Raven-Symoné Tries To Clear Up Her Comments To Critics

Niki Cruz

After receiving backlash from critics, Raven-Symoné is trying to clarify her comments she made to Oprah that she doesn't want to be called an African-American. In a special, which aired only a few days ago, the child star told Oprah that she doesn't want to be known as an African-American, instead she wants to be known as just an American.

Well, now she's clearing her comments up after being widely criticized for her views. In an interview with TheGrio, Raven said of her original comments.

"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."

For those who aren't aware, Raven-Symoné was on Oprah's show Where Are They Now? and was asked about her sexual orientation because of a tweet she made. While she did admit to being in a relationship with a woman, she told Oprah she didn't want to be labeled as gay.

The subject of race came up as she explained her reason behind not wanting to be known as gay.

"I'm tired of being labeled. I'm an American. I'm not an African-American, I'm an American."

Her response befuddled Oprah and she told the outspoken actress her comments would spark a twitter firestorm. "What did you just say? Stop, stop, stop." Oprah joked, but she was right. Even so, Raven continued.

"I'm an American, and that's a colorless person. Because we're all people; I have lots of things running through my veins. I have darker skin. I have a nice, interesting grade of hair. I connect with Caucasian, I connect with Asian, I connect with black, I connect with Indian. I connect with each culture."

Raven's comments started a conversation about race and what it means to ethnically identify oneself.

Clutch magazine stated some people's outrage is justified.

"Ms. Symoné's attempt to erase the rainbow of color that paints the picture of American history undermines the collective struggle of minority people who have never been seen as colorless."

"Historically, in America, any individual 'tainted' with at least 1/8th 'Blackness' (like Raven-Symoné) has occupied an inferior position compared to the superior Whiter man: that idea is truly American."

Some, however have defended Raven's comments. Freebeaconstates that Raven's comments does more for "racial healing." The site states the child star "articulated a message of racial healing that all members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Jesse Jackson's 'Rainbow Coalition,' and the Obama administration have been unable to achieve."

Which side of the argument are you on?

[Image via OWN]

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