Thursday, June 11, 2015

Re-Post from Twitter: My Thoughts on Jessicka Havok

Havok fucked up, but some criticizing her fucked up too
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Yes, this story is a little bit old now, but after some soul-searching, I feel like something needs to be posted about it, not at the behest of major Twitter fuckboys who called various writers to the carpet, probably between drags on their vapes or adjustments on their fedoras, but because this is a subject that needs addressing and should not be swept under the rug just because I happen to be a fan of the wrestler in question (full disclosure, I am a huge fan of the wrestler in question).

Jessicka Havok had some nasty tweets from three years ago resurface, tweets that according to Bryan Alvarez, WWE caught wind of right as she was in the ring for her tryout on Saturday. These tweets, which have since been deleted, were offensive to African-Americans, AIDS patients, and homosexuals among others. They were also, according to Friend of the Blog/friend of Havok/African-American LGBTQ woman @Rashantitty, an inside joke among friends, which isn't to say that they're excusable by any means. But as with any racially sensitive issue, layers upon layers upon layers are draped on the story.

Typically, the response that Havok and Shanti both received from critics ranged from fair to, in a word, completely twisted and bigoted. When the reaction to racism is misogyny (and in Shanti's case, homophobia and even more racism), then one needs to ask him-or-herself what place of moral superiority from which they're attacking. I had a lot of thoughts on the subject that I distilled into Twitter, and I have re-collated those tweets into a Storify page for a signal boost:
So yeah, to expound on bullet point number ten, the best credo anyone can live by is treating others like humans and not stereotypes or things or garbage. That goes for Havok, certainly. People can change a lot in three years. Hell, go back to the early days of TWB and see how many shitty opinions I probably used to hold. No one is immune. But she also used words and slurs freely on a public medium that have gone a long way in dehumanizing real actual people. She should face backlash. But if those people giving the backlash aren't treating her like a human being, then they also need to take a step back and think about what they're saying.

Human interaction shouldn't be about "owning" or winning arguments or punishment without rehabilitation or accord. Someone fucks up, and they should pay a price, but it should be with an ear towards being rehabbed and seeing the light. Maybe people have been less than tolerant towards offenders in the past. Maybe I've slipped on that. But the focus should never be on the past unless that person clings to said past like a security blanket.