Justin Bieber Apologizes Again for Racist Comments He Made as a Teen: 'I Was Uneducated'
"I found myself saying really hurtful things not knowing the power of my words," Justin Bieber wrote on Instagram
Justin Bieber is speaking out against racism, and apologizing again for past racist remarks he himself made.
On Tuesday, the “Sorry” singer, 25, shared on Instagram an image of the phrase “Stand Against Racism.”
In the caption, he opened up more about the topic, revealing that he still regrets racially insensitive comments he had previously said when he was a teenager.
“When I was young, I was uneducated and found myself saying really hurtful things not knowing the power of my words,” Bieber wrote in his post.
“Racism Is still very prevalent and I want to use my voice to remind we are all human being and all of EQUAL VALUE BEFORE GOD!” he continued.
Back in 2014, Bieber found himself in hot water when unearthed footage surfaced from his 2011 documentary Never Say Never, showing Bieber repeatedly using a derogatory slur in the punchline to a joke.
Shortly after the footage went public, Bieber released a statement attempting to explain his actions and apologizing for them.
“As a kid, I didn’t understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt,” Bieber said. “I thought it was okay 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.”
“Thanks to friends and family I learned from my mistakes and grew up and apologized for those wrongs,” he continued. “Now that these mistakes from the past have become public I need to apologize again to all those I have offended. I’m very sorry. I take my friendships with people of all cultures very seriously and I apologize for offending or hurting anyone with my childish and inexcusable mistake.”
He went on to insist that his actions would not be repeated.
“I was a kid then and I am a man now who knows my responsibility to the world and to not make that mistake again,” Bieber said. “Ignorance has no place in our society and I hope the sharing of my faults can prevent others from making the same mistake in the future. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say but telling the truth is always what’s right.”
“Five years ago I made a reckless and immature mistake and I’m grateful to those close to me who helped me learn those lessons as a young man,” Bieber concluded. “Once again I’m sorry.”
In September, Bieber opened up on Instagram about some of the things he has learned now and the negative effect early fame had on his life.
He recalled how, after growing up in an unstable home, his entire “world was flipped on its head” in the span of two years when he burst onto the scene at age 13.
Having “access to whatever [he] wanted” led Bieber to struggle both physically and mentally later in life, he said. “I went from a 13-year-old boy from a small town to being praised left and right by the world, with millions saying how much they loved me and how great I was,” Bieber wrote. “You hear these things enough as a young boy and you actually start believing it.”
Fame, Bieber said, was also detrimental to his personal growth — as he never learned the true meaning of responsibility and was never able to develop skills beyond his music career. “Everyone did everything for me, so I never even learned the fundamentals of responsibility,” said Bieber. “By this point, I was 18 with no skills in the real world, with millions of dollars and access to whatever I wanted.”
“This is a very scary concept for anyone,” said Bieber, adding that the unmanageable “ups and downs” from being an entertainer caused him to start relying on “heavy drugs” by age 19. “By 20, I made every bad decision you could have thought of and went from one of the most loved and adored people in the world to the most ridiculed, judged, and hated person in the world.”
Despite the problems he faced, Bieber said he found comfort and support in a group of people, including his Baldwin, who “encourage him to keep going.”
The star has also sought professional treatment, a source previously told PEOPLE.
“You see, I have a lot of money, clothes, cars, accolades, achievements, awards, and I was still unfulfilled,” Bieber admitted. “It’s taken me years to bounce back from all of these terrible decisions, fix broken relationships, and change relationship habits.”
“Luckily, God blessed me with extraordinary people who love me for me,” he added. “Now I am navigating the best season of my life ‘MARRIAGE’ !! Which is an amazing, crazy, new responsibility,” he shared. “You learn patience, trust, commitment, kindness, humility, and all of the things it looks like to be a good man.”
“All this to say even when the odds are against you, keep fighting. Jesus loves you,” Bieber finished. “Be kind today, be bold today and love people today, not by your standards but by God’s perfect unfailing love.”