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Nah, White People, Nate Parker and Casey Affleck Ain’t That Different

In the past six months, I’ve written three separate pieces on Nate Parker and Birth of a Nation. The first was an explanation of why I refused to see BOAN. The second was me letting those insisted BOAN was an important enough story that we should ignore rape allegations (and Parker’s own admission that he did not receive clear consent that might). The third was to fire back at Black people who were blaming Black women for the movie underperforming in its opening weekend.

I’m so fucking tired of writing about Nate Parker and that movie. Thankfully, this ain’t about Nate Parker. This is about white people changing the rules as they see fit. This is about white men never being held to the same standard as everybody else. This is about white women, the cheerleaders of women’s right s and believing victims, jumping through hoops and contorting into the most unimaginable shapes to fit their bullshit into feminist boxes. This is about white American racism and hipocrisy.

To begin with, I’m in no position to critique whether Parker’s nor Affleck’s performance in their respective films was worthy of nominations or awards because I didn’t see them. What I do know, though, is that Casey Affleck was accused of some disgusting acts of sexual harassment including climbing into bed, without invitation, with a woman he had hired to produce a film. The woman also accused Affleck of making “uninvited and unwelcome sexual advances.” And the Oscar winner allegedly ordered a crew member to remove his pants and show the woman his penis.

Now while the accusations stop short of the vile gang rape Parker was accused of, if the testimony of Affkeck’s victim is to be given the same credence as Parker’s victim, then Affleck is a fucking creep and a predator too. And considering that Affleck settled the allegations, I’m inclined to believe some if not all of them were true. But Hollywood, as it always does with white men, is able to separate Affleck’s immoral and even criminal behavior from his work.

Some white woman over at BuzzFeed spent a few hundred words making a case for why the two aren’t the same. She agreed that “there shouldn’t be such a thing as a ‘better’ form of sexual impropriety,” but argued that “in today’s calculus of male dickishness, though, Affleck’s reads as bad, but not as bad as a rape allegation.”  She goes on to support her argument by pointing to the fact that Parker was virtually unknown to white audiences, that Affleck has his big brother’s industry weight behind him, and that Affleck is merely the star of the film he was nominated for and not the director like Parker.

If ever one needed evidence that white men are graded on the curve, there you have it.

All the excuses made for Affleck, overlooking his behavior and despearate attempts to justify why the allegations against him and his agreement to settle out of court don’t and shouldn’t overshadow his work is the shit white people have been doing for white for centuries. The rules don’t apply to white men. All this bullshit about Affleck’s conduct being different is just that. It wouldn’t have mattered if he had committed rape anyway, because I watched as a roomful of people stood and cheered Roman Polanski after he had just been given an Academy Award 25 years after he plead guilty to raping a 13-year-old girl after providing her with quaaludes. And in 2011, Woody Allen, long accused by his ex-partner and her child of molesting the stepchild he’d go on to marry, and as awarded an Oscar.

You don’t have to stretch your privileged, racist ass brains to explain why it’s not the same. You don’t have to use Venn diagrams and quadratic formulas to show how you came up with the theory that there are varying degrees of predatory behavior. You don’t have to point to the fact that white people weren’t checking for Parker until his film gained attention at Sundance and that Affleck was known to white America for nearly a decade.

Just own your shit. Say once and for all that Black people can’t do what y’all can. Write an honest headline: “White Boy Is Sure Thing for Oscar Despite the Fact That He’s a Fucking Creep.” Tell the truth: Y’all will protect white supremacy and white manhood at all costs, so you’ll move the goal posts, white out and edit, and even give up your beloved casseroles before you’ll ever admit that a white man aint shit.

So, yeah, this ain’t about Nate Parker or his movie. I couldn’t give less of a fuck about his shit tanking. But what I do care about is another sexual predator being excused and shielded because he’s white and the brother of a Hollywood asshole who wouldn’t even acknowledge his family’s history of peddling human flesh. None of this is surprising when y’all voted a man who bragged about walking up to women and grabbing them “by the pussy” to the highest office in the land.

Fuck Nate Parker. And fuck Casey Affleck. And fuck all you white people covering your eyes and ears as the latter’s work is pushed to the spotlight while the allegations against him are sprinkled with perfume and covered with frosting.


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Kinfolk Kollective avatar About the author: LaSha is a writer who’s obsessed with Black people. Find her work here of course, but also on Ebony, The Guardian, Essence, Salon, Everyday Feminism, Teen Vogue, HuffPo and For Harriett. She’s loves trap music & 90s R&B, watches Jeopardy faithfully and believes fried chicken is her soulmate. The clapback queen is loud and clear about loving her kids above all else and kinda digs her Yankee husband too. Anti-Blackness gives her hives. Get at her @lashawrites on Twitter.

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