Dear Rihanna: Say What You Want But We Don’t Hate Chris Brown For The Reasons You Think
In a highly anticipated interview this Sunday, Oprah interviews Rihanna for Oprah's Next Chapter on OWN. Over the past few weeks, they keep leaking out quotes about the interview that will definitely get emotional considering that Rihanna opens up about Chris Brown beating her up and the aftermath of that abuse.
However, Rihanna still sounds like she's not ready to accept that what Chris Brown did was wrong and how he handled it afterward was what made it more wrong. Call it whatever you want, and most members of Team Breezy prefer to call it a mistake, it was wrong. I think we can all agree that hitting another person is wrong.
‘Because as angry as I was – as angry and hurt and betrayed – I just felt like he made that mistake because he needed help. And who's going to help him? Nobody's going to say he needs help, everybody's going to say he's a monster, without looking at the source. And I was more concerned about him.'
And I have to blatantly disagree with Rihanna. Out of fear about sounding like we're victim blaming, we've all hesitated in criticizing what she's said about the incident. Obviously what happened is in no way her fault, nor is how she processed it her fault. That's the cycle of domestic abuse and it's a bigger issue than just two people. Even if these two people happen to be famous.
With that said, I need to clear this up because we still get frequent comments from Team Breezy daily on older articles about Chris Brown that touch on this very topic.
I think a majority of people knew that punching someone so hard that their lip splits open means that person needs help. Yes, that did make him a temporary monster, but no one stood in the way of him getting help. No one objected to him trying to make up for what he did and seeking counseling to understanding why it happened and how to prevent it from happening again.
As someone surrounded by a publicity/marketing team as well as an incredibly loyal fanbase, I can't imagine the resources to get help weren't there. As someone ordered by the court to get help, I once again can't imagine resources weren't there for him to get as much help as he needed.
Instead Chris Brown chose a path of vengeance — and not one of redemption and forgiveness. That's a choice he made in the aftermath of beating up Rihanna and that's why we hate him. As a public figure he had the responsibility to go above and beyond what the court required of him and apologize for what happened. Not only to Rihanna, but to all his fans who got the wrong idea that it's okay to hit someone when you're angry. That it's okay to make a “mistake” and sit back until people forget about it, rather than being a man, doing the right thing and making up for it in every way possible.
Because when you're a celebrity, you lose that privacy, you lose the privilege to say, “we're going to handle this privately.” Sorry, that's part of making millions of dollars a year. Millions of dollars that come from fans' pockets. I think it's a small price to pay for a few Grammys.
Making an album called “Forgiving All My Enemies “doesn't show any sorrow over what happened. It shows a man who's angry at the world for punishing him for committing a crime. Throwing a chair through a window because someone asked you about what happened doesn't show someone who's learned anything from his “mistake.” It shows a performer who thinks he's above the law and above common human decency.
And to address the second part of Rihanna's statement, the one where she says that “everyone's going to think he's a monster,” that unfortunately didn't happen. Rather than being shunned from the music community, he got welcomed back to it this year with open arms. Performance after performance, award after award, collaboration after collaboration. The message from the music community this year is that talent counts more than integrity. Making money matters more than sending a message.
So no, Rihanna, we don't hate Chris Brown for what he did to you. We hate him for he still hasn't done — and that's shown any remorse for beating another person up to the point that she needed to be hospitalized.
(Photo: ABC News)