The Criminalization of Chris Brown

 

Image obtained from Trey Songz’s Instagram

In October of 2005, I turned 16-years-old. The second album I played in my car when I got my license was Chris Brown’s self titled debut album, Chris Brown (the first album I played was Pretty Ricky’s Blue Stars Album lol). When Chris Brown came out earlier in 2005, he was everything. We were the same age so it was easy to relate to him. It was easy for young girls to swoon over him. He could sing, dance, and he was easy looking on the eye. Okay? FINE. AS. HELL. Like any young girl at that time, Chris Brown was one of my celebrity crushes. Still is to this day.

In 2009, reports came out that he had turned himself into the police for a domestic violence situation with Queen Rihanna (I love Rihanna like…sooo obsessed with her). I thought the news was lying. How could America’s Chris Brown be in jail for hitting a woman? Then the photos came out. I was horrified. And I can admit, I was still in denial. I was in denial because when the reports came out about him, I was in my own domestic situation with the guy I was dating at the time. It was crazy that the celebrity that I admired but didn’t even know committed a crime that my boyfriend at the time was doing to me. I then turned angry and wanted to “do away” with Chris Brown like the rest of the country was doing.

After probation, community service, rehab, and anger management, 9 years later, Chris Brown is still one of the most hated celebrities in this country. I decided to write this post after I saw a post that shorty who sings the “Making my way downtown” song from the movie White Chicks, comment about Chris Brown paying homage to her song on his instagram. Chris posted a clip of her video on his page and she made a post saying the following, Today Chris Brown posted my video. I am now being repeatedly tagged to his account. Being that today is International Women’s Day I feel compelled to draw a line. I support survivors not perpetrators of domestic violence. I do not want to be associated with an artist that has assaulted women on a day like today”. Oh, The Shaderoom says her name is Vanessa Carlton.

I sat with this for a while. I read her words multiple times. I saw where she was coming from. As a survivor of domestic violence, I really saw where she was coming from. But I also, am still a Chris Brown fan.  And Vanessa was REACHING with this one. I still love Chris’ music. I’ve seen him in concert about three times and even as a grown woman, I still swoon over him. In my opinion, we criminalize each other too much. We often forget that as humans, we are prone to making mistakes. We get to fuck up sometimes and as long as we pay out debt to society, we genuinely apologize for what we’ve done, we should be able to go about our lives. Sure, Chris Brown has said and done some questionable things even after the domestic situation but WHO hasn’t? We’ve all done things in our lives that are deemed as messed up that others may not know about. I know I have. So, if someone has tried to reconcile the wrong they’ve caused someone, who are we to be their judge? Now, if people have no remorse for what they’ve done, that’s a different story.

Do I forgive my ex-boyfriend for the harm he caused me? I think a part of me does. I do still think he’s a disgusting person but he is no longer in my life and it is no longer up to me to be the judge of him. I chose to no longer associate myself with that person. I do think it’s funny how we pick and choose who to publicly denounce in the face of public opinion but I am curious to know if Vanessa would have that same energy if Mel Gibson would have shared her song on her page. Mel Gibson is well known actor who has been suspected of racism and alleged domestic violence.

At the end of the day, Chris Brown isn’t perfect. Neither are you. Neither am I. Neither is Beyonce (even though she actually is). Stop judging someone else’s sins before you look in the mirror and look at the things you’ve done in your life. Yes, some actions are unforgivable, but we do not know the relationship Chris has now with Rihanna and we never will. People like Dylan Roof are the ones we need to actually be worried about. Those types of people are ones who do not care about the harm they cause people.  I honestly believe Chris feels remorse about everything that happened. I watched his Welcome to my Life documentary on Netflix and had a different perspective. I think it would be a different story if he was a serial abuser…but…

But what do I know? Everyone named in this article makes wayyyy more money than me and it’s actually none of my business, I guess, so I digress. What I am trying to say is, check yourself. You definitely aren’t perfect.

❤ Queen T

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