Raven-Symoné: ‘Keep your disrespectful, mean, hurtful, words for yourself’

african kings

Raven-Symoné has a message for people that she says are bullying her online: Keep your disrespectful words to yourself.

The 28-year-old former Disney star made headlines earlier this month after telling Oprah that she’s “tired of being labeled,” and more specifically, she does not wish to be categorized as “an African-American.”

Symoné’s comments to Oprah during an episode of Where Are They Now? sparked outrage from critics on social media and the blogosphere. In an exclusive statement to theGrio.com, Symoné addressed the criticism she received immediately following her interview with Oprah and wanted to make one thing clear; she’s still “black.”

“I never said I wasn’t black … I want to make that very clear.  I said, I am not African-American,” Symoné said. “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.”

Weeks later, the That’s So Raven star says she is being bullied online because of her opinions on race and gender, prompting her to write an open letter and post it to her Facebook page.

I don’t take offense to those that are mad at my personal opinion of myself. Like before, I’m glad there are conversations happening. Our generation tends to stay comfortable, at times, with issues and topics that need to be addressed.

QUESTION: If we are taught not to repeat history by learning it. Why do we continue to repeat? We must not be learning it correctly.

What does irritate me is the bulling tone towards myself and other opinions in the blog. Keep your disrespectful, mean, hurtful, words in a diary for yourself. Personal attacking is not needed, and no matter what race, nationality, culture, or womb you came out of; strive for respect. Strive to be virtuous, so the conversation can lead to great things, other things.

Our ancestors of all races had the courage to stand up for what they believed in no matter what the fight. Back then I hope the motto wasn’t…”the more haters the better.”

We have reached a standstill in our progression as Humans. Let’s have a floor of RESPECT, KINDNESS, OPENMINDED-NESS. Showing your disagreement with my personal comments by using language you were not allowed to use as a child is just :(.

My momma reads this, and so do others. #bully

So what are your thoughts on Raven-Symoné’s response to bullying?

Follow theGrio.com’s Entertainment Editor Chris Witherspoon on Twitter @WitherspoonC.