A couple days ago, Chris Brown pleaded guilty for
beating Rihanna Fenty last February. He looks like OJ in
that picture. By pleading guilty to felony assault if he so much as
sneezes the wrong way, he is going straight to jail.
This was a strategic move.
In the court of popular opinion, it silences those
who think that he didn't do it, or at least he shows
that he was willing to plead guilty to something.
But then again if you don't want to believe, you won't.
It also raises the stakes legally, if and when he
beats someone else.
It prevented a trail, that neither of their careers arguably
never would have recovered from, that is to say, if their
Many of us in the Black community think that it is okay
for Black men to beat on us. It isn't. Nor is it okay for the
police to beat on Black men. I use the police example to
show how we are socialized tolerate one kind of violence
yet be enraged by another.
With regard to Chris Browns corporate appeal, he became
another violent Black man, hence untouchable at least for the
moment, but fans and capitalism have tendency to only
have short term memories. The Perez Hilton assault case
proved to be an interesting hypothetical
for three reasons.
The first is that not only was he assaulted,
but he was assaulted after having called a famous Black man in
public, Wil.i.Am. a "faggot". The second is that Hilton is gossip blogger
who traffics in bringing discomfort, angst and judgement to the
people that he writes about for the purpose of earning
cash. Third, he gets money by making fun of people. This is material.
Remember when cats used to get threatened and beat up at The Source
for writing reviews that emcees and labels didn't like. I say this
not to rationalize it, but to give it some context.
I had to struggle a bit with my rule regarding zero tolerance for violence
because he traffics in pain. When you walk in the dark, the darkness is
your friend, and will be a material part of your life. I know this because
I have done it and seen it in the lives of others around me. Simple as that.
But, the counter arguement to that is that he is just spewing
words, he hasn't laid a hand on anyone.
I then had to ask myself, is the rule, no violence, or no violence
for people only for people he don't traffic in pain?
I don't know Hilton's work. I checked the site yesterday and there were
fairly innocuous photos of Britney Spears and other A list and
B list celebs being made fun of. Because it is true that he has in
fact ridiculed others, and gotten paid for it, there is the
inclination to say that he has earned what he has coming to him.
I figured out the answer to my rule question.
Ultimately, no one, no angry rapper, or angry rap manger, lol, has a
right to lay hands on a writer based on an epitet or a bad album review.
Just another day of reckoning with violence.
Did you compare Rihanna to Perez?
Why or why not?
Why is it so hard for us to consider the ways in which
our actions teach the young bucks?