First things first, there are highs and there are lows in social media. The ability to literally change the course of history in countries has been proven over the past couple of years. The influence and motivation to rise up together in so many different ways is incredible.
And then there’s moments like when people defend Chris Brown.
First, lets go back 3 years (apparently the amount of time that the Grammy’s felt was OK to let him promote his records on stage)
First, he hit her head against the passenger window.
Rihanna then “turned to face Brown and he punched her in the left eye with his right hand,” says the paperwork. “He then drove away in the vehicle and continued to punch her in the face with his right hand while steering the vehicle with his left hand.”
According to the notes taken by Detective De Shon Andrews, blood filled Rihanna’s mouth. Brown, 19, allegedly told her, “I’m going to beat the s— out of you when we get home. You wait and see!” Rihanna called her assistant and left a message saying, “I am on my way home. Make sure the cops are there when I get there.” The police notes say that prompted Brown to reply: “You just did the stupidest thing ever. Now I’m really going to kill you.”
The report also says that Brown bit Rihanna and put her in a headlock, and that she almost lost consciousness.
“Brown resumed punching [Rihanna] and she interlocked her fingers behind her head and brought her elbows forward to protect her face,” according to the notes. “She then bent over at the waist, placing her elbows and face near her lap in attempt to protect her face and head from the barrage of punches being levied upon her by Brown.”
Charming. He’s a real idol. A true hero and role model. Someone whom an industry should shine the spotlight on and highlight on their biggest stage right? Well, first, the Grammy’s kinda suck and they’ll always cater to one thing: money, so I know why he was there.
For the most part, the endless barrage of tweets while he was on stage (for which most people tuned away to another channel instead of subjecting themselves to) were fantastic. From the serious:
“While Chris Brown is performing, let’s take a moment to remember the thousands of Canadian women killed in domestic violence each year.”
To donate to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence go here http://www.ncadv.org/donate.php.
To the humorously upset:
So which one of those dancers is Chris Brown’s probation officer?
Stan[d]ing ovation for Chris Brown!? What the hell is wrong with you people?
They say you shouldn’t judge music by the artist’s personal life, but you also shouldn’t beat the shit out of your girlfriend, Chris Brown.
But then I got to a tweet from @shankell. She is listed in her profile as Host of the Toronto Rock, Social Media Manager and Featured on @CBCsports. That’s three companies. All of which I’m sure would prefer not be associated with domestic violence. As a “Social Media Manager” one would assume that one would know the value in what you put online and how quick it can spread and damage companies and reputations. Common sense should tell you what to say and not say on a lot of things.
So, instead of that little voice saying “maybe I should keep this to myself” we got this tweet:
I LOVE CHRIS BROWN! ……….now whatcha gonna do? #Grammys
To which I responded “Unfollow?” and I got:
@markhoffberg ok! Why you let one man ruin your day is beyond me.
and I, appropriately in my opinion, responded with:
.@shankell yeah I guess he only beat and choked a woman within inches of her life, we should really give him a standing ovation.
Now, for those not familiar with how Twitter works, by putting the period in front of my tweet, it means everyone can see it.
Shortly after, the original tweet was replaced with “Hate me – but I love Chris Brown.”
Now, I don’t hate you. In fact, I just started following you. You seem perfectly normal and nice. I followed you on twitter after seeing you volunteer your time to host at the Heart and Stroke Auction on Saturday. I thought that you would be someone who, doing that, would be worth following.
I definitely don’t hate you, but I do think you, and hundreds like you, need to get your head out of your ass.
Do people get second, third and fourth chances. Yes, all the time.
Do I think people can learn better and rehabilitate? Yes.
Do I think the Grammys should be showcasing a person who pled guilty to the severe beating of his girlfriend less then three years earlier? No. It sends the wrong message to women that their value is less then someone who has “talent” and sells records. He’s not even off probation for doing it yet!
Women, old and young, like everyone else, deserve reinforcement of positive images. Not this crap. Not one where people stand and cheer for Chris Brown like he was the returning hero coming back from exile forced upon him by the evil Skeletor.
After the Grammys, Brown took to Twitter himself:
People who make mistakes and learn from them are ROLE MODELS too. Im just happy to inspire growth and positivity!
Being at an awards show, performing, selling records and even being in the same room as Rihanna is just something that should have never happened. Nothing inspirational could be gained from this. The only positive that came from this wretched display was men and women coming out and speaking against domestic violence tonight.
Prior to tonight’s ridiculousness, @melissagrelo, a TV host, and prominent personality in the city (Toronto) with around 15,000 followers had posted this with some other tweets while at a Chris Brown concert (a while back: 2011-09-13 03:08:01) and it enraged me:
I dissociate the artist from the deed. @chrisbrown at #MolsonAmphitheatre. @LiveNationON http://t.co/DPOWdr8
I can’t remember exactly what I responded with, but I did remember how just weeks before, she was gushing about how great a man Jack Layton was and about all the great things he did.
Now Jack Layton did a great many things. He did a lot for his political party and advocated for a lot of groups. To me, one of the most important was the White Ribbon campaign (http://www.whiteribbon.ca/).
He was a co-founder and, to quote the site, “He felt men had to have both a role and responsibility in working to end violence against women, that we needed to step up our efforts in promoting gender equality, and be accountable to challenging the most harmful aspects of masculinity.”
Now, I sent a few responses to Ms. Grelo’s direction pointing out the hypocrisy of her tweet, unfollowed, and went on my way.
People, men and women, in positions of any influence at all, have to take a look in the mirror and think about a great quote that we all too often don’t really live by, but should:
All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing
Is it ridiculous to call them “words to live by”? Sure. But I’d have trouble looking in the mirror, after having not said anything, even if it’s just a rant on a blog.
I want my son to grow up in a world full of strong, confident women and to be a great man who respects them and sees them as great equal people. Hopefully he can grow up in a world where people know better then to glorify someone like Chris Brown, or at the very least, be the kind of man who speaks out about it.
Hello Giggles has an article (much better then this one, thanks to @Anita_Chauhan for the link) detailing the anemic reaction to what Chris Brown did to Rihanna, and poses a fantastic question that takes this argument in another direction: “What if Chris Brown had hit Taylor Swift that night?”
This a capture of the tweets, in case of any doubt