By now most people have heard about the domestic violence incident involving R&B singers Chris Brown and Rihanna. If you haven’t heard, here’s a quick recap: In March of 2009 Chris Brown pleaded guilty to physically assaulting his then girlfriend, Rihanna, on their way to the 51st Grammy Awards in early February of that year. Pictures of Rihanna’s extensively bruised face were leaked on to the internet and people the world over responded by ostracizing Chris Brown. Radio stations refused to play his music and music stores declined to stock his albums. Chris Brown was sentenced to five years of probation and his career seemed to be over.
Then, after performing a teary-eyed tribute to the late Michael Jackson at the 2010 BET Awards, support for him poured out and many, including celebrities, asked for others to forgive the 20 year old for his actions. Chris Brown issued a number of statements about his regret for what happened that night. But has he learned or was he simply trying to salvage his career?
Many in America believe that Chris Brown is sincere in his apologies and is ready to forgive him and offer their support. A Los Angeles Times survey asked “was Chris Brown faking it at the BET Awards?” Close to 40 percent of respondents believed that Chris Brown’s tears were genuine. And with his single “Deuces” topping charts, Chris Brown may finally make a comeback.
I too think that Chris Brown is truly regretful. But not simply for what happened, but because he was caught and paid heavy consequences for it. I believe that if the effects on his career and reputation were less, he would not be as sorry for his actions.
Coming from a home where his mother was abused by his stepfather, he understands fully the harmful effects of domestic violence. And despite his remarks that sudden anger caused him to beat his girlfriend so severely, as someone who has known many domestic abusers and their victims, I can say domestic abuse is rarely about losing your composure. Abusers want to control and physical abuse is but one method that they seek to gain control over others. Only time will tell if Chris Brown’s underlying thinking is changed, and in the meantime I wouldn’t be quick to think he has sincerely changed.
What do you think? Is Chris Brown truly sorry? Has he really changed?