Today I sat down to watch Will Smith’s Red Table Talk Take Over, and I did it, because I genuinely adore Will Smith and I love him in ways that only a true fan of his can understand.
For years, no matter what the rumors, no matter what the stories, I ignored them all and enjoyed watching Will Smith entertain me through all my shit, and all the good times.
I was excited to see how this reunion of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air turned out because I know there has been a lot of drama behind the scenes.
In short Will and Janet Hubert sat down to talk out their shit, and during the Red Table Talk there was a clip of Janet telling Will some of her story.
I sat there and I thought “apologize you shit,” but then something occurred to me, the fact that he didn’t apologize on my time, before she was done sharing her story spoke volumes to me.
After that, Will is asked by a Psychologist who has joined him for the Take Over asks him how “he” feels, and I thought “who cares?” I even tweeted as much.
Will handled that situation twenty-seven years ago with the absolute disgrace of a twenty one year old with too much money and power and too little humility.
So then Will starts talking about how his dad was abusive, and how that affected the way that Will treats people, and again I think “I don’t fucking care how it makes you feel,” and then…again I sat here and I realized…yes, it fucking does.
The men who raped me were boys who were taught, literally, that their behavior was not only allowed, but it was absolutely expected.
They were trained to rape girls, to treat women like trash, they learned at the hands of abusive masters, far beyond what the average person can take, they were raised in hell.
For some of the men who raped me, day after day was a consistent and constant nightmare, and I know this in my heart, because I know what it was like to be raped by them when we were children.
Does what they went through excuse their behavior? I am not so genuinely convinced that it doesn’t. Part of me remembers men giving the orders, and boys doing the deed. Part of me remembers anger, pain, fear, anxiety, depression, sadness, isolation, loneliness, and more fear.
Part of me wants to blame the boys who became men, but part of me wants to blame the abusers who started out men, and became monsters.
Where does it stop? Whose responsible for what happened to me? Is it the boys who were trained to believe that they can do whatever they want and get away with it? Or is it the men who taught them? If it’s the men who taught them, well then who taught those men?
This is why blame doesn’t fucking matter. I could go back through the centuries to the far reaches of the universe and to try and discover what moment in history had to happen so that I could end up being the Loud Mouth Brown Girl who got raped a lot, but it’s not going to change a fucking thing.
I am still going to be the Loud Mouth Brown Girl who got raped a lot, knowing exactly what miniscule thing in history had to happen so that I can know exactly why it had to be “me” isn’t going to change jack shit.
So I accept that it happened, and I even accept that I fucking hate that it happened, but I am not interested in claiming revenge or holding onto anger anymore.
I think like Janet Hubert I came to a place of understanding that bad shit happens, but unlike her I have to accept that I am never going to have that “come to Jesus, sit down and talk it out” scenarios.
I can’t say that I have “forgiven” them yet, but I am working on it, because even though I know that I don’t have to, choosing not to forgive them means choosing to hate them and that just takes too much effort.
We were all victims of child pedophiles, all of us were raised to play our parts, and we did that perfectly the last time that I was gang raped. Everyone did what they were supposed to, the males raped, and the female got raped.
But I am not choosing to let myself fall back into old patterns anymore, I am not choosing to let those men hold me back from doing all the things that “I” want to do, because I am afraid they’ll come back and kill me.
The very thought that they still exist causes me stress, pain, and anxiety that I cannot press into words just now.
What I went through and what Janet Hubert went through are not the same things, but both situations destroyed our lives and forced us to climb out of the ashes as something or someone brand new.
She chose to stand up to her bully and to tell him that his behavior was not okay, and I guess that is what I am doing with this blog.
On Twitter I said that the reason Will behaved he did had nothing to do with his father, and 100% to do with entitlement, and I stand by that. The fact that he used humor as a way to survive, does not change the fact that he used anger to destroy the life of another actor, because he could and did, get away with it.
He paid no consequences for the things that he said about Janet Hubert, he suffered no issues to his ability to work or collect pay because of the things that he said about her.
She on the other hand was and continues to be bullied, harassed, and abused because people who weren’t there and who will never meet these two people, all have something to say about what happened.
I understand that because the men who raped me will never face consequences for their actions. I carry the burden of being their victim and everything that comes with it. I am the one that has to suffer nighttime nightmares and daily anxiety.
I am the one that worries every single day that someone is going to take my life out of revenge for speaking up about what happened.
They got away with more than twenty-five years of rape. And I know, now, for a fact, that it wasn’t just me. There were other women who haven’t come forward, who probably will never come forward.
There were other girls who were abused in just as many twisted and fucked up ways as I, because there is never just one victim. There are others out there, who didn’t get a fair shot. There are others out there who have been raped and abused in groups, because someone sometime ten thousand years ago did an evil thing that got passed down through the generations.
There are always consequences, just because you’re not the one to pay them doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
Remember that next time as your dreams come true while you’re stomping on someone else’s.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall