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Sister of Nate Parker’s Rape Accuser Proclaims Rape Scenes in ‘Birth of a Nation’ Exploits The Victim

Nate Parker (Promo image via Deadline)

Nate Parker (Promo image via Deadline)

The sister of Nate Parker’s rape accuser believes the filmmaker featured rape in The Birth of a Nation to intentionally exploit the victim.

Sharon Loeffler’s sister was at the center of a 1999 rape trial against Parker and his Nation co-writer Jean Celestin during their time at Penn State University.

A jury acquitted Parker but Celestin faced conviction before an appeal turned over the decision.

Parker’s film, created with Celestin, focuses on Nat Turner who led a rebellion against his white slave masters in 1831, according to Atlanta Black Star.

In a guest column for Variety, Loeffler said she found it “creepy” that Parker and Celestin put a scene about rape in the film, due out Oct. 7.

“As her sister, the thing that pains me most of all is that in retelling the story of the Nat Turner slave revolt, they invented a rape scene. The rape of Turner’s wife is used as a reason to justify Turner’s rebellion,” she wrote.

“This is fiction. I find it creepy and perverse that Parker and Celestin would put a fictional rape at the center of their film, and that Parker would portray himself as a hero avenging that rape.”

However, Entertainment Weekly reported Parker chose not to depict scenes of rape and attacks. Instead, he focused on the aftermath of the abuse.

“That’s the pathology, and I’m not going to exploit the pathology,” he said.

New York Times article backs that up, stating the film depicts Turner’s wife being raped by white men and it “uses gang rape as a central story point, though the attack is not explicitly shown.”

Still, Loeffler deemed the depiction “self-serving and sinister.”

“I take it as a cruel insult to my sister’s memory,” she wrote in her column.

“I think it’s important for people to know Nat Turner’s story,” Loeffler continued. “But people should know that Turner did not need rape to justify what he did. Parker and Celestin did not need to add that to Turner’s story to make him more sympathetic.”

But Loeffler, whose sister committed suicide in 2012, seems to disregard that rape was ubiquitous throughout slavery.

White owners notoriously forced themselves on Black women. Some even considered it a favor to force enslaved women to have sex in order to save them from having sex with Black men, who were considered animalistic and brutal.

Black women were also subject to abuse by the wives of slave owners who blamed them for tempting their husbands. The children born out of the rape were also abused by the white wives. The continuous, brutal and inhumane act of rape was a daily reality for Black women for hundreds of years. Black men were often helpless in ending this cruelty. However, if Black people decided they no longer wanted to be abused, enslaved and treated like everything other than a human, and the rape of ones’ wife was the catalyst, then so be it.

It’s a bit presumptuous of Loeffler to look past this history and assume Nate Parker, who was never convicted of the rape, is still attempting to exploit her sister.

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