Do we honestly find it so easy, as a society, to forgive people like Chris Brown simply because he’s a celebrity? Or is there something deeper, a misogynistic tendency embedded deep within a society that has grown to deem it acceptable?
Let me answer that: it’s both.
We live in the kind of mass culture where on the basis of your power, wealth and prestige, you can be forgiven for heinous things for which a normal person may not just simply be rightly convicted, but the wrong person can be convicted as we watch without batting an eyelash. Institutional racism comes into mind here; if you’re an ethnic minority and well-to-do, chances are you’ll probably be considered automatically suspicious by a not-very-ethnic police officer. Heck, you don’t even have to be a police officer, most of the time, to side-eye a middle-aged black gentleman in a suit.
But forget ethnic minorities for a second and come back to heartthrob Chris Brown. He has looks, money, and an insane following. Let’s throw Rihanna into the equation. Chances are, a lot of people liked her less because she was ruining their erotomanic desire for Chris Brown.
Now let’s throw a few punches into the equation. Chris Brown made a big, big boo boo. One that, righteously, should leave him hated and ensure a quick fall from stardom.
Except, now, in 2012, he gets defended by people because obviously, Rihanna had it coming. And it’s not like he caused permanent damage or anything, right? Besides, the chick’s making songs about how much chains and whips excite her! Look, he’s obviously remorseful, look at all those songs he’s making about how she ruined his life just because he messed up her face a little.
And everyone falls for it. It’s Rihanna’s fault for being a strong, black woman. She should have known better than to ruin Chris Brown’s career, that harlot!
If Rihanna was your sister, you’d be feeling very, very differently about forgiving Chris Brown. If you were a decent human being, you would despise Chris Brown because men like that do not deserve to be forgiven if they hit their significant other and whine about it in songs about heartbreak.
But this isn’t even an isolated event, this happens all the time. Take yesterday, where half the world was mourning the lost of songstress Whitney Houston, while the other half was muttering, “she had it coming, that lousy drug addict,” and making ha-larious graphics about how they can’t tell Michelle Obama, Oprah and Whitney apart because, here’s the kicker, they’re all black!
Conveniently, everyone chooses the forget the abuse she was subject to by her husband, Bobbi Brown. Everyone forgives Charlie Sheen because he’s funny. No one raised a fuss against Mel Gibson, cause he was Jesus Christ, you guys!
Take a step back, world, and start thinking about acquiring a bit of decency. Women, this goes out to you too – oftentimes, we’re the ones judging our own sex, we’re the ones putting ourselves down, we’re the ones making snide comments and setting the egalitarian movement back a couple decades with every Fair & Lovely add we watch.
Think a little. I’ve heard it’s something some humans can do.
Also, courtesy of the incredible Kate Beaton:
EDIT: For a detailed account of what exactly happened the night Chris Brown beat Rihanna, go here.
EDIT 2: If this isn’t the perfect example of psychotic ignorance slash cult worshiping of celebrities, I don’t know what is. Thank you to a friend who showed me this article!