Speaking to Rolling Stone for their latest cover story, Normani, 23, discussed an array of topics and notably addressed the racist bullying she endured from some fans, as well as her former bandmate’s own racist social media posts.
“I want to be very clear about what I’m going to say on this uncomfortable subject and figured it would be best to write out my thoughts to avoid being misconstrued, as I have been in the past,” she said in an email statement to the magazine. “I struggled with talking about this because I didn’t want it to be a part of my narrative, but I am a black woman, who is a part of an entire generation that has a similar story.”
She added, “I face senseless attacks daily, as does the rest of my community. This represents a day in the life for us. I have been tolerating discrimination far before I could even comprehend what exactly was happening. Direct and subliminal hatred has been geared towards me for many years solely because of the color of my skin.”
Addressing the Cabello scandal directly, she stated, “It would be dishonest if I said that this particular scenario didn’t hurt me. It was devastating that this came from a place that was supposed to be a safe haven and a sisterhood, because I knew that if the tables were turned I would defend each of them in a single heartbeat.”
She continued, “It took days for her to acknowledge what I was dealing with online and then years for her to take responsibility for the offensive tweets that recently resurfaced. Whether or not it was her intention, this made me feel like I was second to the relationship that she had with her fans.”
Normani concluded, “I don’t want to say that this situation leaves me hopeless because I believe that everyone deserves the opportunity for personal growth. I really hope that an important lesson was learned in this. I hope there is genuine understanding about why this was absolutely unacceptable.”
Cabello, 22, came under fire late last year when old Tumblr posts and tweets of hers that were racist and used derogatory language, including the N-word, resurfaced.
“When I was younger, I used language that I’m deeply ashamed of and will regret forever,” Cabello wrote on both Twitter and her Instagram Stories. “I was uneducated and ignorant and once I became aware of the history and the weight and the true meaning behind this horrible language, I was deeply embarrassed I ever used it.”
Cabello went on to explain that she previously apologized for her behavior and was apologizing again.
“I would never intentionally hurt anyone and I regret it from the bottom of my heart. As much as I wish I could, I can’t go back in time and change things I said in the past. But once you know better, you do better and that’s all I can do,” she added.
I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. pic.twitter.com/iZrnUawUAb— camila (@Camila_Cabello) December 18, 2019
“Those mistakes don’t represent the person I am or a person I’ve ever been. I only stand and have ever stood for love and inclusivity, and my heart has never, even then, had any ounce of hate or divisiveness.”
“The truth is I was embarrassingly ignorant and unaware,” she concluded, adding that she now uses her platform “to speak out about injustice and inequality.”
The Tumblr, which was believed to be Cabello’s, has since been taken down and the old tweets are no longer on her page.