Last month, Ebony magazine published a pair of articles on the topic “Should We Forgive Chris Brown?”, with a male writer writing a “yes” article, and woman writer writing a “no” article. Well, I say NO, and here’s why:
First, let me say that I do believe in rehabilitation. He is a young guy, he was 19 when this happened. Not saying that excuses him, but it makes me think that there’s still time for him to get help, and become a better man, and learn to control himself. So it’s not a case of me just writing him off already, and saying he should spend the rest of his life as a societal pariah, and never be able to earn a living as an entertainer again.
But the key here is, he has to want to get better. And show true genuine remorse for his actions. Obviously, I don’t know the man, or what’s really in his heart, but just judging by his public persona, I’m not seeing the reaction from him that would make me think he really accepts the gravity of his actions.
Two particular incidents stand out to me. First, soon after his plea bargain went through, he gave an interview on Larry King Live. He was asked about Oprah Winfrey, who had done a show about the incident, and warned Rhianna not to take him back. And Brown’s response was to say:
“I commend Oprah on being like, ‘This is a problem,’ but it was a slap in my face. I did a lot of stuff for her, like going to Africa and performing for her school. She could’ve been more helpful, like, ‘Okay, I’m going to help both of these people out.’“
Bloody Hell?!? He’s complaining that Oprah didn’t reach out to him, too? Hey, you’re the bad guy here! You don’t get to dictate how people should react to you after you do something horrible!
And look at the choice of words he used. A slap in my face. That’s better than the very real slap in the face you gave to Rhianna, jackass. This would be like Mel Gibson complaining that Danny Glover hasn’t come out to defend him, after Gibson got caught using the N-word on the phone. No one has an obligation to stick up for you, Chris.
Also look at the way he characterized the situation, where he says Oprah should have tried to help both of these people, as if he’s saying that somehow he and Rhianna were equally to blame for what happened.
Now, I will agree that Rhianna also needs help. Considering the severity of the beating, I think it is highly unlikely that it was the first time that Chris ever hit her. So just like he needs help in order to stop being abusive, she needs help so that she won’t get involved with, and stay with, an abusive man in the future. But that doesn’t mean that he should get the same level of compassion that she does.
And, in any case, he’s supposed to begging the public for forgiveness, and apologizing. Not complaining about Oprah. And the fact that his mother was sitting right there next to him, makes it worse, in my opinion. Really, she’s co-signing that shit?
Then, later on the year, he releases a new album, and then he rants on twitter about stores allegedly not stocking it (the typos are all his):
“the didnt even have my album in the back… not on shelves, saw for myself im tired of this s—. major stores r blackballing my cd. not stockin the shelves and lying to costumers. what the f— do i gotta do. im not biting my tongue about sh- else… the industry can kiss my ass. WTF… yeah i said it and i aint retracting s-“.
There’s so much wrong with this, I don’t even know where to begin. Look at the one comment “what the f- do i gotta do” This just doesn’t sound to me like he really accepts responsibility for his actions. He’s acting like “Hey, I said I was sorry. Can’t we just forget about everything now?”
He should be grateful that his label didn’t drop him, and that anyone is still playing his records. Instead of whining like a spoiled little brat, he should be thanking his lucky stars that he even still has a chance at a career.
Keep in mind, this little thug didn’t even get any jail time. Just community service. He got off easy! He shouldn’t have anything to complain about!
And why the frak did he even release a new album so soon anyway? If I were his manager, I would have had him take at least a year off. Stay out of the public eye, except maybe to do some charity work. Maybe have him enroll in college to get some kind of degree, while he’s on hiatus. Slowly try to rebuild his image in the public eye. But, nope, he just went right back to being a regular celebrity again.
And that’s my real problem here. He’s not even pretending to be acting remorseful. At least fake some sincerity. Be humble. Instead, he’s making new music, recording videos, making movies, and chillin’ with other celebrities, without a care in the world.
It’s all good!
So that’s why I don’t forgive him.
The thing is, I was never a fan of his to begin with, never bought any of his music before, so it’s not like I can really “boycott” him now. So, ultimately, my opinion is completely irrelevant to his life. And, y’know, I hope I am just misreading this. I hope that deep down, inside, he really feels sorry and has gotten some help for his problems. Because I don’t want him to do this to someone else in the future. Because next time someone could end up dead.