I believe thank yous are in order for all of the rape apologists in my life, and all of those speaking up in the media (I’m looking at you Al Sharpton & Harry Belafonte). Thank you for identifying yourselves so I can go about my life avoiding you. 

I once heard Oprah say when people show you who they are, believe them. I’ve had SO many people show me how lacking in compassion they are with the latest celebrity rape scandal. In case you don’t know: Nate Parker was charged and tried for rape in 1999. He got off primarily because he’d had consensual sex with the victim before the incident at issue. His writing partner and then roommate was convicted, the conviction was overturned and the prosecutor did not retry him. The victim committed suicide in 2012 (after some unsuccessful attempts soon after the incident), leaving behind a son. 

In the interviews Parker did with Deadline & Variety he never mentioned the victim, something Parker attempted to correct with a latter Facebook post. At a minimum his response is totally tone deaf in a post-Cosby rape scandal world, at the maximum it’s manipulative. As Roxane Gay wrote about Parker’s Variety interview “He went so far as to bring his 6-year-old daughter to an interview where he knew he would be questioned about the circumstances surrounding the rape trial — a strange, manipulative and even cynical choice.” 

From Parker’s own words I am left feeling uneasy about the situation. To completely ignore the victim in his initial statements  was totally eerie. 

Add to that the history that Penn State has with mishandling sexual abuse (Sandusky anyone?) and I have more questions than answers. The passionate defenses of Parker never admit that they don’t know, they say it can’t be. That’s a level of certainty I can’t fathom from anyone who was not in the room when the incident occurred. 

The conspiracy theorist are perhaps the most frightening. This was information that was readily available, including on his wiki. Then there are the “white women lie” folks. I had someone tell me that I don’t know because I wasn’t there (there being the trial). This person went on to say that the victim only reported the rape because her Black boyfriend found out about it. 🙄 

A grown adult woman told me this. As if victim shaming isn’t at an all time high in cases of rape. As if rape is not severely underreported because we as a society are seemingly incapable of holding perpetrators accountable for their actions and choose instead to place the victim on trial. 

All excuses sound the same to me: I don’t care and I don’t want you to make me feel bad about it. 

Honestly, just say that. Stop with the exercise of coming up with bs like: “Nate Parker is trying to buy NBC!” Or “White women always say Black men rape them! Look at history!” No stop it. You sound foolish.

I don’t know what happened in 1999. I have my suspicions, but I don’t know. The certainty with which Parker’s defenders speak, or tweet, is classic rape culture:  blaming the victim and refusing to hold the perpetrator accountable without even knowing the details. Even when folks are informed they use the facts to build a case against the victim. The victim isn’t on trial. And anyway, in this case the victim can’t speak on her own behalf, she’s dead. 

In conclusion: I see you rape apologists. Don’t come too close, I don’t want to catch whatever disease you have that made you lose your compassion and blame rape victims. 

And oh yeah, if you wanna learn about Nat Turner, read a fucking book! Ok I’m done.