By Julia Waldow, Print Arts & Style Editor
When Chris Brown performed the songs “Turn Up the Music” and “I Can Only Imagine” to a multitude of screams and cheers at the 2012 Grammy awards, I was shocked. However, when he snagged the award for Best R&B album, I was appalled. How is it that Brown can leave his violent past behind and make a comeback so suddenly?
In Feb. 2009, Brown beat his then-girlfriend Rihanna and was arrested for domestic violence and felony battery. The couple reportedly began fighting in Brown’s car after leaving a pre-Grammy party when Brown received a text message from another woman. Rihanna supposedly tossed Brown’s keys out the window and, according to spin.com, Brown choked and threatened Rihanna. After the incident, Rihanna suffered a black eye, split lip, bloody nose, bite marks and facial contusions. Brown turned himself into the LAPD and was released on a $50,000 bail. Neither performer appeared at the 2009 Grammys.
Brown was no stranger to abuse. According to spin.com, Brown’s stepfather abused Brown’s mother when he was a child. In 2006, Brown told MTV that seeing this abuse influenced him on “how to treat a woman” and “to feel hate for anyone that disrespected a lady.”
If beating Rihanna is an example of the way that Brown treats women, then every single woman within a five mile radius of Brown should get out of his way.
After the incident, the public was appalled. Yet Brown’s songs still top the charts even after he threw a fit (and a chair) in his dressing room after being interviewed about the beating on the set of “Good Morning America.” Now, three years later, Brown continues to be celebrated as a smooth-talking music man.
Why are people so quick to forgive Brown? Has he suddenly redeemed himself as a golden boy simply because he can dance and sing? The way that people praise Brown, it appears that if Brown robbed a bank, murdered his grandma and ran over a dog, he would be hailed. Statues would be erected in his honor and parents would name their children “Chris.”
Rather than forgive and forget, the public (and Brown’s fellow industry peers) should give Brown the negative attention that he deserves. People shouldn’t be so quick to purchase Brown’s songs on iTunes, go to his concerts or scream at the top of their lungs when they hear his songs on KIIS FM. “I Can Only Imagine” what would happen if Brown had to face the consequences of his actions.