Chris Brown’s name stirs up all kinds of feelings. Many are still disgusted with him for assaulting Rihanna in 2009, others feel he paid his debt to society, he was prosecuted and got 5 years probation and six months community service. Personally, I don’t feel that was a just punishment. As for the damage it did to his career at the time, that was all on him.
So when he was asked to perform at the Grammys, two times no less, it created a buzz and people had lots to say about it. Celebrities made several comments that were quoted in the media and got back to Chris Brown. Here are a few tweets from his peers:
"Chris brown…people don't forget! #chrisbrownbeatswomen" Jack Osbourne tweeted out. "If Chris Brown had worn a wife beater, the irony would eclipse the whole show #chrisbrownbeatswomen."
Michelle Branch also added to the pileup of disbelief, tweeting, "Trying not to go off on a rant but…Chris Brown…*bites tongue* have we forgiven him? #Grammys."
Seemingly answering that very question, at least for himself, was Ethan Suplee.
"Why wasn't Chris Brown fired from 'music' (public dancing) when he beat up that girl?...Dear 'thugs' and 'gangstas' of the hip-hop industry, how is it that none of you 'handled' Chris Brown? #thuglife #prisonrules #getsome."
Of course, sometimes the best response is the simplest, which was supplied in this case by Wil Wheaton. "Everyone who apparently forgot what Chris Brown did to Rihanna should read the police report on exactly what he did."
Miranda Lambert: "Strange. And Chris Brown twice? I don't get it. He beat on a girl…
Fellow small-screen big name Sherri Shepherd also offered up her point of view: "Looks like all is forgiven w Chris Brown. That's all I'll say."
That was just a sample of the criticism. It’s upsetting. Brown didn’t care for it and tweeted back the above response, which he later deleted when his publicist thought it would look bad if he acted cocky about what he did. Apparently no one has forgotten the 2009 assault or Rihanna’s pictures. The incident happened because Rihanna found a three page text on Chris Brown’s phone from his ex girlfriend which started an argument. He tried to push her out of his car, but couldn’t because she was wearing a seat belt. Here is the beginning of the police report and the link will provide the rest of the beating.
“When he could not force her to exit, he took his right hand and shoved her head against he passenger window of the vehicle, causing an approximate one-inch raised circular contusion.
"Robyn F. turned to face Brown and he punched her in the left eye with his right hand. He then drove away in the vehicle and continued to punch her in the face with his right hand while steering the vehicle with his left hand. The assault caused Robyn F.'s mouth to fill with blood and blood to splatter all over her clothing and the interior of the vehicle.
"Brown looked at Robyn F. and stated, 'I'm going to beat the sh-- out of you when we get home! You wait and see!' " To read more details: Police Report
Of course, I am not happy he was so readily welcomed back to the Grammys. He hasn’t even finished his probation. To him it’s like it never happened. He went on with his business. But does anyone know the scars it left on Rihanna? How will this assault affect her future relationships, how she feels about herself, or men in general? Will she have trust issues? Physical wounds heal, but emotional and mental scars not so much. She says “she has put it behind her, it was taking up too much of her time, it was too much anger.” Does that equal forgiveness? No. She has to move on for herself and she can’t dwell on the assault and let it affect the rest of her life. If she can do that, it’s great, but it can’t be easy. Maybe she still has nightmares over it, maybe she had to seek therapy? And if she has forgiven Chris Brown, forgiveness is for oneself not necessarily for the other person’s benefit. It’s a process to help let go of the anger that consumes you.
What I found appalling was the comment made by the Executive Producer of the Grammys, Ken Ehrlich. "Ehrlich told ABC News Radio, “I think people deserve a second chance, you know. If you’ll note, he has not been on the Grammys for the past few years and it may have taken us a while to kind of get over the fact that we were the victim of what happened.” At best this was a very poor choice of words. We (the Grammys and viewers) were the victims of the assault because Chris Brown couldn't perform? I mean how does that thought even enter into someone's head. It tells me that if it weren't for how it would have reflected on Ehrlich and the Grammy's in general, he would have had him perform even sooner. As it is, people were still not happy about the decision to have him on stage this year.
The fact that he was permitted to perform twice just made things worse. Giving him a second chance, and glorifying him on the stage of one of the biggest award shows, are two different things. If he has been working on his reputation he certainly didn’t get too far based on what he tweeted. He could have ignored the haters, after all they truly had something to abhor…his violent behavior. Or he could have been prepared for the criticism and had something more fitting to say to show he had changed, but he didn’t. He paid for his crime? Maybe according to court records, when his probation is over, he will have paid his debt. However, according to the people living in our society and his own peers, they don’t feel he was punished enough, me included. This sends a bad message to other victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse. It says it’s not such a bad crime.
We really need an overhaul of our justice system. Celebrities are held to another standard and literally get away with murder. Their punishment, compared to others, is often a slap on the wrist. God forbid we put them in prison where they belong or interrupt their precious careers. Maybe they should be held to a higher standard of behavior because of their celebrity and the number of people who look up to them, especially the youth of this country? Maybe their punishment should be a little more severe, or if not more severe (because that isn’t fair) then at least equal to what the average “Joe” would get for doing the same thing!