Chris Brown is not a nice guy. He's not a good guy. And he doesn't deserve a break, no matter what Kanye West, Terrrence Howard, or Akon say. Nor does he deserve anyone's money Sunday when he performs at Revolution.
Anyone remember how he beat the crap out of Rihanna earlier this year? Held her in a headlock until she had trouble breathing? He should be behind bars, not on tour. Fan appreciation tour? Give me a break, how can anyone appreciate this guy? Oh right, rampant misogyny gets in the way of seeing things clearly. What's just as disturbing as people simply ignoring abuse is the rate of sympathy for Brown and vitriol for Rihanna. Comments on blogs, YouTube, wherever, vary from "it's both parties fault" to "she had it coming" to people claiming the photo showing her bruised face was "Photoshopped." (Nevermind that she didn't want the photo released, and that two police officers were suspended because of the leak. She must have somehow conspired with others to make her beating look, well, like the "type of beating" that deserves punishment. Because I guess not all abuse is deserving.)
Furthermore, for a short while, T-shirts with "Rihanna deserved it" appeared on the internet, and false rumors caught on simply, it seems, to exonerate Brown, accusing her of having an affair with Jay-Z and giving Brown herpes. Celeb magazines were culpable by asking what made Brown crack (thus absolving some of his responsibility and placing it on Rihanna. The message: Ladies, you need to watch what you say to avoid a beat down.) According to the Guardian, a survey of 200 Boston youths aged 12 to 19 found that 52 percent said both were to blame, 51 percent said Brown was responsible, and 46 percent said Rihanna was at fault. While 200 kids is hardly a thorough survey of American youth, it is still horrifying.
Chris Brown should be in prison and a has-been. It's too early to say if he and his career will make it through the tour. Reports show that ticket sales aren't great. But history shows us that male celebrities usually make it through. We don't really care how they treat women. And so we continue to fail to take assault against women seriously. So here's a few statistics to ponder while you decide whether to go to the show:
According to the American Bar Association:
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Nearly 25 percent of women and 7.6 percent of men were raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, or dating partner/acquaintance at some time in their lifetime.
Intimate partner violence made up 20 percent of all nonfatal violent crime experienced by women in 2001.
In 2000, 1,247 women were killed by an intimate partner, and intimate partner killings make up 33 percent of female murder victims. The numbers are 440 and 4 percent for men.
The number one killer of African-American women ages 15 to 34 is homicide at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.