According to a June 4 report from CNN, video has surfaced of a young Justin Bieber using racially insensitive language. In the 29-second clip, Bieber swaps lyrics of his hit song, "One Less Lonely Girl," to include references to killing black people. Bieber dropped the "N-word" multiple times, and sang about joining the Ku Klux Klan.
Will Bieber's video clip be a career killer? Highly doubtful. While Bieber used extremely offensive language in the video, his only saving grace is that he was just 14 years old at the time of the filming. Bieber is now just a few months away from turning 21, so the video of him using offensive language is over six years old. It's not like he used racially insensitive language in recent years. No that doesn't make it okay, but every young teenage makes mistakes.
Bieber did the right thing by immediately owning up to his mistakes. He issued an apology, essentially stating that he didn't understand the power of some racially insensitive words during his teenage years. Bieber's age at the time of the video is highly relevant. Had he been filmed dropping the "N-word" at his current age, it would be a different story that would have very real consequences on his career.
At age 14, you're a child and not an adult. Young children say things they don't mean or fully understand. By age 20, everyone should know and understand what racially insensitive language is. With that said, Bieber deserves to have his apology accepted by the African-American community. Additionally, it's clear that Bieber is not at all a racist.
Young Money president Mack Maine told TMZ that most of Bieber's crew is black, including Lil Wayne and Birdman. Over the years, Bieber has clearly embraced the culture of hip hop, and treated everyone with respect. Time will tell how the situation plays out, but its likely that Bieber will emerge without any significant damage caused to his career.