Justin Bieber and the Nigger Word

Justin Bieber and N-word

Justin Bieber and N-word

“One less lonely nigger,” sings Justin Bieber five years ago when he was 15 years old, “one less lonely nigger…If I kill you, I’ll be part of the K.K. K.” Obviously, Justin had fun fantasizing in song about killing black people.


Let me scream out the question that many black people are thinking: How common is it in the white community for children and teenagers to gather and make racist jokes about the K.K.K?

White people say that black folks grumble and complain about racism too much. But after seeing Justin’s artistic production, I wonder if black people have grumbled enough. Have we gotten so quiet that the young white generation can sit on its behind, pull out the camera, and make jokes about the K.K.K?

Clearly, Justin didn’t realize he engaged verbal violence against every black person or he would not have recorded it. Who records a murder? Or perhaps he knew, but he realized it was the norm in white culture.

Justin has since apologized, saying he was a little boy who didn’t know the meaning of words. Of course, Justin had been using the meaning of words to write songs two years prior to producing these racist videos.

Those like Don Lemon who say black people use the N word too, you must note that black persons do not fantasize about being members of the K.K.K. You cannot look at a word without realizing its many usages and meanings.

Regarding my specific position on the issue, on the one hand, Justin was indeed younger. On the other hand, I struggle with whether we should ignore racist jokes or even racist violence when the perpetrators are young. Additionally, at what point do people have a right to say things in private without it coming to light to attack them?

Haven’t we all said things in private, which, if leaked, would ruin our reputations? Is is ethical for friends to start taping us, stealing our private recordings, and waiting around for the day we will become famous so they can blackmail us?

At the same time, I wonder—aren’t private conversations the very things legal defenders and prosecutors force witnesses to recall in a court of law to convict or free accused persons? Therefore, should we just ignore private messages or productions, which are leaked to the media, only because they are private? When something moves from the private realm into the public light, should we treat it as if it were private?

I always liked Justin Bieber, even when every one trashed him. But after this racist video, it’s tempting to dislike him, tempting to desire his ruin. However, given that Justin Bieber wasn’t as old as Donald Sterling, I want to believe his apology is genuine.

One of my best friends, who is white, told me years ago, that she grew up in a racist environment, where the nigger word was just another word of the day. She used it all the time. Her family did. Everybody did. She saw nothing wrong with it then. When she moved to New York City in her 20s and began meeting black people, she realized her past was grounded in racism. She realized she produced racism for most of her life.

She even told me some of the racist jokes she made about black people looking like gorillas in Africa, black people on welfare, black people loving to fight, black people looking fat and frying chicken.

When I call someone a friend, she is truly a friend. That friend is not only a friend, but she is a very close friend. I can confidently say she doesn’t have a racist bone in her body today. How many white people do you know that confess about their racist past. Not many.

In fact, many of them will act as though they didn’t have a streak of racism in their bone. Those are ones to be weary of! As a black man, if I tell you I have never trashed white people in my teenage life, run far from me because I’m a damn liar!

From the things we talked about, could my girlfriend have been Justin Bieber as a teenager? Oh sure, she was Justin Bieber! So if I can love her, why shouldn’t I believe Justin when he says he has changed? If I cannot believe Justin’s apology, then perhaps the ability to resent is closer to my heart than the ability to love. Do we all want to be judged by the things we said when we were fifteen?

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