As usual, the Theory of Intersectionality turns out to be all about who gets the most Diversity Pokemon Points:
The Troubling Contradiction at the Heart of the Nate Parker ControversyOkay, but the other co-author of the story for the movie, Jean Celestin, was convicted of raping a white woman. An appeals court called for a re-trial, at which point the prosecutor decided it was too much trouble and let him walk.
By Willa Paskin
… I am going to try to do something that feels scary now: I am going to try to explore an aspect of the reaction to the Nate Parker case that makes me feel uneasy, but without wanting in any way to minimize the accusations against him or proscribe how people should react to or feel about them.
The criminal justice system is in crisis. The reaction to the Parker case is one manifestation of that crisis. The criminal justice system is so broken that, with regard to sexual assault cases, we have no faith in its ability to deliver a verdict of guilt and no confidence in a verdict of not guilty. The system is seen to be so skewed towards the aggressor in sexual assault cases that it cannot render a fair and just ruling. In the absence of such a definitive decision, accusations become the lifetime verdict. Nate Parker was acquitted of rape charges 17 years ago. These facts have permitted him to become a successful actor and director with a much-anticipated film shortly to arrive in theaters, but they will never free him from the suspicion that he is an unpunished rapist, despite being designed to do exactly that.
What is important here is not a previously modestly well-known actor named Nate Parker, but the upcoming movie, The Birth of a Nation, which Hollywood chose to use to get past (specious and self-serving) black complaints about not enough blacks in movies by lecturing white people in general about the sins of their ancestors, such as raping black women.
However, the creators of the chosen movie have extremely relevant sins of their own. Obviously, the two black guys who stood trial on charges of raping a white woman didn’t suddenly forget a big chunk of their lives when they came up with the story and title for their movie about how whites used to believe back in DW Griffith’s day that white women needed to fear black men raping white women, but now we know the real danger is white men raping black women.
In criminal cases that are not about sexual assault, we are also skeptical of the criminal justice system’s rulings. Except in those instances, it is the verdict of guilt about which we have doubts.I.e., us Goodthinkers have doubts when black men are convicted of crimes in a court of law. Since we know from first principles blacks can’t possibly be more criminally inclined than whites, then the inequality of results must prove injustice.
How could we not? Nearly every day, there are reports of police officers using excessive force and military grade weapons on the civilian population they are meant to protect, harassing and locking up black people as a matter of course, when not murdering them. The courts are overcrowded and backlogged, just like prisons, where corrupt and inhumane practices chew up low-level offenders, disproportionally black, and turn them into lifetime recidivists. The for-profit prison-industrial complex grows, making prisoners a lucrative industry and contributing to America having more prisoners than any country in the world.And, that’s why the media loves to spread hoaxes about white male rapists like Haven Monahan and Duke Lacrosse.
With regard to any crime except sexual assault or terrorism, we have hardly ever been more sympathetic to the accused or the incarcerated. True crime documentaries like Serial and Making a Murderer, to say nothing of the Innocence Project, have taken seemingly open-and-shut cases and revealed them to be anything but. We know a young man can spend years in Rikers without ever being convicted of a crime; that guards are abusive and unaccountable; innocent people spend years in jail because of corrupt cops or faulty eye-witness testimony or a lack of DNA evidence; juveniles are abused; solitary is torture; the death penalty has likely been used to execute the innocent.
There are very good reasons why public sentiment about rape verdicts and alleged rapists is so different than sentiment about other sorts of criminals. There is a long, horrifying history of sexual assault being more or less legal, of victim’s stories being ignored, contradicted, shuffled aside. …
Those of us who are greatly concerned with the injustices of the prison system and those of us who are greatly concerned with the injustices of sexual assault trials are often one and the same. These concerns are in sync. They are both about securing justice for the powerless. The progressive public-at-large has never been more sympathetic to a young black man at the mercy of the criminal justice system. It has also never been less sympathetic to any man accused of sexual assault. Part of what is so thorny about the Nate Parker case is that both of these men are Nate Parker.