Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Chris Brown Lesson for Black Men…

February 23, 2009 by  
Filed under News, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.com) Some discussions are simpler than we’d like to think. Sometimes there is only one answer, one response, one appropriate ending to a debate. This in fact would be one of those occasions.

A few weeks ago Mo’Kelly mentioned how he worked for the Grammy Awards (NARAS) back in the day and how he doesn’t watch or follow awards shows anymore.

Yet, as fate would have it, as my remote shuttled through the various channels Sunday night, I stopped on the Grammy telecast…if only because Stevie Wonder was performing at that moment.

Mo’Kelly doesn’t want to digress right off the top, but memo to NARAS. Never let the Jonas Brothers on stage with a musical legend ever again.


That was beyond horrible. If you’re going to sing Superstition with Stevie Wonder, knowing the words to the song is a pre-requisite, as well as not moving a blind man’s microphone while he’s singing.

Damnit…I digressed.

OK, now that the silly is out of the way…let’s get to the serious.

Anyhow, what Mo’Kelly didn’t see was the performances of either Chris Brown or Rihanna. And neither did any of you, come to think of it. Unless you’ve been incapacitated, you know by now that Brown was arrested and released on bail in relation to an alleged domestic violence assault on aforementioned girlfriend Rihanna.

According to multiple news sources, the account of Rihanna’s injuries are severe, if not horrific in nature.

They include major contusions on both sides of the singer’s face, serious swelling and bruising. Her lip is split and her nose bloody. In addition, there are reportedly bite marks on one of her arms and on several fingers.

There have been no reports of injuries to Brown as of this editorial.

Rumors have swirled as to the precipitating factors which led to the beating, from possessiveness, to STD infection, to simply a garden variety argument which spiraled out of control. None of us really knows and we may not ever REALLY know the root cause of the argument. The truth and entertainers rarely occupy the same space.

But none of it REALLY matters. This discussion is simpler than most would like to think. There is only one right answer to this puzzle, only one appropriate course of action in these conflicts.

Unless she has a dangerous weapon and his physical being in legitimate danger, there is never a good enough reason to hit or physically abuse a woman.


It does not matter if hypothetically Rihanna slept with Chris Brown’s best friend and passed an STD back his way…he has to walk away. Because in addition to catching a disease, he also catches a case and quite possibly loses his freedom. It’s a lose-lose proposition.

It does not matter if hypothetically Rihanna slapped the taste out of his mouth for supposedly cheating on her with Ciara (as the tabloids would have you believe he did). Chris Brown has to walk away. Call the police if need be…but walk away. It’s a guaranteed lose-lose proposition otherwise. It is inevitable.

Don’t get Mo’Kelly wrong, if a woman puts her hands on a man, she does so at her own risk. It’s a dangerous game for women to play and many men “don’t play.” It’s wrong to hit a woman, but women should value their own safety enough to understand that not all men agree with Mo’Kelly. You mess with the bull, it’s quite possible you will end up getting the horns. So ladies, discretion is the better part of valor. It may be wrong for a man to ever hit a woman, but only a foolish woman places principle over common sense.

Think of it another way.

It may be a crime and immoral to rob someone, but only fools go for walks in Central Park in the middle of the night placing principle over common sense. Ladies, if you put your hands on a man, you do so at your own peril and are placing principle over common sense.

Nevertheless, a man should never, never hit a woman. And if the published reports of Rihanna’s injuries are accurate, she was hit a number of times, likely close-fisted. This was Ike Turner-esque. These weren’t injuries sustained in an argument that simply went a little too far. This was a one-sided beating, as again, there have been zero reports of injuries sustained by Brown.

Interestingly enough, Mo’Kelly’s heard a number of women, Black women, argue in the time since that “maybe” Rihanna “had it coming.”

Or that, if she hit Chris…“he has every right to hit her back.”

Really? Honestly? Black women out there believe that?

In fact, I engaged in pretty serious debate about this with a friend and fellow ex-Warner Bros. Records employee, who’s now an actress and presently co-starring on a popular and prominent African-American TV show.

Meaning, she is someone who knows the music and entertainment business as well as I do, is in my age/peer group and knows about romances between successful entertainers in ways the lay public does not. She’s not a “fan” or an outsider. We worked in the music business together at the same time and have seen just about everything when it comes to the discreet lives of entertainers.

So, I was completely taken aback to hear her suggest that there are certain circumstances in which “maybe” Rihanna quite possibly could have brought this on herself and how Brown’s actions “may” have in fact been justified.

I couldn’t disagree more.

A woman can be wrong all the way up until a man puts his hands on her to inflict harm. The moment he does, all bets are off. It really doesn’t matter what she did up until that point.

It doesn’t matter if your name is Wesley Snipes, El DeBarge, Chris Brown, OJ or Ray Ray Johnson. If you hit a woman, your ass needs to be in jail.

There is never any justification (except under threat of serious bodily harm or death) to hit a woman. In fact, I’ve even had to call the police on a woman and have her removed from my house. Not because I was in fear of being injured, but because of the reality of having to “explain” away the physical injuries of a woman after the fact NEVER goes well for a man. Having the police come remove her is always a better option than having them come arrest you instead.

What woman is worth your career and your freedom?

No one. She doesn’t exist.

So, in addition to there not being any justification for hitting a woman, there’s no good sense in it either. There is no upside. It is a lose-lose proposition. Know this in ADVANCE.

And that’s the point of it all.

The point of a column like this is so that Brothas think about these situations and scenarios in ADVANCE. Emotionally wrestle with them BEFORE you end up in a court room due to a momentary lapse in judgment. It doesn’t make you less than a man to walk away from a violent or emotionally abusive woman or situation.

It means you’re an exceptionally smart and strong man, because any child can give in to anger and the temptation of violence.

Conversely, you will neither “preserve” your manhood nor do your anger justice by beating a woman, irrespective of what precipitated the moment. If Chris Brown was worried about a lack of respect from a woman before, think about how he’s viewed now?

If we as Black men can’t take a step back and learn from the mistakes of a Chris Brown then we are bigger fools than he is. Women, rage and male violence can only end badly for all involved.

There are certain mistakes that we as men don’t “have” to make. This would be one of them.

Written By Morris O’Kelly

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