Normani has broken her silence on how she feels about Camila Cabello’s past racist comments.
During an interview with Rolling Stone, Normani was asked to share her reaction to her former group member’s old racist Tumblr posts and tweets that resurfaced last year. Normani reportedly opted out of answering the question at the time, telling journalist Brittany Spanos she would get back to her. “I just want to make sure that anything I say is exactly what I mean,” she said.
Though Camila Cabello’s racist comments were not entirely unknown to internet sleuths, it wasn’t until a Twitter thread went viral in December 2019 that the rest of the world took notice.
The thread included multiple screenshots of Camila’s Twitter and Tumblr pages from 2012-2013, where she posted racist memes, gifs, and used racist language, specifically the n-word. Camila faced criticism for initially ignoring the backlash, which many users noted has been on-going for years under the radar. Camila finally apologised on December 18th, writing in a social media statement that she feels “deeply ashamed” of the language she used when she was 14 and that she is now “conscious and aware of the history and pain [that language] carries in a way I wasn’t before.”
A few weeks after her sit-down interview, Normani emailed Brittany Spanos, answering her question.
The singer and former member of Fifth Harmony told RS that she wanted to put her thoughts in writing so her words didn’t get misconstrued as they have in the past. Normani explained that she avoided speaking on Camila’s posts because she didn’t want this situation to be part of her narrative. “But I am a black woman, who is part of an entire generation that has a similar story,” she said on her decision to speak up.
Normani said she and the rest of the black community face “senseless attacks daily” both direct and subliminal because of the colour of their skin. She explained that she’s experienced discrimination far before she understood the reasoning behind it and that she would be lying if she said that Camila’s posts didn’t hurt her.
“It was devastating that this came from a place that was supposed to be a safe haven and a sisterhood,” she wrote in her email. “Because I knew that if the tables were turned I would defend each of them in a single heartbeat.”
As for Camila’s response, Normani said it took the My Oh My singer “days to acknowledge what I was dealing with online and then years for her to take responsibility for the offensive tweets that recently resurfaced.”
Despite her pain, Normani said she believes “everyone deserves the opportunity for personal growth” and she hopes an important lesson was learned.
“To my brown men and women, we are like no other. Our power lies within our culture. We are descendants of an endless line of strong and resilient kings and queens,” she finished. “We have been and will continue to win in all that we do simply because of who we are. We deserve to be celebrated, I deserve to be celebrated and I’m just getting started.”
And we can’t wait to see what’s next.