Justin and Ami McClure Address His Racist Jokes In New Video
Last week, I wrote about the disappointment many of us felt learning that Justin McClure, father of the internet-famous McClure twins, had tweeted “jokes” and written at least one blog post that reduced Black folk to stereotypes and exalted White men like himself above them. In essence, the comments were racist.
As you can imagine, these types of comments weren’t good for the brand. With a Black wife and two bi-racial daughters who the world will certainly identify as Black, the comments were problematic, particularly as the twins have begun exploring topics of acceptance and understanding.
In response to the comments reappearing on the internet, the McClure parents, Justin and his wife Ami sat down on camera to discuss the whole situation.
At the beginning, Ami wants to make it clear that she was unaware these tweets even existed.
“I want to make it clear that I was just as surprised and shocked by those tweets from previous days as you were. That was my first time seeing them as well. I did not know Justin during that time period. I met Justin in 2014. We did not start anything on social media until 2016. I know there’s a disconnect, a gap there. That will be explained in a second video. [As she says this, words on the screen appear saying, “Justing and Ami met in mid/late 2014. We will have a future video about HOW we became a family.] In order for you to get a full understanding here, you need to know that I did not know that man. The man that I met and married is the Justin I know today who is the most compassionate person I’ve ever met in my entire life and has done a lot to change my views on people.”
Ami: “Do you understand that those statements very well could have come from the mouth of someone spewing racist hate?”
Justin: “I know I’m not a racist. But I look at the things that I said and would a racist person say those things? They would. Somebody like me saying those bad things cannot say it’s not racist if somebody else is so offended that they think that it is. In that case, it is racist. I cannot decide the impact of something I say just because I know I am not racist.
Why I said those things was ego and White privilege. ‘I’m a White guy, I can say whatever I want. Brush it off. Who cares?’ That’s a whole separate thing from what’s racism or not.
My ego then was so big and my bravado. But now, a man of empathy and compassion, I can look at these words and just know how hurtful they might be because I can put myself in somebody else’s shoes and say, ‘How would this person feel if they were to hear that?’
Ami: I defend your character today to anyone. But it did hurt me—which is a weird thing to say because again, I can look at you know and say I know that’s not you. But it hurt me to think that I have to defend your character today but I also have to defend my character now because of these things.
Justin: When I met you and you met me, we were right for each other. But during this time I was not right for you. I apologize to you for hurting you. I apologize for embarrassing you. Why this has been good for me—even though I wanted to work on many things, my drinking, my womanizing, I never had to address if things I said hurt people. The gift for me is to really understand is that my words hurt people…One thing I love about society today is there’s a zero tolerance for racism. We should call people out on things that they shouldn’t say.
I said those things and they are hurtful to people. And if those people say that they are racist, then they are racist. Am I a racist? No. But these things that I said, they can be racist if people say that they are.
Ami: One of the things that’s important is that you don’t get a pass because you’re married to a Black woman and you have biracial children. As your wife, I forgive those things even though I didn’t know you because I know you now. Because I know who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish this in this life.
Justin: I told you this before but a lot of the stuff I said on stage was—I did not like myself so I really tried to piss people off and shock people. I wanted to feel better about me. I think when you’re that sick, you feel better when you can degrade people.
Ami: I was a person who—I don’t know if I can call racist. I don’t know if you can be racist against White people. But I didn’t like White people. That’s just a fact. Anybody who knows me before, knew that. And that’s why I know somebody can have a difference of thought because I do. It’s completely separate from this situation. I judge people for their individual character.
At the end of the video, one of the twins, Alexis, asks him: Did you learn your lesson from what you said?
Justin: I did. I learned my lesson.
Alexis: But how did you learn your lesson and you didn’t even get a spanking?
Justin: I did get a spanking. I think I got a spanking from the internet. I think they gave me a big ole pow pow. Some of the words they said. I got it in my mind.
You can take a look at the whole conversation in the video below.
What do you make of this particular video?