Access Hollywood's Nina Parker: Don't Sweep Racism Under the Rug After Charleston Shooting
Nina Parker gets emotional while speaking about the burden of racism on minorities.
Access Hollywood contributors had a conversation about the role of racism in the Charleston, South Carolina shooting and Nina Parker gave an emotional and insightful speech during the discussion.
When asked about racism as a mental illness, Parker says she doesn't buy it. "You know who is affected by racism though?" says Parker. "The people you are being racist against start to get mental illnesses."
"Because you think about it, and a white person could live their whole life and not have to learn anything about black people or really learn how to interact, and they would be fine," she says. "I have to learn how to assimilate, how to speak a different way, how to not really necessarily connect with my culture in certain [circumstances] because I felt like people were going to judge me."
She continued, visibly tearing up as she spoke. "I have to constantly be aware of my surroundings, I have to constantly be aware of the way that I act and that I talk. People don't understand what a burden that is to bear on a day-to-day basis to be around people all the time that do not look like you. It's a burden and that's why I get so upset when I see stories like Rachel Dolezal because if she gets that burden and it gets too much for her to bear, she can take her wig off and stop tanning and she can go back to a normal life, and I don't have that luxury."
Speaking more specifically about the man who killed nine people at a Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Parker pointed out there there is already a support group for him on Facebook. The Access Hollywood group discussed how some media outlets are saying this massacre was about religion and not race.
"Or you have someone that says, 'Well this is just a really crazy person and this is an isolated incident and let's forget about this,'" says Parker. "But the problem with doing that is you sweep under the rug all of these issues. Saying 'This is just a crazy person' you can kind of make the situation go away."
She implored people to talk about their differences rather than just pretend they don't exist.