04/15/2013 01:19 pm ET Updated Jun 15, 2013

Justin Bieber Shouldn't Joke About Anne Frank -- He Needs to Be Educated

Justin, you're getting tons of flak for your comments and actions after your visit to the Anne Frank House on April 13. We know that you didn't mean any harm, but now is the perfect time to educate yourself on the horrible tragedy suffered by Anne and the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. We know you can do better than this.

Justin Bieber -- you slipped up big time when you visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam on April 13 and wrote in the guestbook, "Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber." Your note has already launched a major controversy, and it's not hard to see why -- to relate yourself and your fans to one of the worst cases of genocide in history is insensitive and will be offensive to many. But instead of being one more of the outraged scolders, I'd rather stand by you and encourage you to use this experience as a learnable moment.

Justin Bieber's Anne Frank Controversy -- He Knows Better Than This
First of all, it's great that you used your time in Amsterdam to pay respects to Anne Frank and her family, as well as the family friends who hid out from the Nazis for two years before being found and shipped to concentration camps. This to me shows that your heart was in the right place (because lord knows there's plenty of other less reputable things to do in Amsterdam). But now you must educate yourself after writing such an uninformed comment in the guestbook. Your note about Anne being a Belieber and the way you blithely threw up random gang signs while touring the house just shows that you really didn't grasp the gravity of the Holocaust, and that a 16-year-old girl could have been murdered simply because of her religion.

Justin Bieber -- Learn From Anne Frank's Courage
Anne Frank was only 13 years old when she and her mother, father, older sister and another Jewish family went into hiding to escape capture from the Nazis. Anne and her family spent over two years living in seclusion in small rooms hidden behind a fake bookcase in the former offices of Anne's father, Otto. Sadly, they were eventually discovered by Nazi police, imprisoned and transported to concentration camps. Anne, her sister and mother were sent to Bergen-Belsen, separated from Otto, who was sent to Auschwitz. Anne's mother died of starvation at the camp just 20 days before its liberation. Anne and her sister both died from typhus in March 1945. Otto was the only Frank to survive the concentration camps, and he passed away in 1980.

All through this time of terrifying persecution and fear of discovery, Anne never gave up belief that she would survive, and she remained optimistic that she would have a future as a writer, as we can see in her beautifully written diary. "Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart," she wrote. "I don't think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains."

The Anne Frank House is one of the most moving symbols of the Holocaust, where over six million Jewish people were systematically murdered by the Nazis. Anne Frank, her house, and her moving diary (which is on most middle schools' required reading lists) are tangible testaments to this horrible tragedy -- they serve to remind us that a Holocaust should never happen again. Justin, for you to walk around in that house showing anything but respect is totally inappropriate. I'll assume that you weren't aware of the insensitivity of your actions, because I truly believe that you're a good guy and that you don't want to hurt anyone.

The Anne Frank House Responds: Justin Bieber 'Didn't Mean Bad'
When a representative of the Anne Frank House was asked about this incident by BBC Hague, they stated, "He's 19, it's a strange life he's living, it wasn't very sensible but he didn't mean bad," and I totally agree with that. You're young. You live a stressful life under an unimaginably large spotlight. You probably haven't given a lot of thought to the Holocaust previous to this.

But part of growing up is educating yourself and coming to grips with the fact that life can be horrifically dark. Justin, if you want to grow up to be a respected man, you have to learn that there's no making light of certain situations.

Justin Bieber: It's Time To Be Responsible
From now on, make sure you fully understand the things you do and say, and make sure you're not trivializing serious matters, or else you risk alienating significant portions of your fan base.

And you're always talking about how you want to be a good role model for all of your fans. The best way to do that is to simply be a respectful, good person with a positive set of beliefs. You have over 37 million followers on Twitter -- that's a blessing and a responsibility. Believe it or not, Justin, you have more power to educate and influence other people to do good than most leaders in the world.

Anne Frank should be your role model, Justin. Her unrelenting courage and optimism in the face of genocide is beautiful and inspiring. It's a message that you should embrace and preach to your loyal fans. You can turn the backlash you're receiving around by educating yourself about Anne Frank and passing along your newfound knowledge to your many Beliebers.

UPDATE: Justin Bieber Spent An Hour At Anne Frank House
Justin spent a full hour in the Anne Frank House, a source told TMZ. Reportedly, one of the things he learned was that he learned Anne was really into pop culture of her time, which is why he wrote his "Belieber" comment.

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