The Chris Brown saga continues
Because racism and sexism are only meant for parody
Thirty seconds is not very much time. There isn’t a lot you can get done in half a minute, and even if you have a clear goal there is only so much effort you can put in before your time is up.
Given this, it makes it really impressive when you can be racist, sexist and just plain wrong in thirty seconds. It is also disgusting.
Back in mid-October, three white students donned the ever-popular blackface to re-enact the Chris Brown beating of Rihanna at a high school pep rally in New York state. It only took thirty seconds, but the clip went viral for much longer after that.
What was otherwise a generic morale booster for the Waverly Wolverines has become a disgrace in the eyes of many, but not those who attend or have graduated from the school.
Chelsea House, a graduate of the high school, went on the record with CNN, saying, “I don’t think it was offensive at all.” Her sentiments were echoed throughout Waverly, and surprisingly even people not affiliated with Waverly didn’t seem to mind.
Waverly resident Thomas Rumpff, a 2007 graduate, also told CNN that the incident was a little inappropriate, yes, but it still “has been completely blown out of proportion.”
His reasoning was that the beatings had already been parodied and mocked tons of times by online and media sources. Clearly, that made the minor high school rally slip-up nothing too embarrassing.
To think that we live in an age where domestic abuse is made into a big racist joke is horrific, but the fact that many people have been conditioned to think this is just fine and dandy takes the fucking cake.
The problem may be, though, that we have allowed celebrities to get away with this kind of stuff, which makes it very hard to criticize when their devout (or ironic) followers pull the same shit.
When the now-infamous beating first took place in 2009, it came out as a shocker. As both artists were very popular solely for being musician-celebs at the time, thinking that Brown would dive into this with closed fists just didn’t seem likely.
These are two people who millions around the world idolized and still do. Brown’s supportive fans even came up with barbaric ways to support him, going on Twitter to let him know that he could beat any member of #teambreezy (Chris Breezy being Brown’s nickname) and they wouldn’t have him arrested.
Brown answered to the law (somewhat) for his actions, being sentenced five years of probation and 180 hours of community service. He was also issued a restraining order from Rihanna, and had to attend mandatory counseling.
Andy Kellman of AllMusic.com said it best when he noted that “it had little bearing on the progress of his music and acting careers.”
His response to the public was much more of a PR battle than anything else.
It started with an apology video that was directed as Rihanna, but mostly to his fans. The video reeks of “Sorry I got caught,” and “Watch this video and try and to forget what I am capable of and what I did.”
Then we had the Larry King interview, complete with his mother sitting beside him, reminding the very willing-to-forget public that Chris Brown is just a lost soul who made a tiny mistake and he can only forgive himself if you help him.
In the same interview, Brown stated that he couldn’t recall ever touching Rihanna. He only remembered that it happened, and that he was sorry. Then he got called out on that, and changed his story, but always maintained an air of “Whoops, I Hulked out and that isn’t me. Hope everyone still loves me.”
Fast forward a few years, and we have incidents like the pep rally. Meanwhile, Chris Brown releases a track on his latest album called “Apology,” and now we are citing the growth of Brown as a person.
Making matters more interesting are the fact that Brown may have won Rihanna over again, and the two may or may not be dating again.
I’d get into that more, but The Reflector is not a tabloid, and the only reason this is worth mentioning is because it completes the cycle for Brown since his shocking little outburst.
At what point do we call this out for what it is? At what point does someone use their social status to try to get people to realize that all our celebrities idols need to be as critically judged as the people you would surround your life with?
Right now, events such as the Waverly pep rally will continue to happen because the general population is okay with it. Ethical values be damned, people seem to think that if Chris Brown can get away with beating a woman than we should be able to get away with making fun of it.