Chris Brown and Rihanna have had the displeasure of having a very private situation play out in a very public forum. Most of us have the luxury of going through our embarrassing, regretful, shame-inducing situations behind closed doors. If we were honest with ourselves, we would admit there’s at least one thing about us, that happened to us, or that we’ve done…that we’d never want anyone else to know. Now picture the world knowing that one thing. What if every detail was dissected, discussed, and displayed as headline news? How would you feel? Now picture yourself being only 19 years old. How would you feel then? Probably mortified. See, privacy affords us the opportunity to make mistakes and bad decisions without the world standing in judgment. No matter who started it, who finished it, who was the victim and who the assailant, this was a tragic moment in the lives of BOTH Rihanna and Chris Brown.
I will never condone domestic violence. Ever. Critics say the women who defend Chris Brown have probably been beaten many times themselves. I disagree. I think the women who have defended him have never had a man put his hands around their necks, never watched their mothers scream out in fear and pain. These women need to think about their mothers, sisters, best friends, and finally - their daughters...showing up at their doorsteps looking the way Rihanna looked that night. There would be no excuse, no reason, no explanation good enough to justify that face, those tears, those scars....inside and out that may never heal. As someone who has admittedly struck a lover, I will say that no one - regardless of gender, should put their hands on someone they are in a relationship with. I can’t erase the look of shock and disappointment that followed the blow I delivered. Even though I have 101 viable reasons why I reacted that way, not one of them makes it right. Not one. Takes a lot to admit you were wrong…without adding a but at the end of it.
I do not believe Chris when he says he blacked out and doesn't remember doing this to her. I do not believe Rihanna when she says she did not hit him first or at all. But, amidst the public's accusations of lies, one thing remains true...there are only two people in this world who really know what happened in the car that night. We were not there. We do not know who threw the first punch, although we think we know who threw the last. We do not know the details that led to that night, details with roots extending much deeper than a single text. We do not know the depth of the love, that quickly turned to rage. None of us experienced the joy of their good times, to truly know the despair of their bad. For two years we knew no more than what one could piece together through photos and public appearances. Yet and still…we judge them, as if we have the right. Myself included.
Before that night, I (like many) was a Rihanna and Chris Brown fan. Today, I am a bigger fan of hers, but this rang true before that night. Rihanna’s outward scars have healed and hopefully the inward scars will fade with time. She was at the pinnacle of her career when this happened and I am confident things will only get better. My hope for her at the end of the day when it all goes away, is that she is truly happy without Chris in her life. Truly happy, without your best friend and best lover, is no small feat. I am not a fan in the same manner as I used to be in regards to Chris. Today, I am someone who doesn't want to see Chris sing a beautiful song, perform a flawless routine, go triple platinum, or flash that million dollar smile. I am a someone who wants to see a young man who made the mistake of a lifetime, rebound to the best of his ability. I want to see him somehow right this wrong. Erase the scarlet letter that now sits on his chest. I want to see him bounce. Rihanna said it best, Chris should not make excuses for himself, but accept what he did. I throw virtual jabs at Chris who has become an easy target lately and I semi-Stan over Rhi...but at the end of the day these larger than life personalities are real people. Our entertainment, dinner table dish, water cooler convo, fireside chats, tweets, status updates, and blog posts are these people‘s real lives. They hurt, they embarrass, they love, they miss, they cry. And I believe BOTH Chris and Rihanna have done all of the above because of that night. And yes, I feel sorry for both of them. It may not be a popular opinion. But it is my humble opinion.