I was listening to one of my favorite Podcasts today……………..The Friend Zone. I always love the things they discuss because they really are speaking intelligently and with their truth. I love honesty because it’s always apparent and it creates a deeper connection to those conversations they are having. Today’s episode was centered around the controversy of Nate Parker and how it has been affecting his new movie Birth Of A Nation. As they spoke and brought up some of the things that they were feeling, it started to really get under my skin because I honestly have mixed emotions about how people perceive others when they are “evaluating” situations.
I took away that Assante and Fran didn't want to support the movie because he didn’t seem remorseful and he refused to do an interview with Oprah to make things right (not entirely for these reasons but this is a loaded topic so there are certainly others). But to me, who is he is making things right for? I don’t want anyone to think that I support what he did but the reality is, we have no idea what the true story is other than what we have heard. The heaviest of it all is that the young lady killed herself and no matter what her reason for that was, the world will always attribute it to the sexual assault she was subjected to regardless to what else it could have stemmed from. According to a jury of his peers he was innocent and this young lady taking her life should not negate that. When presented with facts, this jury did not feel there was enough information to convict him. This brings the question, if someone is going to be guilty to us regardless to the situation based on our personal feelings, should they have to be persecuted by those who had nothing to do with the situation? Why is he being prosecuted again by the public?
I also feel some type of way about them being so judgmental of the way he is handling the situation. What way is the correct way? Who is the final say on how someone should handle what they are going through? None of us know what is going on inside of him or what emotions he may be feeling now that this incident has resurfaced. Just because he isn’t on tv breaking down and crying for forgiveness does not mean he hasn’t realized that maybe he was involved in a situation where it can be perceived he participated in rape like behavior. Who are we to say that just because during interviews he keeps things focused on the movie that he isn’t concerned about other aspects of the questions being asked? We are taking away from a situation that is completely separate from Nate Parker. Should a movie about an empowered slave be overlooked because the person who plays that individual had a case that was resolved?
It puts me in the mind of Chris Brown. He paid his debt to society many times and has been very troubled ever since he went through his situation with Rhianna. He is forever labeled a woman beater and held to that standard. No matter how much he may have changed or whether he ever touches another woman, he is branded. Is that fair? Is it fair to wear the scarlet letter for a mistake you made and paid for…………….or not paid for because you were considered innocent? I am asking all these questions because I have been really on the fence about my feelings for people who are extremely judgmental. We have the answer for everything because we feel we know everything. I don’t understand who makes those rules and how we can expect to be reformed and grow as humans when the mistakes we make in life are always following us as we develop. So who believes in change?
We need to be mindful that we are not the end all be all nor can we decide how someone should respond when they are involved in cases like these. You don’t get to say how wrong someone is for not being who you think they should be. You cannot decide they are not remorseful enough because their level of remorse and grief don’t look like yours. This world is full of different people and we have to be aware of that. You don’t have a judgment seat inside your home so knock it off people.
I want to be clear that I think all forms of rape and sexual assault are reprehensible on every level. No matter what the circumstances are. No one asks to be raped and no one deserves it. I am one of those though that believes that we should not place ourselves as women in situations where ANYONE can be confused about our intentions. We cannot place ourselves in things that are misleading and then raise hell when someone takes those actions out of context. Protect yourself at all times. Also as men, it is important to have self-control and stop yourself even if you find yourself in those types of situations. Don’t take advantage of anyone’s vulnerability. I don’t know enough about what happened in the Nate Parker case so I don’t have a strong enough opinion to document. But we need to be wiser in the way we interact and the seriousness of the lines that can be crossed.
A Great Message:
With everything said I want to say this……………white people always pour out to support their own. NO MATTER WHAT they may or may not be accused of (acquitted and not acquitted). There are a ton of people out there who have done things they should be ashamed of and they are still making movies that are busting box office charts, playing sports making millions and enjoying the stardom that they enjoy due to the support that they receive. As Black people, we are so quick to turn on one another. No matter the facts, people have decided not to support a man who worked for years, sacrificed, wrote and starred in a movie that shows another side of liberation during a very painful time in Black History. It is shameful that such an accomplishment is being protested by people of color. I think it’s pretty shameful because the message is being missed due to judgment being passed without merit. See the movie or don’t but respect the hustle and story being told.
Until Next Time Lovies!