Chris Brown Is Disgusting
Another week, another headline - and again I am reminded how much I loathe and despise Chris Brown. This week, the story is that he is two-timing Rihanna, dating another woman publicly while also reconciling romantically with her. Oh, and that he dressed up as a member of the Taliban for Halloween. Classy. The headlines make my blood boil. Why are we talking about him as if he is not a monster? Why are radio stations playing his music? Why is he being invited to perform at award shows? Do not be fooled. Chris Brown is a sad, sorry man with a history of violence and absolutely nothing positive to bring to the table.
We all recall the brutalization committed by Chris Brown in February 2009. The horror of learning that beloved pop sensation Rihanna, Brown's then-girlfriend, had been beaten beyond recognition was truly shocking. The pictures of Rihanna’s bruised face were so horrific, people initially did not believe it could possibly be her. When the truth came out and Brown turned himself to police admitting his crimes, pop culture fans held their breath and took a moment of silence for the atrocious act. We waited to see what would come next.
Brown's confession to battery caused a very momentary setback in his professional success and career. He dropped off the radar and went quiet for a matter of…weeks. When he re-emerged, there was a YouTube video apology. A short one. In his video, he apologized and said his actions were unacceptable. He asked for forgiveness of his fans. That's about it. There was no call for domestic violence awareness, no effort to send a message that what he did was reprehensible and should never be repeated. After some time, it was as if the general public had moved beyond the incident and began regarding him as a legitimate musician.
In March 2011 Brown made headlines again for trashing a dressing room, breaking a window, ripping his shirt off and storming onto the 40 degree (Fahrenheit) streets of New York City after being asked a question about Rihanna on "Good Morning America". He later apologized for his outburst, saying he felt "thrown off" by the line of questioning. That seemed odd, considering he brutally assaulted her and was charged with the crime. Really? Don't you think he should probably have to address questions about his behavior going forward? Yes, he should.
In August 2012, Rihanna granted an exclusive interview to Oprah Winfrey, in which she spoke candidly and emotionally about her experience with Brown and what she has learned. Through sobs, she said that Brown needed help back then. With time, she said she had grown to forgive him and move beyond that horrible moment in time.
I am glad she has found solace. Personally, I think she should stay 500 yards from Brown at all times, but that is up to her.
Unfortunately for Brown, I have not moved beyond the incidents. In fact, every time his name is mentioned, I feel more angry that his behavior has not been held up to a higher level of social responsibility. If he wants to be back in the spotlight, he should act like a real man and speak out about the devastating effects of domestic violence.
In September 2012 Brown made headlines for a new piece of artwork tattooed on his neck. The image of a woman, who he claimed was a MAC makeup model, looked strikingly like a battered Rihanna, as readers were quick to point out. At times it is almost as if the assault situation is funny to him. Does he not take the situation seriously? What the hell is wrong with him?
Reality check. Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year. Put it another way, 1 in 4 high school girls have been victims of physical or sexual abuse.
Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence -- almost triple the national average. Rihanna was one of those young women. She is 24 years old now. She was 21 when the assault happened. Brown was only 19 at the time. We must not be cavalier about this reality - not everyone in Rihanna's situation survives.
Brown is not the first, nor will he be the last musician (hip-hop, rock and roll, etc.) to exert violence against a woman and get in trouble for assault. But he is the most recent, the most visible, and I'm sorry to say, the most celebrated.
I do not accept society and our generation's willingness to sweep Brown's actions under the rug.
Brown has never come out in opposition of dating violence. He has never publicly acknowledged that he has a problem with anger and taken steps to seek help. He has never stepped up and taken responsibility as a public figure with millions of teenage fans. He has failed to be the role model that like it or not, he is seen as by young people. Instead he has flashed a cocky grin, seemingly hoping that a new top 40 song will make us all forget.
With every passing month, I am reminded of my hatred for Chris Brown, as he commits disgusting acts and earns (largely neutral to positive) press coverage.
Recent entertainment reports suggest Brown and Rihanna have been seen canoodling at clubs together, as if somehow that means we should accept him. That Rihanna accepting him back into her life somehow makes the whole fucked up situation OK once again. Well guess what, it doesn't.
Brown needs to grow up and respect women. He needs to acknowledge his history of destructive behavior and take responsibility for the fact that he is a role model to other young men. He needs to step up and earn the public's respect. Until then, I'll keep changing the channel when his music comes on. His latest song is entitled "Don't Wake Me Up". It's an ironic title considering that's exactly what I think he needs to do - wake the fuck up.
If you hear the song on the radio, call the station and tell them you can't support a station that promotes Brown's music. Enough calls and they will listen. More importantly, don't buy his music. He does not deserve your support.
I love hip hop and pop, but until he shows any shred of decency I'll continue damning his name as the bastard he is.
Resources for Victims of Dating Violence:
The stats above are provided by LoveIsRespect.org, a leading organization focused on preventing dating abuse. LoveIsRespect.org recently partnered with Mary Kay to make the nation’s first and only dating abuse text message hotline available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By simply texting “loveis” to 77054, teens and young adults will be connected safely and anonymously to trained peer advocates who provide support, safety tips and referrals.