My phone tends to erupt when thereâ��s anything in the media that ruffles feathers regarding â��girl/women issues.â�� And my phone certainly felt the vibrational effects of Chris Brown performing at the Grammys. In the form of voice mails, e-mails, texts, Facebook messages and tweets, I was asked my opinion on the situation. Should Chris Brown have been given the opportunity and prestige of playing center stage at an iconic music awards show? My simple answer: no.
Nobody can forget the haunting photographs of the damage left by Brownâ��s brawl with then-girlfriend Rihanna. While I have compassion for individuals who struggle with rage or anger problems, I have zero patience for people who take their rage out on others. This is not merely a girl issue, but a human one. Itâ��s too easy to throw a girl getting beat up into the â��feministâ�� bucket and enlist an army of angry women to call for a boycott. Itâ��s clichÃ© for me to say, â��Brown shouldnâ��t have been asked to play because he beat up his girlfriend,â�� without clarifying my motives.
I think that influential people have a social responsibility to recognize their power and use that power for good. Then again, I think all people are agents of influence and should take on that challenge. I flat out believe we need to be and deserve to be better to each other. Media is currently the most influential medium on youth today. Seeing as they consume more than 10 hours a day, second only to school and sleep, I believe that content producers also have a responsibility to highlight entertainers who are the right kind of role models. I realize that this opinion could be highly scrutinized for being ignorant and naÃ¯ve, but how can we ever expect significant change without believing in an unbridled amount of hope and optimism?
While I certainly believe people can change and evolve from an old default setting emerging as a better 2.0 version, I donâ��t think that process happens overnight. Brown brutally beat upÂ Rihanna three years ago and unfortunately it took place in a public forum, so it sends the wrong message that we are now celebrating him. I donâ��t think his behavior should have been so quickly forgiven, nor should our society grant him one of the highest musical honors of performing at the Grammys.
It’s our job to protect, guide, support, encourage and positively influence youth. We don’t do a good enough job of that and by celebrating a man who’s known (fairly or not) for domestic abuse, we send a dangerous message that it's acceptable. If I thought the Grammys lacked a roster of significant talent I may be more lenient, but they don’t. Brown certainly has work to do in his life; we all do. But when you beat a chick up, I take it personally.
You see, I’m a human being that doesn’t stand around passively when another person is assaulted — man, woman or child. So I can’t support someone who does. Forgiveness is one thing, but the celebration of a public individual who has abused a woman is something else altogether.
Media is power, so let’s wield it for good and provide empowerment, encouragement, accountability and inspiration for a generation starving for substantial and authentic role models. I don’t dislike Brown; I just think he’s a dime a dozen and I’d have chosen any similar alternatives to perform on that stage. Our society needs ordinary heroes and real men to step up to the plate and remind all of us how we deserve to be treated.Images of Nydailynews.com, Usatoday.com