Saturday, September 12, 2009
We're Not Ready to Make Nice
OK so granted the fact that Chris Brown battered his girlfriend Rihanna is not exactly breaking news at this point, so why bring it up? Well, besides the fact that its not "new" news, its on-going news with constant new developments. One being his sentencing (Brown received 5 year probation, 1400 hours of community service, and a 50 yard restraining order, which is reduced to 10 yrds if they need to attend the Grammys at the same time). The other being Chris' carefully planned road back to his success. With a new album release just on the horizon, Chris has already issued a public apology (more than 5 months after the incident), has shown his pathetic "I'm so sorry" face in court, and has even posted images of himself in a youthful fantasy room painted up in a comic book decor with a child's skateboard and bike (all that was missing was the training wheels before we puked at this failed attempt to capture his childlike innocence).
Now, our concern is that he might actually succeed in burying this tragic incident and go on to make millions of dollars on this new album and continue living his life as if nothing had happened. Personally, I don't quite feel he's ready for a comeback, I think he needs to spend a little time crawling on his belly before he gets back on his feet, to know and understand true shame. However, I lack faith in the American people, or more specifically, his unfailing fan base, which consists of mainly ignorant teenage girls whose mothers haven't taught them better, countless young men who don't care which woman he hit because he's still rich and they still want to be him, and the numerous celebrities who came to his defense when he bludgeoned his girlfriend in his car.
America yearns to forgive its celebrities. After all, they seem like good people, right? What with all those charities they write checks to, and that one song or film they made that really spoke to you. We forgave Bill Clinton for getting that lecherous trouser-friendly kiss from intern Monica Lewinsky, we apparently forgave Mel Gibson after his infamous "blame the jews" drunken rant (we must've, the man made over $300 million on Apocalypto, which came out shortly thereafter), and we'll forgive this woman beating bastard too. Many forgave him before we knew what happened. Most celebrities pulled out the "he's young" excuse, insinuating that the 19 year old singer didn't know any better. My 5 year old nephew knows better, how old do you have to be to grasp the concept of "no hitting"? Others tried the "he made a mistake" route, rapper T.I. explaining that we're "all human, all make mistakes, so what right do we have to judge?" Granted we are in fact, human, and make mistakes, but when was the last time any of us made the mistake of beating our girlfriends to hell? I'm sure Charles Manson simply "made a mistake" in ordering his followers to slaughter 6 innocent people. He's human too!
Fact: domestic abusers don't simply make sudden mistakes, and you can bet your ass this wasn't the first "mistake" Brown made, it was simply the first time he got caught. Court documents cited an incident a few months prior to the beating where he got into an argument with Rihanna and threw her into a wall. Domestic abusers do not suddenly explode without warning or any signs. They cannot become successful abusers this way. Abusers must build their way up to beat downs, this is how they slowly break their partners down in order to keep and control them in the relationship. They begin with smaller, manipulative psychological blows. Perhaps they're a little controlling, or possessive, maybe they get jealous easily. Slowly they begin to isolate their partners from their friends and family. Then there might be short bursts of anger, and then small physical incidents; perhaps a light push or a grabbing of the arm. The next stage is probably light blows, harder pushes, a slap across the face, and then finally a graduation to straight up beat downs. By then the abused partner has been so worn down mentally they've come to believe they don't deserve anything better and will never get it anyways, so they stay right where they are.
Unfortunately, such was the case for Rihanna. Shortly after the incident, she was reported to be secretly meeting up with Brown again in various locations, one being P. Diddy's house. He claimed he was "doing the couple a favor" by opening his home to them where they can rejoin and possibly reconcile (Brown was photographed jet-skiing at the Miami mansion, above, appropriately flexing his muscles for the paparazzi). Diddy added he was "being a friend" to the pair. What a great friend, reuniting a woman beater and his girl for a hopeful future of more bruises and perhaps broken bones. As their reunification became more public, Rihanna withdrew from the singer, and consequently, after the restraining order was placed, she claimed she "never asked for" the order. Thank God the courts are in place to protect this woman from herself. Such willingness to continue this horrific charade and return to her abuser without hesitation only indicates exactly how long this abuse has gone on and how much time Brown really had to convince her to stay, no matter what.
Chris continues his campaign, claiming he's ready for counseling, prepared to take responsibility by cleaning up trash on the highway, and even enlisting his mother to speak out for him. Mama Brown, who ironically was also a victim of domestic abuse by Chris' father (transgenerational cycles at best?) claimed her son had never shown any signs of violence before, that he was her "little angel". She obviously didn't know about the incident three weeks before the famed dispute when her little angel got into an argument with Rihanna in a rented car, stepped out of the car, and smashed the windows with his fist.
We need to ensure that, for once in America, the bad guys don't finish first. There is no reason for this "child"'s career to continue at this point and time, and what with all those hard labor community service hours, I sincerely doubt he'll have the time to promote or tour for the album anyways. Domestic violence is no joke, and forgiveness doesn't come after a far too late apology and a little graffiti washing. You need to learn, my little friend, and methinks the best way to learn this lesson is to lose everything, if only temporarily. America, don't support domestic violence and don't support the bastards who commit it. When you walk by Brown's new album in the store, keep walking. When you spot his video or an interview on TV, change the channel. No matter the circumstances, no matter the excuses, he beat a woman, and beat her badly.
Besides, he's "so sorry" for what he's done, he spent time reflecting on his mistakes at the local club the night of his sentencing. Yeah, he's remorseful.