On Tuesday, Bieber posted an image on Instagram with the words “I STAND AGAINST RACISM.” He then clarified the reason for his post in the caption.
“When I was young I was uneducated and found myself saying really hurtful things not knowing the power of my words,” Bieber’s caption reads. “Racism is still very prevalent and I want to use my voice to remind we are all human being [sic] and all of EQUAL VALUE BEFORE GOD!”
While it’s unclear what Bieber is specifically referring to here, the performer came under fire in his teens for his use of the n-word and other hateful language.
In 2014, two separate clips of Bieber making derogatory comments against Black people surfaced, including one in which Bieber uses the n-word in his song "One Less Lonely Girl." Though Bieber was 19 when the videos made the rounds on the internet, he claimed he was 15 when they were recorded. Stars such as Usher, 50 Cent, and Whoopi Goldberg stood up for Bieber in the wake of the backlash and Bieber swiftly apologised.
"I'm very sorry," Bieber told TMZ after the videos surfaced. "I take my friendships with people of all cultures very seriously and I apologise 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."
Refinery29 reached out to Bieber for comment.