And the award for best domestic abuse goes to...
This past week was the 54th annual Grammy Awards. While I don't typically watch award shows like the Grammy's, I'm usually amused by the Twitter chatter they produce. As I was checking the trending topics during the show, Twitter blew up with talk about how great Chris Brown is. All I could do was wonder aloud to myself, "Isn't that the guy who beat his girlfriend Rihanna to a bloody pulp?
Domestic abuse is a topic I take pretty seriously. I have known too many people who have been in abusive relationships to take the matter lightly. If you have the capacity to brutalize someone who loves and trusts you, then in my mind, you are a worthless coward. So to see someone who unapologetically battered his girlfriend the way Chris Brown did, and then just a few years later receive one of the highest honors in music… it sickens me.
Celebrity hero worship is nothing new. We'll gleefully mock a celeb for their drug problems, then declare them a saint and a source of inspiration days later when they're found dead in a hotel room. Sure, Chris Brown can sing and dance pretty well. He's an entertaining performer with a great smile. But none of those things should outweigh the fact that he brutally assaulted his ex-girlfriend and then allegedly made public jokes about it. Granted, the Grammy's aren't awarded for having strong moral character, but the last thing someone like Brown deserves is a shiny gold validation for the choices he's made.
Hearing that Chris Brown won a Grammy was enough to get me angry, but the Twitter responses turned that anger into sickness. I came across countless tweets from people not only condoning Brown's actions, but also turning it into a joke. One tweet, which read, "I don't know why Rihanna complained. Chris Brown could beat me anytime he wanted to," made me furious. It wasn't an isolated incident, either. Days later, websites collected similar responses from dozens of Twitter users.
Even if they were joking, and sadly I'm not entirely convinced they were, domestic violence isn't a laughing matter. It's a heinous crime that, according to statistics, affects over 1 million people a year. The victims aren't people deserving of our mockery and indifference; they are our neighbors, our friends and family members. Chances are you know someone who has been forever affected by domestic abuse. Chances are equally good that this person hasn't spoken up about their abuse. And when they see someone like Chris Brown get a pat on the head, who can blame them?
For more information on domestic abuse, visit http://www.domesticviolence.org/
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