Tag Archives: Chris Brown

Open Thread: Chris Brown, Rihanna, and Domestic Violence Part II

by Latoya Peterson

This morning, I was invited on The Takeaway to discuss Chris Brown. You can listen to the show here. Below is a quick summary:

Singer Chris Brown plead guilty yesterday to felony assault charges. Prosecutors say he badly beat his ex-girlfriend (pop star Rihanna Fenty) in February. Today on The Takeaway we are exploring the intersection between youth, abuse, race and culture with Elizabeth Mendez Berry, a freelance journalist who wrote an acclaimed article in Vibe magazine, Love Hurts, on partner abuse in the world of Hip-Hop. Also joining the conversation is Latoya Peterson, editor of the blog Racialicious.

Talking with Elizabeth about this in the studio and then later when we both were home made me realize I wanted to write a little more about this. It feels…unfinished almost, as if we never got around to the real discussion. Some half formed thoughts floating around my head:

* The desire for some blogs and many in the black community to immediately defend Chris Brown can be described as what? Racial solidarity? Internalized misogyny? A desire to be fair? Is there a way to be fair when one person is on the receiving end of the damage? Was the resolve around CB strengthened when he was universally damned by blogs like TMZ and Perez Hilton?

* I really want to talk about the “She’s Caribbean” thing more in depth. The stereotypes that surfaced, and how quickly they were embraced.

* Elizabeth mentioned something fascinating I hadn’t realized – Rihanna hasn’t done anything in this process. She was not the one who gave her name (that was leaked), she was not the one who leaked the photo, she did not place a restraining order, she did not press charges, and she had to be subpoenaed to appear. Does this change the perception around the situation?

*We were asked on the show if justice was served. I still don’t know how to answer that.

**Trigger Warning* The affidavit was also leaked, but it appears few bothered to read it, judging from the fact that many people Elizabeth spoke to still seem to think that Rihanna and Chris Brown were fighting each other, or that Rihanna hit him first. The affidavit explains all the strange markings.

*Oprah was brought up on the show and Elizabeth and I talked more about it afterward. We think Oprah is wrong for trying to push for an immediate realization/confession. It’s all a part of the cycle of fame – everyone wants the redemption story, everyone likes a winner. But Elizabeth thinks Rihanna has been bullied for a lot of this process, and I am inclined to agree.

Not sure what I will write yet. Readers, your thoughts?

Rihanna, Sasha and Malia

by Guest Contributor M.Dot, originally published at Model Minority

A couple of weeks ago, 50 Cent conceded that Rihanna getting beat by Chris Brown wasn’t real to him. James Montgomery of MTV News writes,

“After I saw the photograph, that wasn’t funny anymore,” 50 said. “I didn’t have any information on it. You’re just going on what the public actually had. It shifts the whole thing. Even if you’re saying you’re in a dysfunctional relationship, I understand that. There’s a point when you’re already past a woman fighting you back. You look at [the picture], and it’s obviously past that point. There’s some issues there that definitely gotta be addressed. Not to take any shots at Chris or Rihanna or take sides in any way, [but] it’s really not cool. It’s not funny anymore, so there will definitely be no more reference to that from me in any way.”

Why is a picture needed in order to convey the seriousness of the topic?

In many ways, I think that it wasn’t real for many people.

According to The Domestic Violence Institute, Black women comprise 8% of the U.S. population but in 2005 accounted for 22% of the intimate partner homicide victims and 42% of all female victims of intimate partner homicide.

African Americans account for a disproportionate number of intimate partner homicides. In 2005, African Americans accounted for almost 1/3 of the intimate partner homicides in this country.

According to a survey conducted by Tufts University,

- Approximately 40% of Black women report coercive contact of a sexual nature by age 18.
- The number one killer of African-American women ages 15 to 34 is homicide at the hands of a current or former intimate partner
- In a study of African-American sexual assault survivors, only 17% reported the assault to police

Continue reading

Beyond Gossip, Good and Evil

by Guest Contributor Elizabeth Mendez Berry, originally published at Ill Doctrine and MendezBerry.com

The Bloods have a strict policy against domestic violence. That’s what a 16-year-old male affiliate proudly told me last year before a weekly “gang awareness” meeting of about fifteen teens, most of them Crips, Bloods or Latin Kings, at a high school in Castle Hill, the Bronx. That week, the topic was domestic violence, and several members of the group, including the 16-year-old, said that hitting a woman was never acceptable. Others argued that there were situations where it just couldn’t be helped.

The conversation turned to an article I had written about domestic violence in the hip hop industry for Vibe. The rapper Big Pun grew up near the high school, and his devastating abuse of his wife (which started when the couple was just 16) was described in the piece. “I heard she cheated on him,” said the only young woman in the group, and others repeated some of the many rumors that swirled around Pun’s wife when she told her story (up until then she had been Soundview’s favorite widow). Several people enthusiastically launched into scenarios where it was OK to hit a woman. There were many. The bottom line: sometimes you’ve got to teach a woman a lesson if she gets out of line. It sounded like a man’s responsibility.

In the midst of the rationalizing, one usually talkative young man stood up and walked out. When he returned twenty minutes later, he quietly told the group that his aunt had recently been murdered by her abusive boyfriend. Continue reading

Open Thread: Chris Brown, Rihanna, and Domestic Violence

by Latoya Peterson

The story, according to People Magazine:

Sunday night, R&B’s hottest couple, Chris Brown and Rihanna, were supposed to light up the Grammys.

Instead, the normally affectionate twosome were embroiled in a domestic violence drama that left Brown, 19, booked on felony criminal threats charges and posting $50,000 bail after turning himself in to the LAPD on Sunday at 6:34 p.m. PST.

Sources say that Rihanna (real name: Robin Fenty), 20, was the victim in the alleged assault which occurred around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday. Responding to a 911 call about a disturbance, the LAPD took statements from a female with visible injuries, who named Brown as her attacker.

Chris Brown has turned himself in; Rihanna has canceled some high profile performances as well as her birthday party. Rumors are swirling, and there isn’t much confirmed. They have not even confirmed that the “female with visible injuries” was Rihanna, though this is widely assumed to be so.

It is entirely too early to see how this is going to pan out – no one knows if Rihanna will ever admit to being the woman who called 911, if the woman involved will press charges, or what will become of Chris Brown if he has to go to court.

However, one thing I do want to mention is how this could turn into a case study on how communities – especially communities of color, deal with domestic violence. Continue reading