In this week’s edition of Gina “heebee jeebies” Rodriguez-adjacent behavior: Camila Cabello is apologizing for racist comments that were posted to her personal Tumblr page several years ago. On Wednesday afternoon, the 22-year-old pop star took to Instagram to address the posts, which began circulating online via a Twitter thread compiled by user @motivatefenty. Posts from the (now-defunct) Tumblr blog reportedly featured several racial slurs and a joke about domestic abuse.
In her response posted to Instagram, Cabello asserts, “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 and hurtful language, I was deeply embarrassed I ever used it. I apologized then and I apologize again now.”
Yet Cabello’s defense that she was “younger” and “ignorant” fell flat for many, with Twitter users pointing out that the singer was already 16 at the time these posts were shared. While we’ve all said or done stupid things in our teenage years, one Twitter user reminds us that there’s a difference between “embarrassing” actions and racist ones:
1. Tell us what you’re sorry about exactly
2. Keep your feelings out of it. We don’t care you’re embarrassed/could change things/etc.
3. What did you believe? How did you change those beliefs?
4. Adults can still be racist. We need more info than you just getting older
— Wagatwe Wanjuki 🇰🇪 🇧🇸 (@wagatwe) December 19, 2019
“I’m 22 now,” Cabello added, “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.” Acknowledging her actions is an important step forward— yet the singer was still careful to never directly address her “language” for what it was, leaning on generalized terms of “horrible” and “hurtful.” And while those descriptors certainly apply, many have also been quick to point out that they diminish the severity of the situation. Especially given that this is not the first time Cabello has come under fire for racist language.
Hey I’m Hispanic and grew up around that word and I knew from a young age, it was wrong. It’s a word of oppression, and Hispanic people should know better. She has no excuse. She was 16.
— Keni♡ (@Bangtan_Poem) December 18, 2019
In the past, fans and followers have suggested that Cabello used the N-word in private messages, allegedly in reference to her former Fifth Harmony group member, Normani.
ewl. she wasn’t a child she was a teenager who knew right from wrong and she wasn’t a child either when she called normani the n word and mistreated her.
— what are you doing, step dad?! (@araslanian) December 18, 2019
Given that Cabello states “I apologized then and I apologize again now” seems to give even more validity to these claims. But at least her version is a step up from Gina “I really am sorry if I offended you” Rodriguez.