Two months after Camila Cabello apologized for past offensive remarks, fellow former Fifth Harmony member Normani has opened up about what it was like to find out about Camila's racist Tumblr posts, and her experience with racist trolls as a public figure and performer.
In her Rolling Stone cover story, Normani discussed her early career and the music she's excited about making now (she's halfway through creating her debut solo album). But the "Motivation" singer also used the cover story as an opportunity to address Camila's documented Tumblr activity, which reportedly included use of the n-word.
In lieu of addressing these comments during the actual interview with RS, Normani composed her thoughts via an email statement to the magazine. “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 wrote. "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. 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."
She continued, addressing the Camila situation specifically, adding that Camila took her time in speaking out about the racism Normani was facing from online trolls in the past. "It would be dishonest if I said that this particular scenario didn’t hurt me," she said. "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. 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.”
In December, Camila apologized on Instagram for what she'd said in the past. "When I was younger, I used language that I'm deeply ashamed of and will regret forever," she wrote. "I was uneducated and ignorant and once I became aware of the history and the weight and the true meaning behind this horrible and hurtful language, I was deeply embarrassed I ever used it. I apologize then and I apologize again now. I'm 22 now, I'm an adult and I've grown and learned and am conscious and aware of the history and the pain it carries in a way I wasn't before."
Normani said she wants that growth and learning to be real, saying she hoped that "an important lesson was learned in this" and that "there is genuine understanding about why this was absolutely unacceptable." Adding that she would like to not have to speak about this again, she told RS, "I don’t want to say that this situation leaves me hopeless because I believe that everyone deserves the opportunity for personal growth.”
The performer, who launched her solo career with a bang when she released the reference-laden "Motivation" music video, then refocused the conversation on her own vision of empowerment for brown people.
“To my brown men and women, we are like no other," she said. "Our power lies within our culture. We are descendants of an endless line of strong and resilient kings and queens. 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."
Read her whole interview over at Rolling Stone.
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Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Camila Cabello Apologized for "Hurtful" Language After She Was Called Out for Racism
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue