Monday, February 9, 2009

The Problem With Guys Like Chris Brown.

I'm sure ya'll already heard about the alleged Chris Brown/Rihanna assault. I don't do gossip/celebrity stuff here, but I couldn't help but say something about this.

Be forewarned! This post contains some subject matter that is likely to piss folks off. If you're not up to this sorta thing right now, bookmark this post and come back after lunch. Don't say I didn't tell you so.
The only Grammy Awards anxiety Chris Brown was supposed to feel was over whether he'd win one. Instead, the R&B singer remains mired in suspicion over an allegation of domestic violence.

Following Brown's arrest late Sunday night on suspicion of making a criminal threat and subsequent release, plenty of questions remained: Was there a physical attack, and if so, against whom was it committed?

Los Angeles Police Sgt. Bridget Pickett said authorities continued to investigate what took place early Sunday in the ritzy Hancock Park neighborhood shortly after Brown and longtime girlfriend, pop superstar Rihanna, were seen happily sitting together at the annual pre-Grammy party hosted by Clive Davis.

Officers received a 911 call about an incident in which a woman accused Brown of hurting her. Authorities have not identified who that woman was, citing confidentiality for victims of domestic abuse.

The 19-year-old Brown, who had left the scene before authorities arrived, turned himself in to police while the Grammy Awards were going on Sunday without him — and also without Rihanna, who, like Brown, canceled her scheduled appearance.

Brown was released after posting $50,000 bail. Pickett described the singer as "professional" during processing.
It is entirely possible that Chris Brown may be completely innocent. A court of law will make that determination. Whether or not the victim is Rihanna is irrelevant. The crux of the matter is that Brown is alleged to have punched a woman in the face.

If this proves to be true[1], in my opinion, Brown's career should be over. There is no lower form of human being than a man (even a teenager) who puts his hand on women out of anger. Period.

But part of me worries that even though Chris may have committed the worst of acts on a woman, his career will in fact not be over. Why? Because there's more than enough examples of guys who have done or said some pretty stupid sh*t to or about black women who've lived to cash another royalty check.

cRapper Yung Berg made one of the alltime dumbest statements when he told a radio station that he "doesn't do dark butts". I expected this marginally talented a-hole's career to be over. It wasn't, in fact, it has only flourished since. If Berg could stop wrecking mopeds and getting beat up by no-name rappers, he'd probably be triple platinum by now.

Ne-Yo made a snide comment about "all the prettiest kids are light-skinned". Nobody even batted an eye.

I would rehash the Robert Kelly situation, but who has the stomach for that?

The one thing all these jerks have in common is that they all make music that caters primarily to black women. I don't know any dude who copped that latest Chris Brown. I know even fewer who can listen to Yung Berg without wanting to gouge their eyes out. It's relatively fair to say that without the support (via album sales and concerts) of black women, all these d-bags would be working at Sizzler by now. But they aren't, they're all more or less at the apex of their careers. And I wonder what exactly that says about Black women and their tolerance for BS.

I don't want any ladies to take this to wrong way: I am emphatically not blaming you for these guys' success, so save the flames. I know that there are A&R's, programming directors, CEO's, and lots of other men who are responsible for keeping these entertainers gainfully employed because their own livelihoods depend on it. These men are paid to craft an artist's image, and if necessary, rebuild it after such a controversy, all in the name of iTunes. Music is, and always will be, a male-dominated industry.

But lets face it, if Black women decided tomorrow that they wanted these ass clowns done it would be over. If ya'll flooded the switchboards at your local radio station and told them not to play another Chris Brown song until he's cleared of these charges, they'd have no choice. Don't request another of his songs, and tell your tweenage niece you'll kick her little a$$ if she does. And needless to say, don't buy the music. Hit these idiots where it hurts: their wallets.

If we (yes, men and women) taught our young girls to value themselves, despite Yung Berg and Ne-Yo's skewed definitions of beauty, both of those idiots would be filling out UPS applications tomorrow. And when R. Kelly returns from his PR-mandated "soul searching mission", please don't fall for the okey doke when he comes out with the next "Ignition" remix. Let that sad soul die a lonely career death for the atrocity he committed on those young girls.

I know some of you are saying, "Hey, what about Black men? Why don't they stand up and voice their disgust at these acts?" Well, we do. Repeatedly, publicly, and quite vocally. This isn't new. Calvin Butts anyone? The problem is, if the party meant to be offended doesn't voice a loud enough displeasure, the offending party gets the feeling that nobody cared. Imagine if only Northern whites voiced their disgust at Jim Crow laws, while black folks just bowed their heads and just kept-on staying oppressed? We might still be drinking from colored-only fountains.

Yes, everyone should be offended and moved to action. But the message is so much louder when it comes from women themselves. Don't believe me? Look at what happened to Nelly. Had those courageous young ladies at Spelman not come out very publicly (and consistently) against Mr. Cornell Haynes, he might still be swiping debit cards down some chick's derriere.

Sistas, will you stand up and make your voices heard, or are Chris Brown's cute dimples and sessay dance moves too much to get you all that upset?

If Brown did indeed punch any girl in the face, he is a worthless piece of sh*t and doesn't deserve your support or patronage. And I sure as hell hope he doesn't get it.

Question: Am I going overboard and veering into male-sexist pig territory (yet again), or do Black women need to be more vocal in their disgust about such acts? Is it even possible for a guy like Chris Brown to recover from this, should it prove to be true? Why are some black male artists given 7th and 8th chances for some of the dumb sh*t they do and say?

Chris Brown awaits charges; victim not identified [AP]

[1] And if it proves not to be true, I will use this very same forum to proclaim his innocence.

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