“I’m an American”

Photo Credit: Raven-Symmone’s Twitter

Beloved child star Raven-Symoné is best known for her role as Olivia in The Cosby Show and later starring in her own show That’s So Raven on The Disney Channel. Raven recently made headlines after she appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s Where Are They Now? In the interview, Raven stated that she was in a happy relationship with another woman, but did not want to be labeled as homosexual or bisexual.

“I don’t want to be labeled gay. I want to be labeled a human who loves humans. I’m tired of being labeled,” said Raven.

Raven goes on to say that she is American not African-American.

“I don’t know where my roots go to. I don’t know how far and I don’t know what country in Africa I’m from,” said Raven. “But I do know my roots are in Louisiana. I’m an American.”

She attempts to justify the statement by saying that she connects with all cultures such as Caucasian, Asian, Indian and black.  Winfrey even warned that Twitter would be on fire once the interview aired and she was right.

Just like Winfrey predicted black Twitter was sent into overdrive. Many tweets contained something to the effect of: “Raven’s not black she’s just played black all of her life.” 

Raven finally responded to the backlash stating, “I never said I wasn’t black…I want to make that very clear.  I said I am not African-American.  I never expected my personal beliefs and comments to spark such emotion in people.  I think it is only positive when we can openly discuss race and being labeled in America.”

Raven’s statement was taken out of context. She did not technically say that she was not black; she said she was not African-American. Everyone has the freedom to express their opinion, and she did not deserve as much hatred and criticism as she got. There are plenty of other celebrities and people of power who have made comments.

Many people on social media are making light of Raven’s comments. A few days after the interview aired, Instagram users saw memes of Raven’s statement in different situations. The one I saw stated: “Dear Sallie Mae, I am not a student, I am just a person who studies.”

Being completely honest about what she said does not deserve as much attention as it has gotten.

In the grand scheme of things, are we not all American? No matter what our skin color, religion, sexual orientation or gender, we all have the same dream of being successful, happy, accepted and loved. Raven-Symoné is living that dream.



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