In 2009 Chris Brown slammed Rihanna’s head into a car door, causing a one-inch contusion. Then he punched her in the right eye. He continued to punch her in the right face while driving his car. He yelled at her that he was going to beat the sh*t out of her when they got home. Then he said he’d kill her while continuing to punch her. Then he bit Rihanna on her left ear. When Rihanna was able to hide the keys to the car, Chris Brown continued punching her in the head and mouth. Then he put her in a headlock, blocking the oxygen to her brain, causing her to lose consciousness. Rihanna suffered contusions and was bleeding from the mouth.
I’ve been told that I’m supposed to forgive Chris Brown for something that happened six years ago. That is, however, the Christian thing to do. But I watched Chris Brown get pass after pass, while acting like a spoiled brat. As if the assault on Rihanna was something that happened to him. I watched him complain about “haters” and record labels not pushing his albums. I watched him cry on BET and pop lock his way into forgiveness without any repercussions. He’d dress up like Bin Laden. He’d threaten more women. He’d verbally abuse women. It just wouldn’t stop.
I do believe that people can change and redemption is possible. But Chris Brown has shown zero growth or propensity to become a better person since 2009. I even spent some time finding it in my heart to forgive Brown after he went to jail. I’d hoped that rehabilitation was part of the process and I was happy to see that he was finally owning up to some of the horrible things he’d done. And for a little while, Chris Brown seemed like a changed man. I was actually rooting for him.
But that didn’t last.
Chris Brown may not be punching women and sending them to the hospital anymore but he’s still an abuser. He’s a bully and someone who attacks women on the regular. This week was just a continuation of these actions. Brown, for reasons not totally clear to most of us, attacked Kehlani – the singer who allegedly attempted suicide after her relationship issues went viral.
He’s slighting a woman’s physical and emotional pain because that’s what abusers do. Since leaving jail, he’s publicly blasted his ex Karrueche, sending his army of mindless fans to bully her on Twitter, too. He’s continued to treat Rihanna like property, firing shots at a number of men she is seen out in public with. Chris Brown abuses women. This is a fact. He’s not shown any ability to mature since beating up Rihanna.
I don’t say these things to condemn the singer. I say these things because Chris Brown has a daughter, and the sooner he’s able to reconcile with the fact he is abusive to women, the easier it will be for him to find a way to get better. To stop doing the despicable things he continues to do. And ultimately to become the best man he can be for his daughter. I honestly have no clue how Brown and his daughter interact in private and I have no qualifications to speak on him as a parent. That’s not my intention. He might treat her great. He might be a nurturing, loving providing dad. But there’s misogyny and abuse in his actions that a child just simply can’t be exposed to.
The problem with Chris Brown is that he’s constantly vetted by an army of fans who will ride for him no matter what. They will ask what Rihanna did to deserve getting hit. They’ll hop into Karrueche’s comments and mentions whenever their crooning messiah directs them there. Whenever there’s a chance for women of color to be abused, there will always be a posse of idiots who will add to the assault. These foot soldiers have only continued to embolden Chris Brown to feel like he can continue to be abusive without fault.
I’ve heard the defenders: Chris Brown has apologized multiple times. He’s been to jail. He’s sang his ballads and lullabies about forgiveness. I don’t care. He’s still acting like an abuser. And it’s time to face that fact, no matter how many dope hooks he sings.
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