Is Nate Parker talented? Yes. Is he a smart business man? Yes. Could he be a great father and husband? Yes, possibly. He could be all of the above and still could be a rapist.
Now, whether or not he is one is up to public opinion. At this point, putting my energy into determining whether he is or isn’t would be pointless and vindictive. Why? Because proving that he is a rapist still wouldn’t relieve the burden the victim’s family has to carry every day nor will it result in any legal actions. However, what I can do is conclude that Nate Parker is arrogant and self-righteousness.
First, allow me to dispel the conspiracy theory that this is an attack on Nate Parker to stop the film, The Birth of a Nation, from achieving success. Similar to the case of Bill Cosby, I do believe that black people have a tendency to not hold black men accountable for their inappropriate (to say the least) interactions with women for the sake of upholding the image of the black man. If this is a conspiracy, it would have taken a lot of effort and forecasting to predict that Nate Parker would direct a film about Nat Turner in 2016 since 1999. Many would question why Parker (or Cosby) wasn’t jailed from the beginning, considering he is a black man accused of raping a white woman. Two words—patriarchy and money. Nate Parker was a star athlete that Penn State invested into. Look, I understand that black men are overly criminalized, but if we can’t hold our own to a legal standard, it’ll only fuel the notion that we lack a moral compass and the ability to bring actual criminals to justice within our own community, validating their reason to criminalize us.
Now, I watched Nate Parker’s 60 Minute interview with Anderson Cooper. Initially I saw a snippet, but decided to watch the entire interview. It was exactly what I expected. And his interview with Robin Roberts following confirms my suspicion about Nate Parker. I’m pretty sure that the film would do just fine if Nate Parker backed out of the press tour and would allow his co-stars to promote the film. However, he is determined to not do such because of his arrogance. He fills entitled to be the face of this project—not Nate Turner.
In addition, his inability to apologize to the victim’s family, disturbs my inner being to the max. (Read up on the case to understand why: “Inside the Nate Parker Rape Case.”) He doesn’t have to apologize for doing something that no one can legally prove. However, at the very minimum, he owes an apology for the actions that led up to this woman ultimately committing suicide.
Yet, that’s not the worst part. When asked if he feels he did anything wrong that night, he constantly hides behind his Christianity: “As a Christian man, just being in that situation, yeah, sure.” You CANNOT use your faith to absolve you from all wrong doing. In what way did being in that situation make it wrong as a Christian man? Was the fact that you had sex before marriage? Or was it the fact that you invited your boy to have sex with someone who may have had too many drinks? Was it the fact that you had some moral high ground for sleeping with someone you considered not the “girlfriend type”? Or is it the fact that you were a womanizer that (allegedly) harassed the victim? That situation had everything to do with the choices you (Nate Parker) ultimately made that night—nothing about that night was circumstantial.
Your faith cannot be used as a shield. Hiding behind your faith to eliminate any responsibility is wrong and self-righteous. You can find the cure for aids, make Kevin Hart grow two feet taller and give Lebron James his hairline back. You can even punch George Zimmerman in the face, and that still isn’t enough to provide you an escape from your past. Now, I’m not saying anyone should operate in a constant state of penance for their wrongdoing. But at least have the guts to stand in your wrongdoing, acknowledge the path you have to take to earn forgiveness and fire your publicist.
I do plan on seeing The Birth of a Nation. For I do believe the people that invested in telling this story deserves more. I also believe that the story of Nat Turner is bigger than Nate Parker. But is it bigger than Nate Parker’s past?
Even if Nate Parker doesn't believe he should apologize or have the sensitivity to respect the dead, he could at least hire a new publicist.
— Negus SugarcaneSlim (@CypressMoss) September 30, 2016