July 11, 2016
Is Fifth Harmony's Normani Kordei Right To Speak Up On Killer Cops?

As a member of girl-group Fifth Harmony singer Normani Kordei, is perhaps not the sort of person you might expect to find involved in political matters. Fifth Harmony are after all a group of singers signed by Simon Cowell after their appearance on the U.S. version of Cowell's ill-fated X-Factor. Since 2012 Fifth Harmony have been building a worldwide fanbase and are better known for their raunchy stage shows than for their political views.

Under Cowell's control Fifth Harmony's stable mates One Direction and 5 Seconds Of Summer have remained remarkably silent over any issue that could be deemed controversial. As MTV point out "dodging controversy and the corner of the internet incessantly guessing which one of you will be first to go solo is imperative." Treading into politics at a time when emotions are running high is certainly dangerous territory for Normani and Fifth Harmony but Kordei has waded into one of the most emotive and controversial issues of our time.

Those of us on the opposite side of the Atlantic have watched on aghast as we see the struggle that the U.S. is having over gun control and mass shootings. It seems to us that the U.S. is horribly divided over guns, the current presidential race and, over the past couple of years, about officer involved shootings. The awful events at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando last month understandably provoked a wave of outrage across the globe and led many to believe that something must be done to curb the killing.

Sadly last week saw the issue of inequality raise its head once again and it is on those issues that Normani decided to speak out. It was the shooting of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling that prompted the Fifth Harmony star to speak up. Billboard described the latest killings of black men by law-enforcement officers as murder and Normani spoke out to make it clear that she does not feel safe around those "sworn to honor and uphold the law."
Normani said "being a woman of color, I can truthfully state that I don't feel safe around those who are sworn to honor and uphold the law. news.

"I shouldn't have to worry any time my father walks outside the front door of our home. "I shouldn't be afraid of that he may be taken away from me and shot dead because of false perceptions that all black men are dangerous regardless of education or status."

The Fifth Harmony singer told her 1.66 million followers on Twitter that "we have police officers who abuse their right" to carry firearms. The BBC reports that Louisiana and Minnesota, the scenes of the shooting of Castile and Sterling, are "at boiling point." Sadly the murder of five police officers in Dallas, Texas last Thursday will serve only to heighten tension between law-enforcement officers and Black Lives Matter protesters. Many may believe that Normani's comments in the wake of events that were streamed live on the internet by eye-witnesses could prove inflammatory.

Others will believe that Normani is absolutely right to speak out about perceived injustice. Indeed MTV praised the Fifth Harmony singer saying that Normani's statement, and her condemnation of Donald Trump, was a "brave and refreshing message from a pop star whose job description likely calls for her to stay in perfect harmony."

Fifth Harmony fans certainly seem to have plenty of praise for Normani's stance with many praising 20-year-old Normani for speaking out "on behalf of the young."

Of course, many Fifth Harmony fans see Normani and her bandmates as successors to the Spice Girls as the embodiment of "girl-power" so perhaps activism is entirely appropriate for Normani. Of course the Fifth Harmony singer was not the only person to speak out about last week's killings. John Legend, Josh Groban, and Beyoncé are just a few of the names who joined Normani in condemning these latest police shootings.

Fifth Harmony have a large and growing fan base of primarily young people. If divisions in U.S. society are to be healed it is perhaps people like members of Fifth Harmony who are best able to speak to young people effectively. Perhaps Normani and other pop stars are better able to change attitudes than the politicians.

Do you think Normani was right to speak out or would Fifth Harmony be better sticking to music? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

[Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP]