Now, that Chris Brown has gotten the thumbs up from the judge, I gotta ask. How long are we gonna punish this kid for what was obviously a criminal, morally reprehensible but probably learned response? When is enough enough? Today, we have a one-sided view of domestic violence. Rescue the victim, vilify the abuser. But nobody is made well; cured of this disease. How’s that working for us, people? Chris Brown, George Huguely, Lawrence Taylor…and that’s just the news today.
Domestic violence makes for good T.V.
[Scene] Pictures of bloodied, beaten victims; lifeless forms covered in white sheets, tossed and strewn wildly in struggle; contained neatly by the boundary of yellow police tape.
[Insert that Law and Order noise] Diapered, crying children traumatized and barefooted.
[Dramatic announcer voice] What kind of monster would beat so mercilessly those he professes to love?
[cut to] Wild-eyed psychopath hiding in the bushes. Cue the villagers marching down the street, torches and righteous indignation in hand.
Meanwhile, the villagers march past the dude that actually did it cause we’re so busy chasing the big “after the fact” drama, we don’t notice the guy who speaks just a little too sharply to the girl across the table on their second date. We march right past that mofo. Or, the guy who can’t disagree with his chick without grabbing her arm. Nope, no batterer here. Or, even the girl who thinks that her man really loves her cuz he gets crazy when other dudes check for her. All’s fair in love and war!
But instead of catchin’ the problem at this stage, we runnin’ around behind Chris Brown’s little fairy ass boycotting Target for selling his CD’s. WTF?
Instead of that, let’s just explore how both sides are participating in a dysfunctional situation. Some stay because they got nothing else, shame on US! But some stay because they KNOW nothing else, shame on us…again. Somebody’s gotta say it. Something ain’t right if you’re an abuser; something else ain’t right if sticking around for the abuse. Now, if you try to say that out loud, folk will shout you down about how you never, never blame the victim but that ain’t what I said. I’m not even talking about blame, I’m talking about healing. If your body has disease, would you try to heal one side only and disregard the other? Make no bones about it, the willingness to abuse someone is a disease and so is the willingness to be abused. A fatal one without intervention.
We were all horrified by the pictures of Ri-Ri cuz that little girl got lumped up bad. Lucky for her. Because it forced her out of a situation that could have ultimately killed her. Chris ain’t just wake up one day and start laying down the hammer for now reason. And neither did George Huguely. But Yeardly Love is dead today because she wasn’t lucky enough to get her ass beaten real bad first. See, all her friends and teammates knew that her boyfriend was off. No one said a word. Because George Huguely didn’t fit the profile of the big monster killer…then. Folks wanted him to get help but they didn’t want to pull the trigger on having him ostracized for life. For the record, not everyone is gonna hold back like that. If some folks see a man get too handsy with a chick, they’ll turn him in. Sure, snitches get stitches, but some call po-po on bitches!)
So, we have to release that boy from the bondage of who he was and free him to become a better person. Not cuz we like ’em…cuz to tell you the truth, I know some chicks who can prolly take it straight to Chris Brown and wear that little yellow ass out. He wouldn’t be giving out but one lump that day and that would the last lump he levied in his life. No, we need to let him move on because other people, young impressionable people, in similar situations are watching how we respond. If try to punish him forever, other men with this problem won’t seek help and other girls, like Yeardly Love, who are being abused won’t seek help because they don’t want someone they love to be vilified forever.
We’ve got to show them a sensible path to healing: education, awareness, outreach. That’s should be our Promise to them. Here’s an excellent start.. There’s one thing I know (and quite possibly, just one)…regular folk don’t go from zero to crazy in sixty seconds. That kinda dysfunction develops over time. You don’t grab somebody’s Lamborghini keys and throw ’em out of the window on the first date! Neither do you put someone in a choke hold while exchanging pleasantries. It builds up over time. The old adage is true: you can boil a frog alive if raise the temperature one degree at a time. Help, real help nips that shit in the bud early through education and awareness. So, that we can pass something other than the legacy of violence and abuse down to da kids. And y’all know, Kymmie Kym luh da kids. (Unless them little bastards get outta line…)