*** UPDATE 2-20-09***
Read my latest post on the loss of Rhianna’s privacy here
I had just settled in with a glass of wine to watch the end of the grammy’s red carpet when I heard Ryan Seacrest say something about Rhianna and Chris canceling their appearance and performances, but he was very vague on the reason. I jumped onto TMZ and got the gossip: Chris had beat up Rhianna.
Here’s what I read:
Chris Brown Investigated for Alleged Assault
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Chris Brown is being investigated by the LAPD in an alleged assault on a female.
According to police, Brown and a woman whom cops refuse to identify were arguing inside a vehicle around 12:30 this morning when suddenly things allegedly turned violent.
Cops say they received a 911 call, and when they arrived they noticed the woman had visible injuries. We’re told she then identified Brown as her attacker. Cops say Brown had left the scene by the time police arrived.
Cops say they are looking to speak with Brown and may arrest him when they find him.
When we called reps for Brown’s girlfriend, Rihanna, for a statement, her people told us, “Rihanna is well. Thank you for your concern and support.”
UPDATE: Grammy officials have just announced that Rihanna will neither perform on the show tonight — as scheduled — nor walk the red carpet for the event. The same announcement has been made about Chris.
And I started to read stuff like this:
Well he can assault ME if we want, I wouldn’t mind at all!!
Besides, that damn girlfriend of his..Rihanna…is driving him NUTS with her insecurity and possessiveness. He’s too young to be tied down Rihanna!!!!!! The sun does not rise and shine in YOUR poontang!
Poor fellow. He got mixed up with a Third World Witch. Wow. She drove him to the edge with her controlling azz! He shoulda stuck to the fine American-bred girls instead of that Islander trash.
My daddy always said…’When you play in trash, it’ll get in your eyes’. Hang in there Chris. You’re the only one in that relationship with talent! Don’t let her take you down to her level….TRASH.
Wow. A woman gets beat up and its her fault? The fans come out to support him? It gets worse, and worse, and worse….
Afrobella writes for many:
Take a gander at any of the popular gossip blogs right now, and read those comments if you want to feel your blood pressure rise. I’m not about to link to any of the posts that REALLY got my goat, but I need to get this off my chest. As a proud Trinidadian woman, a West Indian woman, a woman from the islands… I do NOT appreciate the stereotypes that are being thrown around by commenters seeking to condone or explain this act of violence.
Finally, Kanye West tells Ryan Seacrest, in support of Rhianna:
“[Rihanna] has the potential to be, you know, the greatest artist of all time and, in that sense, I feel like [she is] my baby sis,” added West. “I would do any and everything to help her in any situation.”
“I feel like, just as a person, I don’t care how famous she is or even if she just worked at McDonald’s, that should never happen. It should never come to that, to that place.”
Not to mention, big, big privacy questions. Typically the names of domestic violence survivors, or other survivors of sexual or intimate violence, are not released. But the LATimes decided to print Rhianna’s name anyways, stating:
“The Times has a blanket policy when it comes to not naming victims of sexual assault. There isn’t a set policy when it comes to physical assault or a criminal threat. In that case, there’s a decision internally and on a case-by-case basis of whether to name somebody. In this case, obviously there was a discussion among the editors about this. The nature of this case – against the backdrop of the Grammy’s, the delay in changing things, the explanations put out by both camps – the decision was made that this was fair game.”
Emily comments on the Bitch Magazine blog:
I think that it’s very important for people to consider the lack of privacy Rihanna is receiving right now.
So, what do I think about it all?
I think its awfully sad. I think violence between people that love each other is always sad and awful, and even though I know how common domestic violence is (in teen relationships, adult ones, with famous people, rich folks, poor folks, gay folks, in brown and white communities and everyone else), it doesn’t make it any less worse for those who experience it and those who witness it.
And right now, we are all witnesses.
I think the reactions that are happening online about this very famous couple mirrors what happens in real life – it is so hard for us to believe that someone we know, care about and/or admire could hurt someone else that we jump through all kinds of hoops in our mind to make it not so. It is so hard for us to believe that someone we trust could intentionally and violently hurt someone else, that we make up excuses and reasons on their behalf, even when it means we deny the pain and experience of someone else.
Denial is such a common reaction – it was denied for years that priests could molest boys, denied that workplace sexual harassment was wrong, that date rape is in fact actual rape, and on, and on, and on…Denial allows us to make-believe that we are safe and that it is someone else’s problem. Denial prevents us from action, from taking responsibility, for trying to make something better. As each one of us witnesses the violence of this relationship, many of us are responding with denial online.
I worked at domestic violence agency that worked with men – straight and gay men who had hurt their partners and lovers. We ran batterer intervention programs with the belief that violent men can unlearn their ways. We saw how the cycle of violence can repeat itself across generations and I met men bound and determined to not teach their children what they learned. It is a hard road.
And it is possible.
I believe Kevin Powell sums it up best:
Given all the hype and controversy around Chris Brown’s alleged beating of Rihanna, I feel compelled to post this essay I originally wrote in late 2007, so that some of us can have an honest jump off point to discuss male violence against females, to discuss the need for ownership of past pains and traumas, to discuss the critical importance of therapy and healing. Let us pray for Rihanna, first and foremost, because no one deserves to be beaten, or beaten up. No one. And let us also pray that Chris Brown gets the help he needs by way of long-term counseling and alternative definitions of manhood rooted in nonviolence, real love, and, alas, real peace. And let us not forget that Rihanna and Chris Brown happen to be major pop stars, hence all the media coverage, blogs, etc. Violence against women and girls happens every single day on this planet without any notice from most of us. Until we begin to address that hard fact, until we all, males and females alike, make a commitment to ending the conditions that create that destructive behavior in the first place, it will not end any time soon. There will be more Rihannas and more Chris Browns.