Usher Breaks His Silence on Justin Bieber’s Racist Jokes

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Usher and Justin Bieber sat in the audience in matching black jackets at the 2010 AMAs.

Usher wrote on Instagram that Justin Bieber is "unequivocally not a racist."

Usher, who first introduced his protégé Justin Bieber in 2009, posted a message on his Instagram account Saturday in defense of the 20-year-old pop star, who has been under fire for racist jokes he made as a teenager in two leaked videos.

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“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,” Usher wrote in a message that was accompanied by a photo of the two artists. 



“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,” he continued. “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.”

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Other celebrities who’ve defended Bieber include 50 Cent, Soulja Boy, Floyd Mayweather, Russell Brand and Whoopi Goldberg.

Last week, Bieber issued a public apology for his tasteless jokes, where he spouted the N-word multiple times. "As a kid, I didn't understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt," he said in a statement that was issued quickly after the first video leaked on June 1.