Today’s shaping up to be a fairly frantic day – so just briefly, a mini-rant on the Chris Brown incident.
I was reading a user’s comments on my site today and felt my blood boil. This reader, however, is not the only person to have voiced this thought. The idea is wildly prevalent: Everybody deserves a second chance. We all need to move past Chris Brown’s assault of Rihanna, I mean – wow – it’s been a whole two years already. He’s done a bunch of community service. Let’s just get over it.
In case you need a visual reminder, this is what Chris Brown did to Rihanna. A whole two years ago. More after the jump… (and picture)
I understand that he must be tired of having interviewers ask him about the assault. Poor baby, imagine having to actually take responsibility for repeatedly beating your girlfriend. And yes, I can fully understand that the media tends to “milk” the story – for both sides. Rihanna’s tired of talking about it – and I can understand that, too. It’s defined her – for the rest of her life, perhaps – as a survivor of domestic abuse. But does that mean we must treat Brown as if it never happened? Screw that.
So the people saying, “Oh, leave the poor guy alone, stop carrying on about it” – you’re honestly just reinforcing what was implied by the judge who handed down his “punishment”. That it wasn’t a big deal, what he did. What did he get? Six months of community service, a restraining order and a five-year probation. The restraining order – which meant he couldn’t go near Rihanna – has now been relaxed so that he can attend functions and awards shows. Whether he’s a first-time offender or not, the judge had a chance to say “Domestic abuse is inexcusable” and slap him with a hefty jail sentence. Instead – nothing. Brown also had to attend domestic violence classes and anger management classes – and clear those have failed dismally.
The whole “Sorry, it’ll never happen again” thing kinda goes out the window when you start smashing up dressing rooms and screaming at studio staff. Why, when you’re so intent on proving that you’re a reformed sinner, do you behave like a bloody toddler and started throwing chairs into windows, ripping off your shirt like the Incredible Hulk and storming out of the studio? Hardly the best way to make your point. And reinforce that you’re unstable and quite likely to cause somebody physical harm again. So with this incident in mind, saying that we should stop bringing up the assault is basically like saying that after two years it’s okay. We forgive you. You’ve changed, you’re all better. When it’s clear that the guy has issues.
If it had happened to me, or somebody I loved – not two years, not ten, not even twenty would be enough time to forgive his actions. “Second chances” that people are insistent on giving people like Brown are the kind of second chances that get people hurt or killed – and continue to keep abused wives, husbands and children firmly stuck in a cycle of hellish abuse.
So we need to keep talking about it. We need to bring it up. Even if it shows just one victim that they don’t need to put up with their abusers shit, then that’s enough for me. And if some spoiled hip-hop star has to suffer in the process, that’s okay with me. He’s clearly nowhere near as remorseful as he’d like us to believe, in any case.
Hmm. Look at that. Not nearly as mini as initially intended. Largely unpolished, though.