videos, saying he knew almost immediately it was a stupid thing to do … Usher took him into a room and showed him historically racist videos to drive home how hurtful these words can be.

Bieber and his team say various people have tried to extort him over the last few years — demanding money for both this video and the one he made when he was 15. Justin says he will not be shaken down anymore. He says he wants people to see the video and he wants to accept responsibility.

Justin apologized several days ago … saying, “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.”


So after seeing this and seeing how he’s all I know it was wrong blah, blah, blah it got me to thinking.

So he’s basically playing the young and stupid card here. But he was 14 and 15 at the time of the videos. By then don’t you know right from wrong?

If racism is a learned behavior then it can be unlearned, yes?

Do we accept this excuse and apology?

Apparently it is Beth's Job to get on Slaus's nerves.

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  1. Vernita Mechelle Brown says

    Never did like him. Don’t really care if he doesn’t like black folks. He just needs to go away.

  2. xCDx_Disciple says

    It makes sense to me now. If the comedian was a black comedian, it drives home the point of why no one should say the N-word, or everyone can…as long as it is in the same context. I don’t mean when it is meant to be used as a derogatory term. That is the problem we have as black folk. IF he was repeating what a black comedian said, then how can we really hold a 15 year old kid accountable to that. I would chalk that up to ignorance about the double standard of blacks using that word that whites “can’t” use. Especially if he is hanging around young black folks too. Just my garbled thoughts on this issue.

  3. SY says

    Nope… But it can be pushed down deep where one day Bieber will snap and start a cult of killers…

  4. Fineazell1 says

    I am not nor have I ever been a JB fan. But I do understand what it is like to be young, white, and stupid. I think each person is raised with certain prejudice. For whatever reason, right or wrong, every person has prejudice against others.
    I was raised around racism. Deep rooted, hateful racism. I was in my late 20’s before I really started understanding the profound impact and power words can have on others.
    Even in my mid 30’s I still have to consciously fight years of learned prejudice. The thoughts will never go away, but the belief of those thoughts are what’s important.
    I don’t know JB and I don’t know how he really feels about black people. He seems to spend a lot of time around black celebrities and maybe that has had an impact on the learned prejudices he had as a teen. But in reference to the question, I believe awareness of racism can be taught. And if one is so inclined, the learned behavior of believing the racist rhetoric can be abolished. If any of that makes sense.

  5. Omelette! says

    I don’t think his personal apology matters but the compelling need to make one because of a general consensus that such sentiments are socially unacceptable, does.

  6. notconvincedgranny says

    If Time and TMZ are to be believed, this happened around the same time as his last racial faux pas (bullshit is better in French) and Bieber and his team asked to have this released now. I guess so he could get his mea culpas (I fucked up sounds better in Latin) out of the way, get into rehab to cover for the fact that he probably really does need rehab, and come out smelling like a corpse flower.

  7. NayBot says

    He is still stupid. He know’s right from wrong, but continues to act like an arse because he KNOWS people will give him a pass. Look at all the mess he has done within the past year alone.

  8. nosrednakal says

    My Caucasus Canadian boss wanted to start a hastag because of this #GitmoBieber Cause he’s got to go. Co-opting black culture the way he does? GTFO 5 years is not enough time to feel one dribble of guilt. If I did ior said anything in the past 15 years I meant that sh1t.

  9. says

    Thought he was a joke. Saw him on SNL and found out he has talent. The defining image of him I have is my seven year old choosing to marry Austin Moon over him when she grows up because Justin does bad things. Justin is a kid. There is nothing in our society to prepare a kid for the level of scrutiny that he is under. He is so early in his development that, if allowed to grow into manhood he may become a social activist in ten years. But he is being marketed to tweens and its stunting his growth.

    To broaden the answer, yes… racism can be unlearned. I’ve seen it. A lot of bigotry in teens is just a response to peer pressure. You say things to impress the group whether you believe it, or even understand it. For teens, the worst thing you can do is back them in a corner and force them to constantly defend themselves. That can make them develop a personal reason to resent you… and THAT takes longer to change than the group-think thing. If you show them an alternate image of of what they have been taught, and let them question themselves rather than questioning them, change is very possible.