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July 21, 2009

Chris Brown Apologizes For Pummeling Rihanna...Again (Video)

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I spent the majority of my childhood in fear of my life.  For me bedtime was not the cozy, warm and safe experience it was for other kids.  For me, it meant years of waking up in the middle of the night to screaming voices, thuds from objects being thrown, and the fear that my father would kill my mother before the night was through.

There were also the fights in the car, with me in the backseat and my father throwing punches at my mother while we were driving. 

Mercifully that all came to an end by the time I was ten when my parents split.  I'm often amazed I survived it all physically intact, but psychologically, that was a whole other story.  My father's damage didn't need to be visible to be permanent. 

Which brings me to singer Chris Brown.  He of the beating up his girlfriend Rihanna in the middle of the street in Los Angeles on the night of the Grammy awards.  Yesterday, he posted a two minute video apology on his website. 

Here's his apology.

This is at least his second apology regarding the attack.  As Reuters reported back in February, Brown apologized right after the incident in a written statement that said:

Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired.  I am seeking the counseling of my pastor, my mother and other loved ones and I am committed, with God's help, to emerging a better person

Brown eventually pleaded guilty to assault and is due to be sentenced on August 5th.   In a plea deal he's expected to get "five years of formal probation and six months - roughly 1,400 hours - of community labor."

When I heard about his sentence I remember tweeting that I thought a better sentence would be if he were beat to a pulp on the street in the middle of Los Angeles.  I was only half joking. 

Now take a look at this photo and let me know what you think.  I'm usually against this kind of stuff making it into the press, and I almost never use it, but I'll make an exception for this one because it allows me to give equal time to the victim.

What do you think of Brown's apology now?  Still feel the same?

Notice how clean and smooth and pretty Brown's young, unmarked face is in his video?  Notice the difference between that and Rihanna's in the photo?

That's why I'm not moved in the least by Brown's consultations with his pastor, his mother, and Jesus Christ.

Hey, Chris, here's a thought:  less apologizing and more action.  How about donating the profits from your next album to a battered women's shelter?  How about doing a couple of PSAs speaking directly to black men about not abusing women?

You do that and I'll start to believe your apology, say you deserve a second chance, and then and only then, start to think of you as some kind of role model.

Look, honestly, I don't care about Chris Brown anymore than I do a hole in the wall.  I'm not too concerned about Rihanna either because she'll get the support she needs to get over this very traumatic event in her life.

The people I'm really concerned about are the thousands of women out there who have no voice and no publicity.  The women who live with the threat of death every single day.  The women who live with the fear of their children being battered.  The women who live with the fear of being hunted down like dogs if they dare to leave.

I care about those women.  I fear for those women.  I especially fear for those children.  And because I'm black, especially the black ones.  

My fellow CE Laina wrote an excellent post a the time the assault happened, When The Image Of Strength Becomes A Hindrance, Black Women, Sexual Harassment and Domestic Abuse.  In it she explores the image of black women as being so strong, they can't be perceived as victims.

On the flip side however, we all know about the images of black women in the music industry. Ayanna on the website My Sistahs, writes about her experiences as a young black woman and the exploitation of black women in the hip hop culture:

These images are shown to go along with a lot of the explicit lyrics that commonly contain name calling to suggest that women are not worth anything more than money, if that. Women are described as being only good for sexual relations by rappers who describe their life as being that of a pimp. In many popular rap songs men glorify the life of pimps, refer to all women as they think a pimp would to a prostitute, and promote violence against women for 'disobeying.' 

We're either so strong, we can never be seen as victims or we're playthings for black men to use, abuse, and trade in for cash.   What do you think Chris Brown thought Rihanna was worth?

Mrs. Grapevine in her post Chris Brown Finally Speaks Out had this to say about Brown's apology: 

I am happy that Chris Brown took the time to do this, and I'm glad he did not blame anyone, except himself. Some people will find something negative to say about his apology, but it seems like he's trying to make a step in the right direction. What happened that night was wrong, and that's not debatable, and I do feel their is more to learn from this situation from a role model perspective.

And here are some other bloggers' thoughts.   Women For Change:

I feel this message is genuine and has been expected for sometime now, he mentions that he will speak about it again in 'some interviews' (i wonder which ones?).

I appreciate him making the video for his young fans more than anything, admitting and showing responsibility for his actions will make an impression on them.

The Black Liberal:

In the end Brown tires to reassure us that he would never beat up another woman and that he wants to work to regain the title of role model. After the Rihanna incident, that may be a bit of a stretch but I do hope, for his sake and the sake of his future relationships, that he can earn the title of a recovered batterer. 

Pink Is The New Blog

While I'm impressed that he does not offer any excuses for his criminal actions, he is still on my sh*tlist. I don't know that I will ever be able to see Chris Brown the way I used to see him before this incident but, at the very least, he is finally offering up the apology that many people have been waiting for for some time. 

You've heard what others think.  What do you think?


Related Links

Why Rihanna Shouldn't Stand By Her Man

Did Chris Brown's Sentence Fit The Crime?

Domestic Violence Hits Black Women Harder

Cross posted from BlogHer

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