Some news stories are truly hard to ignore. Like Nate Parker’s rape case.
Earlier this month, after his rape allegations resurfaced, I tried to give the “Birth Of A Nation” star the benefit of the doubt in a blog post that I wrote about his possible reasonings for not taking gay roles.
Even though I understood Nate’s rational for not taking a gay, black male role in Hollywood, I still don’t agree with it. That’s why I had already categorized him in my mental list of actors whose movies I should always purchase from my home boy on bootleg DVDs.
But I also had no clue that the woman at the center of the rape case killed herself because of the horror she experienced as a result of Nate and his buddy Jean Celestine’s actions (and by the way, Celestine co-wrote ‘Birth of a Nation‘). To be honest, I didn’t read much about his rape case. I just knew that he was accused and acquitted back in 2001. I also knew that the jury was all white, the he gave some typical apology afterward – like what most rapists do when the law has caught up with them.
Like I said, some news stories are hard to ignore, and I should have done a deeper search on his past allegations the fist time that I heard them. That’s why I was shocked when a story about the woman’s death flashed across my newsfeed today. After reading it, and what the accusers brother had to say about how Nate and Jean ruined her life, I knew that Nate Parker is one actor who will never see a dime of my money.
Damn that. I’m done.
If anything, I’m more upset with myself for not feeling enraged about his past the first time I heard it. Every time I heard about a celebrity who is accused of rape, I honestly don’t know what to do or think, and I’m sure I’m not the only person with that problem. Shit, there are so freaking many of them! Like Cee-Lo Green, R. Kelly, Tupac, Bill “The Pill” Cosby, and Chris Brown.
But after reading Nate’s lengthy Facebook post, which he posted on Aug. 16 to address the allegations, I knew exactly what I needed to do the next time I hear about a celebrity accused of rape – keep my money in my pocket. He said,
Over the last several days, a part of my past – my arrest, trial and acquittal on charges of sexual assault – has become a focal point for media coverage, social media speculation and industry conversation. I understand why so many are concerned and rightfully have questions. These issues of a women’s right to be safe and of men and women engaging in healthy relationships are extremely important to talk about, however difficult. And more personally, as a father, a husband, a brother and man of deep faith, I understand how much confusion and pain this incident has had on so many, most importantly the young woman who was involved.
I myself just learned that the young woman ended her own life several years ago and I am filled with profound sorrow…I can’t tell you how hard it is to hear this news. I can’t help but think of all the implications this has for her family.
I cannot- nor do I want to ignore the pain she endured during and following our trial.
While I maintain my innocence that the encounter was unambiguously consensual, there are things more important than the law. There is morality; no one who calls himself a man of faith should even be in that situation. As a 36-year-old father of daughters and person of faith, I look back on that time as a teenager and can say without hesitation that I should have used more wisdom.
It seems like he posted about it because the world is watching, which is fucked up. The true character of a man can be reflected when the world isn’t watching his actions. To me, he basically he wrote that Facebook post to say that he’s innocent, and the world should move on.
I truly believe that celebrities have a responsibility to give back to the communities that supports them. Nate has had plenty of opportunities between 2012, when the woman he raped died, and 2016, to give back to organizations that helps rape victims heal. Hell, he could have even gave back to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), where counselors are actively looking for solutions to help reform abusers.
But that’s not what Nate did. I can’t get behind anyone accused of rape – who goes on a 40-church and university tour promoting a movie – without at the minimum starting a scholarship fund, or getting behind a campus rape awareness program that helps victims heal.
That’s why I’ve decided to stand behind victims of rape. Nate’s accuser didn’t deserve to get her life ruined, and she should still be alive to hold her baby. As a mother who is raising a boy to be an honest man, I have to show him that no matter what notoriety a man has, you should never support his bullshit. Ever.
Therefore, you can put that bs in someone else’s pipe and smoke it with them, Nate Parker, because I won’t be the one toking it with you.