Normani found Camila Cabello’s historic racist social media posts “devastating” to read.
The 23-year-old singer was part of Fifth Harmony with Camila before the latter left the group in 2016, and the other members eventually went on hiatus to allow them each to pursue solo projects.
And now, Normani has spoken out about old social media posts of Camila’s that were resurfaced last year, which involved racist and derogatory language.
In an email statement to Rolling Stone magazine, Normani started by talking about the racism she faces “daily”, saying: “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. 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 colour of my skin.”
The ‘Motivation’ hitmaker then went on to directly address Camila’s comments and said the language was “absolutely unacceptable”, and expressed her hope that her former bandmate has “learned” from her mistakes.
She added: “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.
“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.
“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.”
Late last year, 22-year-old Camila addressed her resurfaced posts in a lengthy statement in which she said she was “deeply embarrassed” by her past actions.
“I don’t want to say that this situation leaves me hopeless because I believe that everyone deserves the opportunity for personal growth.”— Normani
Part of her message read: “When I was younger, I used language that I’m deeply ashamed of and will regret forever. 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 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.
“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.”