Birth of a Nation… Nate Parker... Nat Turner… RAPE…
I was waiting for something like this to happen. When I  learned  that actor/director Nate Parker wrote, directed, produced, and starred in a film about Nat Turner “Birth of a Nation“,  I thought: “Wow, I am going to make it my business to view this film”. We don’t have a solid selection of movies created for us by us that tell stories of our strength. There is beauty in taking control of how our history is told. Nate Parker accomplished that with this film.

Nate Parker’s past is being analyzed under a microscope in search of dirt. This man is releasing a historical and empowering movie on one of Amerikkka’s most hated: Nat Turner.  Amerikkka despises Nat Turner and everything that he represents. Amerikkka hates anything pertaining to Black Liberation. Hell, look at what happened with the #BLM movement. They are labeled, and government wants to have the organization categorized as a terrorist group. Keep in mind, #BLM has never bombed churches, hung anyone, or  burned crosses in anyone’s yard. ‘Black and proud’ scares Amerikkka shitless. Young, Gifted, and Black does the same.  From an oppressive standpoint, anything that represents black empowerment must GO. Nate Parker is not an exception. How dare this black man create a film on Nat Turner and present it to Black America? This is a time when Black America’s survival depends on REBELLION.

But you don’t hear me though…

 

On the Penn State University campus an incident occurred.  In 1999 Parker, and Birth of a Nation  co writer, Jean McGianni Celestin were college roommates .  The accused were tried together in October of 2001. Neither of the men gave a testimony for the night in question. The court found Parker innocent. Celestin’s Sexual Assault charge stuck. Then, his conviction was overturned. The Supreme Court ruled that Celestin’s trial attorney was ineffective.

Reading the witness testimony, I drew a conclusion.  This victim was battling some serious demons. There were problems prior to the night in question. Alcohol was definitely an issue and major factor in this case.  Witnesses state that the victim was inebriated but coherent. Others testified that the victim was “black out” drunk and not coherent at all. (Read and judge for yourself here.) Parker says that she consented even though she was clearly intoxicated. The victim’s testimony was inconsistent because of the heavy drinking that evening.

Nate Parker wasn’t labeled a rapist when he was playing the sexy love interest in “Beyond the Lights”.  There was no outrage when he spoke about this incident in 2007 while he was promoting his film The Great Debaters. Where were the boycotts then?

Beyond the Lights

America doesn’t have a moral standing when it comes down to the issue of rape. It seems as if some rapists and child molesters are “cool”.  We still love R. Kelly.  It will get the party going if you throw on “Happy People” at the family reunion. Folks act like we never watched him take a piss on a 15-year-old girl.  We forget he married Aaliyah when she was 15 as well. The pastor from the sitcom 7th Heaven, (Stephen Collins) openly admitted to molesting an 11-year-old girl and his show is still in rotation.  He does not wear the rapist or child molester label. Hollywood will still hire him today.

Pick a side Amerikkka.  Rape is not a laughing matter.  Rape is a serious issue. Is it funny because Bill Cosby happened?  People went wild with the “Pill Cosby” meme’s poking fun at the issue.  Bill Cosby allegedly committed rape.  However, that doesn’t seem to matter in the court of public opinion. For some people, the title “rapist” doesn’t stick. It is sad when we know that they are guilty ie. Woody Allen,

In this situation, the female victim ended her life in 2012.  She swallowed a cocktail of over 200 pills. Reports say that she suffered from PTSD and depression. She wanted to end her pain. Either way, this story is a sad one.  She took her own life.  It forces you to think about the word consent. What is consensual and what isn’t? Example: You had too much too drink and consented to sex while inebriated. Is it right to call rape when you awake and realize you made a terrible mistake? Nate Parker should have sat back and examined the situation before anything happened that night.
Parker  recently sat down with Ebony Magazine to talk about this situation. In the exclusive interview, Parker still maintains his innocence however, he does talk about consent:

 

Nate Parker: Back then, it felt like…I’ll say this: at 19, if a woman said no, no meant no.  It was simply if a woman said no or pushed you away that was non-consent.

Let me be the first to say, I can’t remember ever having a conversation about the definition of consent when I was a kid. I knew that no meant no, but that’s it. But, if she’s down, if she’s not saying no, if she’s engaged–and I’m not talking about, just being clear, any specific situation, I’m just talking about in general.

I think that’s a tough question, because the 2016 lens, even now in a relationship, I feel like I’m way more attentive and curious as to what my wife wants, if she feels like it, her body language. I’ll ask my wife.

 

Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/nate-parker-rape-charges-consent#ixzz4IglBr4NG
Follow us: @EbonyMag on Twitter | EbonyMag on Facebook
We need to be supporting this film with dollars and  viewership. I am supporting the spirit of Nat Turner. That is support for the truth. Let’s hope that this film will inspire..  Let’s hope that the blow back from these events sparks a necessary and genuine dialogue.  We need to talk honestly about consent, young adulthood, and decisions.