Featured, Race & Politics

Why Nate Parker’s College Rape Accusations Resurfacing Isn’t Because Of Some Conspiracy, Explained

Who is Nate Parker?

Nate Parker is an actor, director, writer, and producer who’s been in over a dozen movies, including Red Tails, The Great Debaters, Beyond the Lights, and The Secret Life of Bees. Interestingly enough, the 36-year-old Parker, who was an All-American wrestler in college, can trace his acting career to an especially fortuitous bout of serendipity.

How so? 

While attending an event with his girlfriend, Parker (then a computer programmer) was discovered by a talent scout who encouraged him to make an audition tape and move to Hollywood.

That is quite serendipitous, indeed. So, why is he in the news today?

Two reasons. The first reason is that Parker is the star, co-writer, producer, and director of Birth of a Nation, a film about Nat Turner’s slave rebellion. A Sundance Film Festival darling, the movie won the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, and was purchased by Fox Searchlight for 17.5 million dollars, a Sundance record. The consensus among those who’ve seen is that it should get quite a bit of Oscar recognition.

Wow. That’s great for him. What’s the second reason?

When Parker was a student at Penn State University, he and his then-roommate Jean Celestin (who also happens to be a co-writer of Birth of a Nation) were accused of rape. Parker claimed the sex was consensual; the woman who accused him claimed she was unconscious and unable to consent. Along with the rape, Parker and Celestin were accused of intimidating her.

Parker was exonerated, but Celestin was found guilty. He (Celestin) appealed the decision, and the case was eventually thrown out because the victim didn’t want to testify again.

Various news outlets reported on this last week, and Deadline interviewed Nate Parker about it.

Wow. When did this alleged rape happen? 

In 1999.

Hmm. Don’t you think the timing of this being a news story is rather peculiar?

How so?

Well, this happened 17 years ago — while they were in college — and it’s just now seeing the light of day, right after they created an explosive and controversial movie about Black slaves revolting and killing White people. It feels like there are hidden forces out there who don’t want them to be successful. 

Couple things. First, it’s not like the news of Parker’s history was on some special Google for stars of Black Netflix or some shit. A regular google would have found everything about the case. It resurfaced in the sense that more people are talking about it now, but it’s always been there.

And more people are talking about it now because more people are talking about Nate Parker now. When he was starring in Rome & Jewel and Pride and Blood Done Sign My Name, no one — at least no one in entertainment media — gave enough of a damn about him to investigate his past. But he’s a big deal now. And when you’re a big deal with tens of millions of dollars invested in you and your project, everything about you and your past becomes media fodder. Particularly something as serious as a rape allegation. He’s not the first and he won’t be the last person — Black or White; man or woman —  to make it big and then have some unflattering details about his life become news.

Still, don’t you think it’s unfair that, almost 20 years later, he’s forced to answer questions about allegations he was found not guilty of? He was cleared! Why put this pressure on an innocent man?

“Not guilty” doesn’t necessarily mean “innocent.” It just means that the prosecution couldn’t prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the allegations were true. (As far as the allegations themselves, here’s a copy of the criminal complaint.) Let me put it this way: I doubt anyone reading this would consider George Zimmerman or the police officers responsible for Freddie Gray’s death to be “innocent” even though they were technically found not guilty.

To be clear, I’m not saying Nate Parker was guilty. I’m just saying that it would be prudent to apply the same skepticism of the criminal justice system when the possession of that skepticism is difficult to maintain. We just can’t dismiss those aforementioned not guilty verdicts as proof of a flawed system and then turn around and put all of our faith in the “rightness” of the courtroom verdict just because it allows us to support a movie without any moral conflicts.

And yes, this happened 17 years ago. But sexual assault isn’t shoplifting or a bar brawl that led to a simple assault charge. This is still (and will always be) very relevant information.

Also, it has to be said that Parker’s awkward statements when speaking of the case and his homophobic remarks about “preserving the Black man” by never playing a gay character haven’t helped him in the least. His foot seems to be about shin-deep in his mouth.

What’s next for Parker?

I don’t know if the news about his past will have a major effect on how his movie is received. But I do know that he needs to hire a publicist. Or maybe just a better one.

(And, if you listen to the conspiracy theorists, he’ll be buying NBC soon too.)

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Leggy

    wasn’t even going to watch this movie to begin with. I’m done with slave movies and books. Done. I mean don’t African Americans fall in love? Can’t they be serial killers?
    I read a lot of African literature and I’m trying to read African American literature too that isn’t about slavery so if you have a rec, I’d love it.

    • Courtney Wheeler

      Hidden Figures is coming out soon..so you got that going for you

      • miss t-lee

        I loved the trailer. Can’t wait to see it.

        • Courtney Wheeler

          I’m going to take my 8 yr old niece to see this. She most that we in fact do it all…sing..dance…act…and be nerds who change the world!

          • miss t-lee

            Yes. I’m glad they’re telling this story.

        • Madame Zenobia

          I’ve watched it three times this morning. I haven’t been this excited about a trailer since Cap 3: Civil War

          • miss t-lee

            !!!!!

      • Leggy

        I’m so excited for that!! Just saw the trailer this morning!!!

      • Kat

        I am geeked I tell you, geeked!

      • NonyaB

        Had to save a pic from a scene there, on account of the gawjus palette of browns and that retro glam:

        • GenevaGirl

          OMG! I just watched this and my heart so filled with pride that I thought it would pop out of my chest. I am excited to see this, but since I live in Switzerland I know that it won’t come here. Darn! I don’t believe in bootlegs, but for this… This looks awesome! Talk about Black Girl Magic!!

        • Courtney Wheeler

          I want all those outfits…all of them

        • Nortey

          YASSS

    • “Any writer who takes as their starting place any doubt as to their own humanity, or the humanity of their subject, has already lost. The real questions, the questions in that writer’s heart, are never explored. And instead they are stuck answering the same set of questions that they’ve, long ago, resolved. For black writers, this is a formula for never evolving, for writing the same thing over and over.”- Ta-Nehisi Coates.

      I believe slavery holds as much interests as the “Love Jones” or whatever the black version of “Dexter” would hold. We can all have our literary interests. I guess I’m just confused as to why your imagination does not extend, or does not see the equality, in skillfully writing about the things that actually happened to the black folk trapped in the American Experiment.

      https://hhharris.wordpress.com/2016/08/13/a-sword-against-prejudice/

      • Leggy

        I’ve read soooo many books about slavery and race that I want a balance and I personally believe that there is not a balance. Especially in contemporary literature. For every slavery book I want to read about love and sci Fi and detecting and crime and magic. I want there to be a spectrum that I can choose from. For every Coates, there should be a black Sophie Kinsella who writes escapist literature and I believe that publishers aren’t willing to publish books like that about black people.

        • The literature is there and you’re simply not looking hard enough. Just put one book- one book- that you have read that you liked and Amazon alone can give you dozens of recommendations.

          And I would argue that even if you’re not reading books on slavery, any book that features black people and doesn’t skillfully deal with how race impacts their day to day is of inferior quality.

          • Leggy

            I disagree. Black people NEED escapist literature. The real world is hard enough. Every single book black people write should not have to deal with race. Art is subjective. I’m not willing to refer to any as inferior especially when there’s an audience for it eg : me.

            • If you are into Romance, there is currently a “renaissance” of Black authors who are self-publishing ebooks or distributing their work through smaller publishers. They range from street lit, erotica, Christian, Clean romance to, sci-fi and traditional romance. (A few Black romance authors to check out: Love Belvin, Christina C. Jones, Synithia Williams.)

              There are several blogs dedicated to giving information on where to find these books, but I recommend “Girl, Have you Read?”. They provide lists of new releases in African-American Romance nearly every week.

              • Leggy

                I love websites like that. I’m currently obsessed with modernmrsdarcy. She’s white but she tries really hard to be very diverse in her reading recommendations. I’m going to check out girl, have you read? Thank you so much!

              • Leggy

                They have a podcast too?!! I’m so excited. Modernmrsdarcy has a podcast too!! Okay, I’m done now!

        • Cleojonz

          Well isn’t that all those black romance books? Eric Jerome Dickey and the like? Have you read Octavia Butler? Even though she does social commentary, they are straight sci-fi and they are dope!

          • Kas

            All the upvotes for Octavia

          • Leggy

            I’ve definitely read the parable of the sower!! I’ve never read an Eric Jerome book, any specific book you recommend I start with?

            • Cleojonz

              Read the rest of that series with Parable of the Sower. They were so good! I haven’t read an Eric Jerome Dickey in a while. I stopped because they seemed formulaic but from what I remember they are good quick reads and definitely not too heavy, good to be considered escapism. He seems to be churning them out every year like Sparks though so there should be plenty to choose from.

              I used to LIVE for E. Lynn Harris God rest his soul. His books were a little heavier because they dealt with dudes in the closet, but they read like a soap opera so I flew through those books.

              • Leggy

                Okay. I’ll check for his highest rated book on good reads and embrace the love formula!

              • LadyJay?

                Eric’s books are pretty much, as you stated, formulaic.

    • Mireille

      LOL. Is this a serious inquiry?! You are legitimately finding difficulty finding books by black authors that do not deal with slavery? Like you’ve never read Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Isabel Wilkerson, Edwidge Danticat, Nella Larsen, Zadie Smith, or J. California Cooper? Those are just some black authors telling black, non-slave narrative stories off the top of my head. OCTAVIA BUTLER! For every black slavery-based narrative you can definitely find a black non-slavery based narrative. There are a lot more- I’m inclined to think you don’t actually read….

      • Leggy

        Hmmmm. Richard wright wrote “black boy” which deals with race, Langston Hughes while I love him is poetry and also deals with race. I’m tired of black books that deal with race. I’ve read a ton of these people but I want fiction that doesn’t have to deal with race. I want fiction about love and sci fi and other things.
        This is the same problem I have with African literature, it’s like people aren’t willing to read us if we’re not suffering and I’m really tired of that trope in black literature.
        also, zadie smith is English not African American.

        • AnswerMe

          Mosley writes science fiction in addition to his mysteries. I’m not into that genre, but his writing is impeccable. I tried to get into a couple and it just wasn’t for me. Maybe you’d enjoy them.

          • Leggy

            Someone up top mentioned him. I’ve read his devil in a blue dress. Will check out some other things of his I didn’t know about.

        • Mireille

          Wright also wrote “Savage Holiday”, which was not a “race-themed” novel. Wright also wrote “The Long Dream” (which you might like). There’s Tananarive Due as well as Chester Himes. Ishmael Reed and Jean Toomer. While Zadie is English, sometimes her characters aren’t and the stories take place in the U.S. That is the case with her novel “On Beauty”.

          • Leggy

            I’ll check out the long dream and see if I like it. And I’ll check out the other authors as well. Thanks for the recommendations!

          • Jennifer

            I have to co-sign On Beauty. It was so good I read it twice.

            • MSNY

              Me too

        • mochazina

          fwiw, i understand and agree, @leggy91:disqus . our need for escapism in art is real. yes, we face racism in everyday life (in various forms), but it doesn’t need to be forefront in art to make the piece qualify as realistic.

        • Amber

          Bernice McFadden Sugar series is good, Pleasantville is good. I can’t pull it up now but there’s a list of current books by a book club and they post mini reviews and many of the books are not necessarily about race or slavery.

      • “Man Gone Done” by Michael Thomas is an amazing book.

        https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008UX3DY4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

    • Walter Mosley alone could keep you busy for quite some time.

      • AnswerMe

        My favorite Black male author ever.

      • Leggy

        The only Walter Mosley book I’ve loved is devil in a blue dress. I do not like his other books at all. Do you have a specific one you’d recommend that you personally loved?

        • Well, I loved all the Easy Rawlins, but Blue light is a bit more Sci-fi/fantasy and might be more up your alley. I like the Leonid McGill series a lot as well, maybe even more than Rawlins.

          • Leggy

            I’m going to check out the McGill series then. Thank you!!

        • kid video

          Check out Mosley’s ‘Killing Johnny Fry’…it’s an erotic thriller.

        • Val

          If you liked Devil in a Blue Dress then just stick with his Easy Rawlins series.

        • Jennifer

          Black Betty. I read it before Devil in a Blue Dress. His books were my preferred trip reading for years.

        • The Tempest Tales is Mosely’s homage to Langston Hughes “Semple” character and maybe has a nod or two to “Heaven Can Wait”.

          I also like the McGill series.
          I wasn’t overly fond of “Killing Johnny Fry” but it was very different from Mosley’s normal work.

          • Kas

            Killing Johnny Fry, his attempt at p orn

            • kid video

              His p orn attempt was ‘Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore’.

              • Kas

                I’m sorry, he had one with more chex than Johnny Fry? Oh boy.

    • Kas

      Octavia Butler’s stuff is great.

    • NonyaB

      LOL @ “Can’t they be serial killers”! Abeg, preferably not o!

    • Val

      I don’t mind certain films about slavery I just want the same effort and money and talent that goes into them put into other films that tell our other stories.

      • Denise Clay

        No one ever says that about Holocaust movies. I’m just saying…

        • Val

          I don’t understand your point?

    • I forgot to mention “Pym” by Mat Johnson and “The Turner House” by Angela Flournoy.

    • Hahaha can’t they be serial killers. Not funny but i chuckled small.

    • Nik White

      Grab some Octavia Butler.

  • miss t-lee

    The capes on twitter have heavy starch.
    Acquitted doesn’t mean innocent.
    Someone mentioned how he’s doing a movie about a slave revolt that happened dayum near 200 years ago, but mentions how the rape allegations are in the past and he doesn’t wish to discuss them.
    Chile…

    • “Someone mentioned how he’s doing a movie about a slave revolt that happened dayum near 200 years ago, but mentions how the rape allegations are in the past and he doesn’t wish to discuss them.”

      THIS. THIS HERE.

      • miss t-lee

        Like…how do you even fix your mouth, man?
        GRR.

      • heyheyno

        Girl, I didn’t even think of that!

        • Heatherdkane2

          <<fb. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!il48r:….,……..

      • ?

        The slave revolt and this particular alleged rape case are equivalent in your mind? Interesting leap in logic

        • saywhoandwhat?

          I think the link being made is bringing up past injustices. When those injustices make people uncomfortable, they can be quick to dismiss them as old without addressing their underlying accountability. That is the analogy being made which seems like a sensible commentary on cognitive dissonance.

          • Bridgetpsmith

            <<fb. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!il391r:….,……

          • BLW12

            Great reply! (I know that’s random but I wanted to say that lol)

          • coptic777

            What? How does American history telling of a slave revolt that shaped the nations history compare to a white woman who had an ongoing affair then cried rape after she had a train ran on her then took a fat payout from the University (convientantly forgetting to out that part in this article) decides only then not to testify compare here? The lack of logic is laughable…

            • NonyaB

              Again with the same lie all over the comments: She decided not to testify after the 2 men led a calculated campaign of stalking and harassment to intimidate her before the appeal date. Lawsuit against school and setttlement came a couple years after. Reading comprehension is critical and r*pe apology is a disgusting profession.

            • M. Piranah

              17 grand is not a “fat” payout. No “train” was run on her. She did not testify again out of fear. Then she killed herself. So yah, pretty laughable all around…

        • HoneyRose

          In the sense that he means it – since it happened a long time ago we should be ‘over it’ and not think about it some more because it doesn’t benefit him – yes, they are.

    • Drop them bars girl, you comin’ with straight fire today.

      • miss t-lee

        Fed up, man.
        FED UP.

        • NicT

          Al Sharpton wants to come defend Nate Parker. If he don’t sit his big-headed conk wearing toothpick body all the way down.

          • miss t-lee

            Oh dear.
            Al’s track record is terrible.

    • ladyfresh

      get em girl
      i can.not.

      • miss t-lee

        Over it.
        Like a bridge over water.

    • Illumina

      It truly boggles the mind.

      • miss t-lee

        Truly.

    • Blueberry01

      Cue OJ….

    • NicT

      I mean, I’m still waiting for a black man to say that George Zimmerman is innocent and we should stop talking about it because the legal system found him not guilty. I’ll wait.

      • miss t-lee

        WOO!!!!!

      • Rick Manigault

        Zimmerman was innocent and proven so in court of law. Nick Parker is also innocent.

        There you go.

      • Basil Malik

        You can’t compare the verdict of Zimmerman to the verdict of parker. America has a rich history and presence of allowing black man to be killed by government agents & civilians. Fact.
        At an Ivy League School 17 years ago I am sure a black man wouldn’t receive that benefit and law enforcement would prosecute if possible to the fullest extent of the law.

    • coptic777

      Lol so the fact that she when she took that fat pay check from the university is when she decides not to testify does not count here? Thanks for the laugh…

      • NonyaB

        *Yawn* Stop spreading lies when documentation shows otherwise: She decided not to testify after the 2 men led a calculated campaign of stalking and harassment to intimidate her before the appeal date. The lawsuit by Women’s Law Project came much later and the school settled because it recognized its fault in mismanaging the process.

    • NicT

      These men are cracking me all the way up while simultaneously horrifying me when I think that these rape apologists are out roaming free (and probably relate to POS Nate Parker for reasons that I shudder to think about).

      • miss t-lee

        Take notes. Especially if they’re folks you personally know.

  • Shockingly, I don’t agree with this.

    I find the timing of the release of this information to be convenient, and I would question anyone who does not view it as such. I believe that it can be possible that Nate Parker’s case was bound to come up as he became more successful and that there is segment that would like to tarnish this project.

    • Your response is deeply disrespectful to the victim. I’m disappointed.

      https://hhharris.wordpress.com/2016/08/13/a-sword-against-prejudice/

      • I meant no disrespect in my comment towards the victim. While I know that my intent and the ramifications of it can differ, that is something that I don’t want to do. I think that I have fallen into a personal blind spot as I am not seeing how my response is disrespectful to the victim. If you are willing, I would like to learn how it is disrespectful so that I can improve in this area.

        • “I find the timing of the release of this information to be convenient, and I would question anyone who does not view it as such.”

          Your statement here places your desire for conspiracy over the suffering of the victim, so your disrespect comes from what you chose to prioritize when you analyzed this situation- especially since your clam lacks evidence. A woman was penetrated without consent by one man. Parker then took his turn.Parker’s friend was convicted but, on appeal, the victim gave up as many sexual assault victims do; to repeatedly have to testify what happened to the insides of your body in the name of justice must be immensely traumatizing.

          If you had evidence of conspiracy, of some cigar smoking white man in a studio who wanted to put Parker back to a low place and thus pressed this information to the media, present it. It’s only at that point does conspiracy become journalism and worthy of legitimate debate. Until then, not placing empathy for the victim at the top of your concerns either communicates that either what happened to her didn’t happen (which the conviction proves false) or that it isn’t important (which is an immoral argument).

          And that’s just disrespectful.

          https://hhharris.wordpress.com/2016/08/13/a-sword-against-prejudice/

          • Thank you for taking the time to explain how my comment was disrespectful. I will work on improving in this area.

    • JennyJazzhands

      I first heard about this when beyond the lights came out. A lot of people were talking about it then. And no one cared enough about that movie to sabotage it.

      • I didn’t know that this information was being talked about when Beyond the Lights came out.

        • JennyJazzhands

          It was talked about as if it weren’t true in a mocking kind of way like, “you would think he would leave white women alone after what happened when he was in college.”
          This is the first time that I’m hearing about the details in a manner that shows he’s actually guilty. Before, everyone that mentioned it did so in a “that’s just what happens when you fool with white women” kind of joke almost. Basically, before now, it was just gossip.

      • Blueberry01

        I think people didn’t take BTL seriously so they didn’t care either way.

        • Nik White

          And it was a cute/basic romantic movie…empty calories.

          • Blueberry01

            Right, but I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed that movie.

    • You know…it could be convenient..it could also be someone taking the opportunity of his new spotlight to shine some light on how he’s been given a pass all these years.

      But fret not, I assure you whomever was set on watching this film isn’t going to change their mind because of an old r*pe charge. Black women aren’t that important.

      • JennyJazzhands

        I thought it was a white woman.

        • We’re the only ones talking about it, really.

          Sidebar- I believe he does have good PR. Because once the rumor mill started running, he started toting his 6-year old daughter with him.

          He has FIVE daughters. I’m just sad.

          • JennyJazzhands

            Yeah, some type of damage control was done at some point because I first read about this when beyond the lights came out and it disappeared.

      • Glo

        Sadly, I would be very surprised if this had any sort of negative impact on his career. :/

      • blogdiz

        she was white, he was astar athlete at Penn Univesity

      • CaribbeanGlow

        The alleged victim was white, so in cases like this, black men all of a sudden remember that white women accused them falsely to the point they were Iynched (most likely, all of those accusations were not false, either). They will employ a one-two misogyny– The white woman will now be part of “the white man’s” effort to keep him down, and black women will continue to be bashed, this time for having the nerve to identify with a female victim over any old black man.

    • Damon Young

      the thing about the timing argument, though, is that he already had his picture purchased by fox. if this was about a true agenda to discredit his film, wouldn’t this news have resurfaced before or during sundance? before fox wrote that check?

      • The problem with people who see conspiracy everywhere, Damon, is that they aren’t bound to timelines and logic and other tools we use to verify truth and claims.

        What matters first is what they feel and all the resulting nonsense that follows.

        • thasamiam

          As Black people, we have had things done to us by the government and private industry that on its face would seem like crazy conspiracy chatter. Things such as the Tuskegee Experiment, mustard gas treatment during WWII, COINTELPRO, the Flint water situation, Johnson & Johnson deliberately marketing baby powder to Black women while knowing it contained ingredients that are linked to cancer – all of those things would initially seem crazy to many if you talked about them with others while they were occurring, only to be revealed as fact later on. This makes a lot of Black folks justifiably wary and suspicious of a lot of things because we know firsthand the extent of the evil these institutions will go specifically to harm us. Sadly, it also lends to some of us to go to the deep end and disregard timelines, logic, and other tools just like you said, and give way to emotions and nonsense. That, coupled with Hotep philosophy, could lead some of us to elevate people and concepts that seem to be pro-Black but end up harming us much more than it helps us, and in the end result it supports the very oppression we claim to fight against. In the case of entertainment figures such as Cosby, R. Kelly, and possibly Nate Parker, these things often have a way of preventing us from separating the art from the performer.

      • Courtney Wheeler

        Worst case scenario is that the studio will consider this a wash and wont promote the film.

      • L8Comer

        I’d think the ideal time to release if you want to tarnish is just before it’s released… Hurts his $ and gets more attention… So like late september

      • Nate was trying to buy NBC.

        • Ghettoprincess

          I cackled.

        • Got me laughing in a coffee shop full of wypipo.

        • naughtycorner

          hours later still funny

      • naughtycorner

        They knew the controversy was coming so rather than be ambushed they are trying to get ahead of it , It was timed when there are other things on our mind Rio, Trump etc to soften the blow

    • L8Comer

      Yeah it’s convenient bc now he’s getting shine so it would come to light, but it can be convenient and highly suspect, worthy of critique and pause at the same time, no?

    • LKNMRE

      When would it be less convenient? When no one knew who he was and therefore would have no reason to mention it?

    • blogdiz

      This is not new info , it is maybe new to YOU . People (me included) have known about this for years since the movie Red Tails it comes up EVERYTIME he has a project out but more muted cuz he wasnt a big deal.(Its been on his Wikipedia page for decades )
      It is just now that his profile is so heightened with BOAN/Sundance darling /Oscar buzz logically he will be under more scrutiny
      i will be the first to acknowledge Racism, double standards bias Conspiracy etc but its not always a one size fits all if he hadnt been involved there would be nothing to discuss.
      I would encourage people to read the Court doc i read then online yrs ago…very chilling

  • JennyJazzhands

    In his recent interview, he didn’t say that he didn’t do it or it didn’t happen or it was consensual. Which, I would be singing like a canary if I had been accused of something I hadn’t done. His response to the question led me to believe that not only did he do it, but he’s somehow convinced himself that he’s the victim here.

  • Rape isn’t some youthful mistake that should be buried just because you’ve become successful. An attitude like that is how our Sandusky’s and Cosby’s hide in plain sight and victimized people for years and decades. There is no conspiracy here for the hoteps who want to create one; rather, the real conspiracy is why so many willingly circle the wagons around a man accused of sexual violence against a woman.

    https://hhharris.wordpress.com/2016/08/13/a-sword-against-prejudice/

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      I think we can provide the answer to the question. Outside hotep circles, I think there is a real (although it still needs to be scrutinized) concern amongst his supporters at the time and 3rd party observers after the fact about the very real problems that have accompanied allegations of sexual assault against black men by white women.

  • The last line though.

    What kinda bothers me is that the dude that was found guilty and Parker are still friends. I read he even played a role in writing the movie.

    Rape culture isn’t just physically sexuallly assaulting a woman. It’s standing by while your friends do stuff and you either say nothing or participate.

    Sigh.

    • Mutsa

      So. TRUE!

    • DebKII

      I even read one of the witnesses was called over to join in but he was like “naw…thats not right…”

      So are def rape culture bros.

      • I really do hope that I teach my son better. Cuz if he’s in the room while something like that pops off…well….

        • HouseOfBonnets

          Same

        • Simone_was_taken

          This!!

        • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

          i’d take a bat to my son (if I had one0 if he ever though not to physically intervene he thought something wasn’t right.

      • Val

        Hiya, Deb!

        *waves*

        Yep, there’s definitely a certain mentality going on with him.

        • DebKII

          hiii!!!

      • NonyaB

        Ugh! Dreading reading the court docs.

      • Yay Radley

        Unquestionably. I also believe that they didn’t see their actions as rape. It’s disgusting, it’s creepy, it’s fukcing criminal. But they didn’t see it that way. I think they attacked her because they genuinely felt she was lying.

        Dude’s like this think that if they don’t club a woman over the head and drag her kicking and screaming into a dark alley, they haven’t raped her. Not coincidentally, these types of men tend to have similar ideas on homosexuality as well.

      • will_the_thrill

        That’s a good policy to have when your homeboys are raping someone. “I’m good on that rape bruh.”

      • LMNOP

        I love that someone was like “naw.. that’s not right…” because I wonder that about rape so much, how can it be so common for groups of friends to rape someone and no one is like “hey, maybe this isn’t a good thing to do…”

        • coptic777

          Thats because it’s not common…

    • I argue that rapists are poor predators because they can’t hide their behavior. That’s why they surround themselves with either the silent (won’t say anything) or the encouraging (“Look at what that hoe is wearing; “she liked it- if she didn’t, she would of told you to stop.”)

      https://hhharris.wordpress.com/2016/08/13/a-sword-against-prejudice/

      • L8Comer

        I think they hide pretty well… Especially in this cultural setting where most people – men and women-are one of the types you describe

        • KNeale

          Yeah I agree. They don’t have to do much to hide. So many people fight to disqualify rape if it didn’t sound like what we think rape is “supposed to be”.

          • L8Comer

            Which is actually much more rare

          • SororSalsa

            Or they justify it with the “what was she wearing?” or “why was she drunk?” questions, which is disgusting and ridiculous. Date rape is a huge problem mainly because so many people think it’s questionable at best.

          • NicT

            I’m disgusted how many ppl use terms like “real rape”. Um, yeah, all rape is rape.

        • Jaris Cole

          Sociopaths are great at hiding in plain sight. They’re great at making others think they’re “great guys” and that they’d “never do something like that.” That’s how they hide for so long.

    • miss t-lee

      “What kinda bothers me is that the dude that was found guilty and Parker are still friends. I read he even played a role in writing the movie.”

      I read that too.
      And frankly…I was more than a bit perturbed.

      • Courtney Wheeler

        I just hate victim blaming during these cases. It’s very rare when a woman is lying about her attacker.

        • miss t-lee

          Agreed.

        • L8Comer

          Even more rare to get a guilty verdict it seems especially if alcohol is involved

          • Negro Libre droppin’ science upthread as to why getting convictions is so hard.

        • just who is or was the victim in all of this?

        • “M”

          The lady committed suicide, apparently. And recently.

          Apparently Mr. Parker thought it politic to keep silent while she was alive, but now that she’s dead, he’s all “our trial”.

          Um, no.

          YOUR trial, dude. You and your enabling rapist friend.

          • coptic777

            So in no way did she commit suicide because she had mental issues? Even some members of her own family put out a statement questioning the timing of these articles and asked the media to leave them alone because they want no part in this. By the way the “victim” refused to testify only after she got a fat check from the University. You all leave out those tiny inconvienent details…

            • NonyaB

              She developed mental issues due to the incident. In the same article saying the “family” supposedly questioned timing, her SISTER said otherwise – didn’t know who those members were and they didn’t represent the immediate family. BTW, She decided not to testify after the 2 men led a calculated campaign of stalking and harassment to intimidate her before the appeal date. Lawsuit came YEARS after case and was settled because school recognized it faults. Learn to READ records and pick another profession: nothing honorable in being a r*pe apologist.

      • SB

        Just so you know “the one found guilty” was exonerated. And I know this as a close personal friend who was in the courtroom and who listened to the girl’s testimony. The same girl who wanted the charges dropped and who did not want to move forward but the state forced her. It’s always hard to hear people talk about things that they know nothing about.

        • miss t-lee

          Thank you for your input.
          Say hello to Nate.

        • Cleojonz

          It was also said that she was quite possibly intimidated so I would not hold much weight on the fact that the charges were dropped if she just decided she couldn’t deal with the B.S. anymore. This is why rape victims don’t come forward. It feels like beating your head against a wall and not getting anywhere.

          • SB

            And I agree. But what is not factored into this conversation is the racial environment at Penn State during the time. If you are going to truly get into this story you need to also pull up what was going on at the time and the major issues with getting a fair trial for 2 black men accused of assaulting a white woman. I was there. I respect every opinion but a rush to judgement when you don’t have all the facts is never a good thing.

            • Aly

              Isn’t it a fact that another man was invited to participate in the assault but decided not to? Didn’t he testify to this?

              • NicT

                Yes he did, and the fact that a witness could testify to it in court and he could still get acquitted shows how EFFED up the legal system and honestly, the minds of people are, when it comes to viewing acquaintance rape like a crime. She was drunk, she’d had sexual contact with him before, and people can sit in a jury box and think “yeah, no crime here.” Disgusting. I think he really got away with it b/c people act like a woman saying yes to you once is a lifetime pass to her vagina.

            • ladyfresh

              None of this excuses his recent homophobic comments or his current stance on that case. You might want to get busy talking to Nate himself rather than trying to defend his foolish comments.

              • SB

                When did I defend his comments? There is no need to attack me. I simply pointed out there is more to the story that conclusions that were drawn here. You be blessed.

                • HouseOfBonnets

                  You can’t be using the shade of be blessed when someone points out the flaws in your logic come on now….

          • SororSalsa

            I can understand her not wanting to go through that process again, because really…it was going to be HER on trial.

        • NonyaB

          Just so you know, many assaulted women drop their cases (even when there’s concrete evidence, etc) because they find they cannot mentally endure the trial process. So, dropping doesn’t automatically mean nothing happened. Just like how assaulted women in domestic violence cases are often reluctant to charge even with clear evidence of assault.

          • coptic777

            You after they received a nice pay check from the University like this “victim” did? That is when she refused to testify. You all leave that part out…

            • NonyaB

              She decided not to testify after the 2 men led a calculated campaign of stalking and harassment to intimidate her before the appeal date, which led to more trauma including attempting suicide. The lawsuit against the university by Women’s Law Project a couple years later and the school settled because it had no defence against evidence of its mismanagement of the whole process. All of which is clearly documented in the case records.

              Read the records and stop spreading lies. Better yet, find a nobler cause than being a r*pe apologist.

      • AnswerMe

        I’m confused. It appears their behavior towards the victim after being accused is excusable as well. It’s all disgusting.

    • “It’s standing by while your friends do stuff and you either say nothing or participate”

      And that’s why you’ve got to cull the herd you’re apart of sometimes.

    • Yay Radley

      I went into undergrad about this same time. What I will say is that the standards were different. Men and their understanding of what does and doesn’t constitute rape has improved vastly. I remember being in a conversation with a group of athletes, and one said something to the effect that a drunk girl is a come up, but he draws the line at passed out – “because she can’t f**k back.” That was a group of about 8 guys and three girls. Most of them laughed uncomfortably, but not a single one would call a spade a spade. Definitely not then, and maybe not even today, but I’d like to think they would.

      • DebKII

        “she cant f**k back”

        -officially disturbed

      • LeeLee

        Might I also add, the “bystander” effect is real. College is a time when everybody, whether they’ll admit or not, is trying to fit in. Greek life taught me that on so many levels:( A lot of times, people are uncomfortable with rape, rape culture and a bunch of other ish that goes left but no one wants to be the first person to call someone else out unless they know they will be “backed up” and fear having the ‘target’ or the ‘crowd’ turn on them. Sadly, the bystander effect isn’t just limited to the collegiate environment. In grad school, I read a criminal law case called the “Genovese Incident” about Kitty Genovese, a woman who was stabbed to death in her own neighborhood as people watched and listened to her screams.

        • Yay Radley

          I read about that! Didn’t the guy leave, them come back and stab her some more or something like that?

          Chilling.

          • HoneyRose

            Yes, he did. He ran away because someone yelled “Let that girl alone!” out of his window.

            He also raped another woman when he briefly escaped from prison in 1968. He died in March of this year.

        • Michelle Kirkwood

          Actually, there was a book called Freakanomics that came out a couple of years back in which some of what happened in the Kitty Genovese case was debunked–there was also a thing about it on NPR (probably an episode of This American Life.) A man and his son not only heard Genovese screaming, they called the police, and someone else yelled at the boyfriend to leave her alone. That claim of “no one doing anything” to save her was what became an urban myth over the years, used to exemplify how cold and uncaring urban life had become. After having heard that story years ago, if was good to know that somebody actually did do something in that case. Here’s the story about it here:

          http://www.npr.org/2014/03/03/284002294/what-really-happened-the-night-kitty-genovese-was-murdered

          • LeeLee

            Thank you! This makes me feel a little bit better about the state of humanity :)

          • HoneyRose

            Multiple people called the police in the Genovese case, actually. The early calls were garbled and the police didn’t take them seriously. In addition to that, someone yelled “Leave her alone!” out of their window (which is why Moseley, the perpetrator, ran away in the first place). And after he returned and finished killing her, one of the residents of the building ran downstairs to help her even though she didn’t know Moseley was gone.

            I was a psychology major in college and that case was always used to teach us the bystander effect and diffusion of responsibility – the idea that if you witness something bad happening and you know there are multiple other people who are also witnessing it, you’re less likely to call the police or offer help because you’re expecting someone else to do it. The thing is – those two psychological phenomena are real, but the Genovese case is actually not a great example of either.

      • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

        I went undergrad around this same time and seemed to be well aware of these consent issues (partially because of the type of PWI i went to and all the ‘take back the night’ sexual assault awareness events we had my freshman year), so I was SUPER cautious then and never got with any inebriated co-ed as a matter of policy and thought it was really bad judgment to do so, but…

        For any guys will to discuss, how did you consider a girl too drug to take home or what kinda judgment call were you making?

    • Chaverst

      They’re probably still friends because of the secret they share.

    • Antiqua Tours

      Amy juicebox EXACTLY!!

    • Roar

      Lets not forget the psychological toll on the victims. The victim in the Parker case committed suicide in 2012 at age 30

    • coptic777

      No he was found guilty then won a appeal the girl took a fact pay out via the university and only then she refused to testify. Mission accomplished on her part. SJE GOT PAID THEN DECIDED NOT TO CO OPERATE! You left that part out. Funny how black women stand up for white females that make false rape allegations…

      • NonyaB

        She refused to testify after being strongly stalked, harassed, intimidated by the two accused men and suffering more trauma including attempting suicide. The lawsuit against the university by Women’s Law Project years later and the school settled because it had no defence against evidence of its mismanagement of the whole process. All of which is clearly documented in the case records. Read the records and stop spreading the same lie everywhere. Better yet, find a nobler cause than being a r*pe apologist. Funny how an idiot Black dude like you prides yourself in announcing your idiocy and lack of reading and reasoning skills.

      • Princesssookeh

        Funny how you never reply after your lies are debunked. It’s almost as if you have no real conviction in what you’re saying. You just want to spread your rape apologist garbage no matter what.

  • Courtney Wheeler

    I didn’t know this about Nate Parker…but to answer Damon’s question..he needs two publicists and to stay quiet..for for quite awhile.

    also things like sexual assault cases like these though murky should always be taken seriously.

    • CaribbeanGlow

      I’m glad he spoke, and that he had subpar advisors. He told on himself.

  • Aly

    Dang, I was looking forward to seeing this movie. Guess I’ll just support Hidden Figures (unless I find out Janelle Monae kicked a puppy or something)

    • I knew where this was going.
      I kept reading.
      YOU, dear Aly, made me laugh at my damn desk.

      • Aly

        :)) Janelle looks sweet, but you never can tell about people.

  • Negro Libre

    I’ve always been skeptical of conspiracy theories because those who assert them, unlike journalists, cannot be sued for defamation, in other words they have nothing to risk for being wrong or lying.

    All that being said, I don’t know much about Nate Parker, I don’t know if he did it or not, but it’s good to remember despite people’s criticisms of the justice system, it’s impossible to actual prove a negative aka that one “didn’t do something”, thus why the burden of proof is always on the accuser or the prosecutor.

    This basic understanding of law has been lost in our society, due to both corruption in the legal system and a lack of understanding why “Innocent until proven guilty” is a necessity in any legitimate justice system. Thus since we think people should have to prove negatives, even in the absence of evidence, we result to the only thing we can do: analyze their character. Police do it, we do it, and we use probabilities and other things to rationalize it, and things continue the way they are because we don’t actually understand how a justice system ought to operate anymore.

    • Minor quibble, in a legal sense an alibi is proof of a negative

      • Negro Libre

        Isn’t an alibi more of a contradiction than a proof of a negative?

        • Madame Zenobia

          I would argue an alibi proves a negative. For example, the security footage of me buying a banana split from Dairy Queen at 12:37 PM proves I was NOT stealing the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe collections from the movie & toy sections of Target at the same time. Though I can see why I’d be a suspect.

          • Negro Libre

            I think you have to look at this in context, to understand why.

            Lets say someone says, “You stole the MCU” from the movie and toy section of Target. If you had to prove a negative, that means by default, you are already guilty. Even if you could show video of you buying a banana split at DQ, the accuser could easily say “You lied, or that you conspired to edit the tape with the Security Guard.” Since you’re already guilty, you would then have to provide evidence that you did not conspire with the Security guard to make the tape. And this back and forth would continue, because the basis of your guilt isn’t any action you took, but the words of another person.

            This is why it’s impossible to prove a negative, because basically the measure of truth, which justifies another person’s guilt isn’t based on reality, but rather the words of another person. The only way to assert your innocence is based on the accuser dropping their accusation. Ironically, this is what a lot of people have rallied for as a way of fighting against the chexual assault epidemic on campus, and they don’t see a problem with it, because they think the ends justifies the means unfortunately.

            • Blueberry01

              But what if her alibi was something that did

              • Negro Libre

                Can you expand on that?

                • Blueberry01

                  I was going to provide a better counterexample, but it didn’t really challenge your point. So, I deleted it. But, if it does resurface, feel free to respond.

                  • Negro Libre

                    Lol, ok

    • I feel our legal system also makes it difficult to prove sexual crimes, especially things like acquaintance rape. In the absence of drugging, it’s extremely difficult (and painful) to prove that such encounters happen; it comes down to a word against words argument, which always benefits the accused versus the victim.

      https://hhharris.wordpress.com/2016/08/13/a-sword-against-prejudice/

      • Negro Libre

        Logically speaking, our government is designed not to protect victims as much as it is designed to protect the accused from the government: the government has to show that it has a legitimate right to take one’s freedom or property away. I think that’s where “innocent until proven guilty” comes from. You can redesign a justice system to favor victims or better yet the accused, but that fundamentally changes the nature of a justice system.

        This is kind of the problem I have with the politics we have in America today, where we address the results because we don’t like them, but don’t understand the intricacies and the principles built to create systems in the first place.

        • I agree with you 100%.

          As a former high school dean, the incidents of sexual harassment I investigated were always, by far, the hardest to prove. I was not seeking to banish black teenagers from the system, but to correct behavior- this is not the proper way to treat black girls.

          Unless they left some sort of digital paper trail- and I’ve seen some ungodly stuff in public education- it always boiled down to long and painful conversations with students and families. They did not raise their son to be this way. And your son is growing up in a wider rape culture that promotes their misbehavior. How do we reset it before they are in a world where the legal system gives cover to their malicious behavior toward women?

          https://hhharris.wordpress.com/2016/08/13/a-sword-against-prejudice/

          • Negro Libre

            I think it’s important to differentiate legality (person to government) vs. morality (person to person). If it’s about changing bad behaviors and cultural issues, that’s a person to person issue. But if you’re looking to the law, the law exists to primarily enforce, reform is secondary.

            Too many people do not respect these intricate difference, and thus, argue for God awful laws that not only corrupt society as a whole, but give power to their enemies to pass legislation equally as bad and corrupting. This is why I’ve consistently had to go head to head with feminist who’ve fought for Affirmative Consent Laws, which really translate to Guilty until Innocent Laws.

            It would help if people had a better understanding of Constitutional Law to provide perspective and restraints for their activism. People seem to lack a perspective when it comes to understanding how sensitive such laws are, and how easily, in the name of security those laws are corrupted, not by elites, oligarchs or corrupt politicians, but by the people themselves.

        • Blueberry01

          NL, I didn’t know you lived in America. For some reason I thought you lived in Europe.

          • Negro Libre

            Lol, nah I live in America.

            It’s funny how many things people think about me. Over 5 VSSers/VSBers have told me they thought I was a woman. I should just mess with people and take a pic of a white hipster smoking a bong in downtown boston and use it as my avatar.

            • Blueberry01

              …and you live in Bean-Town?

              I forreal thought you were African British living in London.

      • LMNOP

        Sometimes I think maybe we should just switch to a system where if somebody rapes you, you can stab them.

        Will there be “false accusation” stabbings? Of course there will be some, but they will have to go to court to try to prove that they didn’t rape anyone, making the stabbing a crime.

        • Hmmm.

          What would a criminal justice system that supports tape survivors look like?

          • LMNOP

            I really don’t know, I’ve thought about this a lot though. It’s pretty common with rape for there to really be no way to prove it “beyond a reasonable doubt” though and that standard seems like a foundational piece of our legal system that would probably not be wise to discard. But letting people rape without consequence doesn’t work either. So that’s why I came up with the stabbing thing.

            In my imagination, rapists get stabbed with a special kind of knife that leaves a scar like Harry Potter’s so it randomly starts throbbing years later. And then every time they take their clothes of people will see their scar and say “what happened?” and even if they don’t say anything, they will have to at least think “oh, that’s where the girl I raped stabbed me.”

            I think this is a very appropriate punishment for rape, but who knows how it would play out.

  • miss t-lee

    Between this guy and Cam Newton’s statements I’m ready to throat punch somebody.

    • Aly

      What did Cam Newton say?

      • miss t-lee

        A whole lot of nothing.
        http://www.gq.com/story/cam-newton-versace-pants-race-and-football

        In a nutshell: we’re over racism.

        • Kas

          Wait a minute. Are you insinuating that we aren’t over racism? Signed I don’t care if you are purple (please read in the whitest voice you can)

          • miss t-lee

            good night Kas…lol

            • Kas

              And good morning to you as well. :)

        • Glo

          I’m legit starting to wonder if the NFL is running a campaign to get prominent black players to say dumb stuff in interviews. Both Cam and Richard Sherman surprised me with their statements.

          • miss t-lee

            Can’t blame that on the NFL.
            There are more players speaking about the real issues, versus the ones that aren’t.

            • Funny thing about Dickey Sherman is that I think he’s smart enough (or they claim he is) to see the nuance involved with the things that black folks face. On the other side his man was killed and I get why he feels that way too but he needs to look at that black on black crime perspective from a much larger picture.

              • miss t-lee

                The black on black crime thing seems like folks just throw it out. I understand Sherman’s loss is personal, but you can’t turn a blind eye to what’s happening otherwise.

                • That’s what kills me about Sherman. Michael Bennett and others have explained to him what it is but he refuses to acknowledge their points due to his experiences. It’s frustrating.

                  • miss t-lee

                    Very.

                • HouseOfBonnets

                  Every time somebody brings up bob crime and Chicago I just side eye them and ask why they refuse to use their data plat to it’s fullest potential.

                  • miss t-lee

                    Be too much like right…

                  • Blueberry01

                    I just say why aren’t you concerned about white on white crime? If 87% of white people are killed by white people, maybe you should be careful of who you sit next to at the next white people’s meeting.

          • Val

            Especially Richard. I definitely expected better from him.

            • Like I was telling T_Lee his friend’s death caused a massive blind spot that he isn’t trying to overlook.

          • Illumina

            I’m not. I’ve been around too long so I’m usually skeptical.

        • Cleojonz

          I wish all these people that think we are over it would revisit OJs playbook. He did EVERYTHING to say I don’t have to speak out, I don’t think it’s affects me, I’m not black I’m OJ. How did that work out for him? SMDH!

          • miss t-lee

            He didn’t wanna talk about anything. I guess he doesn’t wanna f*ck up the money.

            • Cleojonz

              The funny thing though is he can take that stance but wypipo already hate him so much. Look at last football season which was pretty close to perfect. He did everything right. Kids got multiple game balls every game. He quietly visited so many sick kids in hospitals. What did they latch onto though? His celebration dances calling them sexual and disrespectful. There was clearly race involved in the criticisms so he might as well say what’s what at this point!

              • miss t-lee

                Agreed.

              • Kas

                Yes, ma’am!

        • Not shocked but he knows better. Too busy dressing like a Housewife of Charlotte.

          • Cleojonz

            OMG I would NEVER take fashion advice from him lol. I was trying to figure out why you would come to training camp dressed that way. After a super hot a** workout beating my body up, I don’t think I’d want to shower and get dressed back into those kind of clothes. I’d want my pajamas.

          • miss t-lee

            *hollering*

        • Jennifer

          Is he just trying to avoid all of the dog-whistling from last season? I have a hard time thinking Cam believes what he is saying. He seemed somewhat aware. Or was I just blinded by all the fine?

          • miss t-lee

            You’re blinded by the fine girl…lol
            In the article had numerous times to speak is mind…and alas, no.

            • Jennifer

              Dang. I hate when the fine ones start speaking their mind.

              • miss t-lee

                Like clockwork.

    • What Cam say

      • miss t-lee

        I linked the article below.

    • HouseOfBonnets

      They’re just setting themselves up……

      • miss t-lee

        Rack ’em.

    • Part of me was just sitting here like, “I hope this is really poor editing.” Sigh. Cam, you know better than this.

      • miss t-lee

        One would hope. That was soooo terrible.

      • Kas

        “you “should” know better than this”

        • Right, what with all the Facebook open letters and negative press after the Super Bowl within the past year. You know, racist stuff like that.

    • Other_guy13

      What Cam do?

      • miss t-lee

        I linked the article downthread.

        • Other_guy13

          I just read it…he is basically becoming the next OJ…hope he don’t fall that far. He just said a lot of what the juice said…smh

          • miss t-lee

            Folks on twitter have already made this parallel.

            • Other_guy13

              Oh

    • Val

      Don’t worry, Cam will be running back home soon enough. Like they always do. Smh.

      Side-note: happy I finally got Sling TV or I wouldn’t have known what you were talking about. Saw them talking about this on ESPN this morning.

      • miss t-lee

        Love my Sling!!!

        • I want to get Sling and cut the cord but can’t find high speed internet for a good price. And I ain’t getting FIOS. Suggestions?

          • miss t-lee

            I live in an area where I’m tied to Time Warner and AT&T.
            I use TW for internet.

            • I got a house full of people and each of us has multiple devices. We need ALOT of internet! The packages they offer around here for internet only are barely cheaper than internet/cable combos. Grrrr.

              • miss t-lee

                Aw dang. Too bad.
                Is Google Fiber an option in your area?

            • Blueberry01

              TW is the devil.

              Sorry, I had to say that.

    • Dude graduates from Auburn with a degree in sociology and has the nerve to downplay racism?

      War Dumb Eagle.

      • miss t-lee

        Wild, ain’t it?

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