Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chris Brown's interview: The Right Choice?

This evening, CNN will be airing an interview with Chris Brown that has already received significant press due to a comment made my Mr. Brown regarding his recollection of the events that led to the abuse of his former girlfriend, Rihanna. While that comment will most certainly cause great concern amongst advocates in the Domestic Violence community, we should focus on the bigger issues raised by this interview.

"I still love his music.” “She hit him first." - these are a few of the comments consistently seen on webpages discussing tonight's interview. Somehow, young people and adults have created a misconception that if one's music is popular, than that must mean this person is without fault. Liking or disliking Chris Brown's music is not relevant to the seriousness of his crime. They have also determined that Rihanna's actions somehow warranted the severe abuse she received at the hands of Chris Brown. As the law states, one cannot use physical force against another unless they are in fear for their lives. Chris Brown most certainly was not in a life threatening situation, so his assault was unjustified. Beyond that, there is simply is no excuse for the physical and emotional damage evident in the photos leaked of Rihanna. Perhaps those who continue to support Chris Brown should step back and imagine if they had been in Rihanna's shoes.

Chris Brown has yet to receive any counseling or rehabilitation for his issues with anger and abuse. Thus, he is asking for forgiveness before he has earned it. It is not surprising that Chris Brown turned to the media as a "safe haven" to share his side of the story. The question is - should he be allowed to share his side? At this point, after recently receiving conviction and sentencing, it seems the answer would be “no”. This looks like a career salvaging move, something a record label suggested -- "You still have fans! Go on television and make people feel sorry for you!"

As Chris Brown has done nothing to warrant such sympathy or forgiveness - at times, displaying a total lack of knowledge and insight from his comments about "not remembering the incident" to his mother still speaking with Rihanna - he does not deserve a forum to capitalize on the young people who still support his music. I am concerned that when the media offers him this platform it gives the appearance that they excuse his actions. Punishment is meant to be a deterrent towards violence and crime. If Chris Brown continues to be provided a forum to gain sympathy - what kind of deterrent has been made?

When the media is ready to cover this issue responsibly, Break the Cycle is happy to share our expertise.


  1. I've mentored before and it's shocking how younger people view violence. Therefore, however sad - it's not shocking that so many are making excuses for Chris Brown. This guy tried to bite off Rhianna's ear....I mean, what kind of person blacks out like that?
    There is no excuse for his actions. If it's true that she began to hit him, his responsibility was to kick her out of the car and end the relationship.

  2. Good Point Penny! There is NEVER an excuse for abuse no matter what transpired beforehand. And it is very sad that so many people are making excuses for Chris Brown. Hopefully we can change that!

  3. Even though you make a valid point I am afraid that I must disagree. Sometimes they can really get on your nerves.
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