I am one of the many millions who doesn’t feel sympathy for Justin Bieber. If anything, I am on the edge of his seat salivating and waiting for the next scandal to surround the teenybopper thug.
Naturally when a video surfaced of a 15-year-old Bieber telling a racist joke it made me burst out laughing. Let me be clear: I wasn’t laughing at the joke itself. I was laughing at how Bieber’s already crumbling reputation would be affected. (I don’t want any hate mail saying I condone racism because I do not.)
And then days later another juicy video came out. This time of a purportedly 14-year-old Bieber singing his racism and not just telling a decades-old joke.
Anytime Biebs has been the centre of controversy he has either made some remark about haters or sending his love to people. He very rarely apologizes directly. But when it comes to that word – you know the one I am talking about (starts with an N) – you need to jump into damage control mode and you need to jump fast.
The way tabloids often work is that the celeb gets a few day’s notice before the story goes public, giving their team a chance to respond or get ahead of the story. In this case, the videos were held ransom. There was an ask for a million dollars but Bieber’s people never paid so the videos were released.
For his part, Bieber issued a lengthy statement, summed up by saying he was a stupid teenager and he didn’t understand the impact his words. Waah, waah, waah.
Let’s break it down: When you are a mouthy teenager – and I was one so I know what I’m talking about – you know very well what racism is. You know how hurtful words can be.
In my junior high class I knew making fun of the overweight people was wrong. We knew they would feel crummy about themselves and be emotionally devastated. Maybe we didn’t want to accept it but we knew the impact of our words. The intent was to hurt.
So while telling a joke is intending to make people laugh, when it comes to racism, teenagers know what that is and pleading ignorance is a lazy way of owning up to your actions.
Did anybody “belieb” him? I don’t think so. Did anybody accept his apology? Not that I’ve heard.