On Nate Parker Rape Allegation: Why I Think The Release Of The Birth of Nation, Should Be Used To Educate Black Male About Sexual Consent and Violence Against Women.

Birth of Nation

Initially, when heard the news of the Nate Parker alleged 1999 rape case, I did not know what to make of it because I was conflicted.

I started watching analytical videos and reading articles both past and present on the case especially, presented and written from Black Female points of views, such as Kimberlyn Foster’s video, Demetria Lucas D’Oyley’s and Aysha Bee articles the evidence is stacking and compelling. Words failed me.

I am a Black Man, born by Black widow woman. I saw how hard my mum work to bring up 9 children on her own my father died in 2000.  I have two Blood Black Sisters, that I am very super protective of. I would be devastated and I will kill for them, if sexual violence or any vile act, be it micro or macro aggression is committed against the Black Women in my family and the Nigeria Justice Systems let them down. This why I think every thinking man should take rape case very and sincerely serious.

The harrowing, heart breaking part was when I read the woman in question, had committed suicide because of patriarchal higher education system and America’s legal system failed her.

Parker, himself addressed the controversy on his Facebook post after learning that his accuser committed suicide in 2012, he wrote ‘I myself just learned that the young woman ended her own life several years ago and I am filled with profound sorrow…I see now that I may not have shown enough empathy even as I fought to clear my name’.

In a separate interview with the Ebony’s Britni Danielle published on the 27th of August 2016, Nate Parker said when he was pressed by Danielle ‘I’ll say this, I think that they are more things than the law. I think there is having a behaviour that is disrespectful to women that goes unchecked, where your manhood is defined by sexual conquests, where you trade stories with your friends and no one checks anyone. At 19, that was normal. As a 36-year-old man, if I looked at my 19-year-old self as my son, if I could have grabbed him earlier before this incident, or even just going to college. Because for me, it’s about this incident, but it’s about a culture that I never took the time to try to understand. I never examined my role in male culture, in hyper masculinity. I never examined it, nobody ever called me on it.’

I think, we, Black Men, have got to asked ourselves and face the hard fact, that whilst we lodge complaints, protest and campaign against oppression our own oppression, what are we individually and collectively doing to prevent violence against our Black Women/Sisters/Mothers. I am talking with respect to the culture of slit personality among our celebrity Black men. On one hand Black men, like Tupac would sing about oppression of Black people in America and Black Women in the hood. On the other hand put themselves in compromising situation by being extreme vile and violent to Black women. This is a hypocritical and drives me mad.

Take #Tupac #2Pac, for instance. He once said in his track, #KeepYourHeadsUp

‘… since we all came from a woman, got our name from a woman and our game from a woman, I wonder why we take from our women, Why we rape our women, do we hate our women? I think it’s time to kill for our women. Time to heal our women, be real to our women. And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies. That will hate the ladies, that make the babies. And since a man can’t make one. He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one. So will the real men get up. I know you’re fed up ladies, but keep your head up.’

However, towards later end of his life, Tupac  got himself into real mess. Tupac was convicted in December 1994 of felony sexual abuse. In 2Pac’s on own words;

‘We go over in the corner. She’s touching me. I lift up my shirt while I”m dancing, showing off my tattoos and everything. She starts kissing my stomach, kissing my chest, licking me and shit. She’s going down, and I”m, like, Oh shit. She pulled my dick out; she started sucking my dick on the dance floor. That shit turned me on. I wasn”t thinking, like, This is going to be a rape case. I”m thinking, like, This is going to be a good night. You know what I”m saying? Soon as she finished that-just enough to get me solid, rock-hard-we got off the dance floor. I told Nigel, “I”ve got to get out of here. I”m about to take her to the hotel. I”ll see you all later.” Nigel was, like, “No, no, no. I”m going to take you back.” We drive to the hotel. We go upstairs and have sex, real quick. As soon as I came, that was it. I was tired, I was drunk, I knew I had to get up early in the morning, so I was, like, “What are you going to do? You can spend the night or you can leave.” She left me her number, and everything was cool. Nigel was spending the night in my room all these nights. When he found out she sucked my dick on the floor and we had sex, he and Trevor were livid! Trevor is a big freak; he was going crazy. All he kept asking me was, “D-d-did you f*ck in the a**?” He was listening to every single detail. I thought, This is just some guy shit, it’s all good. We had a show to do in New Jersey at Club 88. This dude said, “I”ll be there with a limo to pick you up at midnight.” We went shopping, we got dressed up, we were all ready. Nigel was saying, “Why don”t you give her a call?” So we were all sitting in the hotel, drinking. I”m waiting for the show, and Nigel’s, like, “I called her. I mean, she called me, and she’s on her way.” But I wasn”t thinking about her no second time. We were watching TV when the phone rings, and she’s downstairs. Nigel gave Man-man, my manager, some money to pay for the cab, and I was, like, “Let that b*tch pay for her own cab.” She came upstairs looking all nice, dressed all provocative and shit, like she was ready for a prom date. So we”re all sitting there talking, and she’s making me uncomfortable, because instead of sitting with Nigel and them, she’s sitting on the arm of my chair. And Nigel and Trevor are looking at her like a chicken, like she’s, like, food. It’s a real uncomfortable situation. So I”m thinking, Okay, I”m going to take her to the room and get a massage. I”m thinking about being with her that night at Nell’s. So we get in the room, I”m laying on my stomach, she’s massaging my back. I turn around. She starts massaging my front. This lasted for about a half an hour. In between, we would stop and kiss each other. I”m thinking she’s about to give me another blow job. But before she could do that, some ni**as came in, and I froze up more than she froze up. If she would have said anything, I would have said, “Hold on, let me finish.” But I can”t say nothing, because she’s not saying nothing. How do I look saying, “Hold on”? That would be like I”m making her my girl. So they came and they started touching her a**. They going, “Oooh, she’s got a nice a**.” Nigel isn”t touching her, but I can hear his voice leading it, like, “Put her panties down, put her pantyhose down.” I just got up and walked out the room. When I went to the other suite, Man-man told me that Talibah, my publicist at the time, had been there for a while and was waiting in the bedroom of that suite. I went to see Talibah and we talked about what she had been doing during the day, then I went and laid down on the couch and went to sleep. When I woke up, Nigel was standing over me going, “Pac, Pac,” and all the lights was on in both rooms. The whole mood had changed, you know what I”m saying? I felt like I was drugged. I didn”t know how much time had passed. So when I woke up, it was, like, “You”re going to the police, you”re going to the police.” Nigel walks out the room, comes back with the girl. Her clothes is on; ain”t nothing tore. She just upset, crying hysterically. “Why you let them do this to me?” She’s not making sense. “I came to see you. You let them do this to me.” I”m, like, “I don”t got time for this shit right here. You got to chill out with that shit. Stop yelling at me and looking at me all crazy.” She said, “This not the last time you”re going to hear from me,” and slammed the door. And Nigel goes, “Don”t worry about it, Pac, don”t worry. I”ll handle it. She just tripping.” I asked him what happened, and he was, like, “Too many ni**as.” You know, I ain”t even tripping no more, you know? ni**as start going downstairs, but nobody was coming back upstairs. I”m sitting upstairs smoking weed, like, Where the f*ck is everybody at? Then I get a call from Talibah from the lobby saying, “The police is down here.” And that’s what landed you in jail. But you”re saying that you never did anything? Never did nothing. Only thing I saw was all three of them in there and that ni**a talking about how fat her a** was. I got up, because the ni**a sounded sick. I don”t know if she’s with these ni**as, or if she’s mad at me for not protecting her. But I know I feel ashamed-because I wanted to be accepted and because I didn”t want no harm done to me-I didn”t say nothing.’

Instead, Tupac blamed Black Women for his own undoing after he refused to use his own free will to stop the advances and get himself out of that compromising situation.  Tupac later said when the charge first came up;

‘I hated black women.. I felt like I put my life on the line. At the time I made “Keep Ya Head Up,” nobody had no songs about black women. I put out “Keep Ya Head Up” from the bottom of my heart. It was real, and they didn”t defend it. I felt like it should have been women all over the country talking about, “Tupac couldn”t have did that.” And people was actually asking me, “Did you do it?”‘

Black Men/Males in the Black Community must use this case, Nate Parker Rape allegation, to renew our commitment to highlight nuance of Black Male parochial patriarchal tendencies that is inherent in all men psyche. Black males/men, with all intents and purposes should know better and must do better. We must stand with her Black and Non Black sisters/women/mothers/females, no matter what side of the ocean they are. We Black Men must purge ourselves of these violent patriarchal tendencies. Where Tupac stood out a little bit, in my opinion, was he recanted his misgivings and accusation of Black Men for abandoning him. Tupac was reported to have said;

‘Then, going to trial, I started seeing the black women that was helping me. Now I”ve got a brand-new vision of them, because in here, it’s mostly Black Female guards. They don”t give me no extra favors, but they treat me with human respect. They”re telling me, “When you get out of here, you gotta change.” They be putting me on the phone with they kids. You know what I”m saying? They just give me love.’

The sad thing that leached on to Tupac legacy, was is constant reference to Black Women as ‘Bitch’ in his music. That is just wrong.

Nonetheless, I am glad with the way the Black Women are leading the spokesperson in the criticism Nate Parker action. Global Black Community, especially must stand with our Black Sisters and must be critically resolute and not blaming all the catastrophic down fall of any successful Black iconic role model to ‘white privilege’ and ‘white supremacy’ or ‘superiority complex’.  In this context and every context we, Black people find ourselves, Black Power must illustrated as symbol of solidarity with all struggles against oppression especially, the non-acknowledged ones. Black Power, be defended as a must, to continue uphold on to political ‘Blackness’,  as oppose to mythologised positive experience and definition of political ‘Whiteness’, its resourceful oppressed experience to offer a constructive and balance criticism in any case to obliterate all form of oppression. Black Power, must persist to have empathy, not sympathy, and stand on the side of the oppressed with out prejudice or biases in contrary to ‘White Power’.

When I was growing up, my dad usually reward us for doing our chores with VHS cassette player home video, during our family time. As children, we are very excited and got carried away by the amusing acting and characters in the movies. We would be told off, we should pay attention that some of the fictions portray could happening in real life. So we must draw a lesson from the movie. To make sure we actually did, my dad would ask what we have learnt after we finished watching the movie.

In this case,  I will refer to my father’s telescopic wisdom here to draw a lesson for the Black Men, especially the young Black Kids. As those who will not be boycotting the #BirthOfANation watch the character of Nat Turner portrayed in this movie, they must reflect on the real life character of Nate Parker as well. For me, the ironic tragedy of Nate Parker’s Rape Allegation and Birth of a Nation movie, is that the oppressed became oppressor, and was set free by the ‘White Privilege’ that he claimed oppresses him and his community in the first place, which #BirthOfANation was meant to depict.

The ironic lesson to learn here from Black Male point of view and that I will teach my children as I prepare to get married, and other Black young people, because one is politically conscious, articulate and stand on the side of the oppressed people and you loved by them, that does not give you the overarching authority to ride the roughshod over their God given rights and deprive them of their equality and justice.

I will not be boycotting because I want to buy a copy of the DVD, and screened it to my children and Black young people, even though #NateParker did a very good job raising consciousness of Black pain and identity, but he is not above the law.

The simplex but compounded lesson I’m trying to infer and portray here, from this grievous heinous, ungodly and unforgiveable crime, was already and articulately echoed by one of the most politically influential academic Black Woman, Maya Angelou when she was interviewed by Dave Chappelle in the Nov 30, 2006 on Iconoclast aired on the Sundance Channel, that never make anyone, your teacher, your icon, role model, hero even your dad or mum, you ‘a larger than life figure’.

 

 
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