I was once captivated by the concept of Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation. But in my heart of hearts, with the recent revelations leveled against him and the co-writer, Jean Celestin, of his soon to be released film, I can no longer support him or his film in good conscience. I feel that only a rape apologist would support this. Nate Parker and Jean Celestin will be seeing exactly ZERO dollars of my money. I always loved Nate Parker since The Great Debaters and had high hopes for this, but nah.
I am a woman first. These revelations make me sad.
I don’t separate the art from the artist where rape, assault, violence or other brutalization of/against women is involved or concerned. I stopped supporting R. Kelly because it was crystal clear that he takes advantage of underage girls sexually–girls that have neither the emotional maturity, nor the necessary psychological mentality to consent to the sexual advances he forced them into. He is a child rapist. If his music comes on the radio, I change the station, and I refuse to listen to him on any music services I subscribe to. He needs to seek psychological/psychiatric help. No one guilty of what he is who refers to himself as “The Pied Piper” is the least bit remorseful.
One being found innocent and cleared of any or all charges does not mean they are exempt of guilt. Bill Cosby–who just lost another attorney, mind you–is another example. He’s a disgrace to Black people and humanity in general. He prided himself on instructing Black people on how to raise their children, while he had been drugging and raping women for decades? Bye, Bill. And he admitted it. I was appalled beyond measure, and as much as I love the arts, didn’t even bother trekking to the Smithsonian to see the expansive art collection loaned them by him and his cohort/enabler of a wife. He disgusts me.
So now we have the poor decisions of Nate and Jean to grapple with–many of them documented here in these transcripts from the case. Decisions that became fatal when their victim committed suicide. She’s dead. She’s dead. Dead because she could no longer face the pain, the trauma, the smothering oppressiveness that being raped, then being harassed by her tormenters, ravaged her with.* An infinite amount of “sorrys” will never bring her back.
And for anyone who dares open their lips to even try to allow the words to escape, these recent events being brought to the surface highlighting Nate Parker’s past is not a gahtdamn conspiracy to snuff out yet another Black man’s success. As far as the “timing” of this coming out, it goes back 17 years, and a mere internet search would provide all the information you require to look into it on your own. It’s garnering more attention now because of the film’s impending release. Further, any journalist should engage in their due diligence and research their subject prior to conducting an interview. And when that time comes, they will often ask questions that sometimes demand difficult or incriminating answers, even if what’s revealed doesn’t acquiesce egos or personas, or the public’s worship of these public figures.
In closing, Nate Parker can s–k it. And so can his co-writer and fellow rape assailant, Jean Celestin. The singular difference between he and Nate is, Jean was convicted, and Nate wasn’t, likely getting off on a technicality. Sit with that, and ask yourself, “Am I okay giving these men–these rapists–my money?”
And for anyone confused about the ideology of consent, I recommend reading this article.
The two filmmakers’ obvious disdain of women and our overall well-being repulses me.
I know rape victims. And so do you. Hell, with the statistics on the number of women assaulted, one of you reading this is likely a rapist. Monetarily supporting this film would be akin to me giving money to a victim’s assailant’s GoFundMe to help pay his attorney’s fees to exonerate him.
I’ll pass. Rapists will reap NO rewards from me, EVER.
I would rather support a woman who is thinking about ending her life because someone violated and brutalized her.
*waits for “the brothas” to pounce on Black women who no longer support Nate Parker and compare us to “the man” trying to take them down.