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Justin Bieber expressed regret for his past use of racial slurs on Tuesday. In an Instagram post, the 25-year-old singer wrote, "I'm determined this holiday season to take ownership of all my shortcomings and work on them for myself and the ones I love!"
Bieber followed that up by specifying some of those shortcomings. He posted a message that read "STAND AGAINST RACISM" and addressed his own racist behavior as a kid.
"When I was young I was uneducated and found myself saying really hurtful things not knowing the power of my words," he wrote. "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!"
In 2014, the "Love Yourself" singer was embroiled in a scandal when two videos surfaced of him saying the n-word as a teenager. One showed a 15-year-old Bieber telling a racist joke where he repeatedly used the n-word in the punchline. In another video taken of Bieber when he was 14, the singer changed the lyrics of his hit tune "One Less Lonely Girl" by replacing the word "girl" with the n-word. The singer's team apparently released the videos as people were trying to extort Bieber and he was ready to accept responsibility.
"As a young man, I didn't understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt. I thought it was OK 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," Bieber, then 20, said in a statement at the time.
He added: "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. 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."
The year 2014 was a rough one for Bieber: he was arrested on DUI and resisting arrest charges in Miami, faced criminal charges for egging his neighbor’s home and was charged with assault in Toronto. The superstar has been quite reflective this year about past bad behavior and seems to be in a much better place in 2019. He married wife Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin) for a second time in September and has thrown himself into religion as a member of Hillsong Church.
"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!" he wrote on Instagram in September, explaining that during his major troubles he "felt like I could never turn it around." He said 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."
"Now I am navigating the best season of my life ‘MARRIAGE’ !! Which is an amazing crazy new responsibility." he continued. "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...BE KIND TODAY > BE BOLD TODAY AND LOVE PEOPLE TODAY NOT BY YOUR STANDARDS BUT BY GODS PERFECT UNFAILING LOVE."
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