Normani just broke her silence on Camila Cabello’s past racist social media posts, which the “Havana” singer apologized for last year. (The two performed in the pop group Fifth Harmony together from 2012 to 2016.)
“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 told Rolling Stone. “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,” she continued. “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 toward me for many years solely because of the color of my skin.
“It would be dishonest if I said that this particular scenario didn’t hurt me,” she said, referring to Cabello’s past posts and also online bullying she experienced from fans during the Fifth Harmony days. “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.”
Normani added, “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 was called out in 2019 when a Twitter user posted a thread of screenshots allegedly from her old Tumblr account that showed her using racially insensitive language and reblogging a number of racist and xenophobic tropes and images.
“When I was younger, I used language that I’m deeply ashamed of and will regret forever,” Cabello wrote in December 2019, referencing the posts. “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.
“I apologized then and I apologize now,” Cabello continued. “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.”
Cabello added, “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. 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.”
Originally Appeared on Glamour