Not So Fast

Chris Brown

Chris Brown

Rihanna

Rihanna

From time to time, a domestic violence case hits the media.  It pulls back the covers on the always volatile mix of sex and violence.  It shows our confusion about responsibility.  The frustration of family and friends.   Rumors, truths, half truths, science and pseudo-science,  lies, shouts and whispers emerge to ‘explain’ events.

And blame rears its ugly head.

I am dismayed but not amazed by the rancor that has emerged toward Rihanna.  She asked for it. She hit him first.  She gave him an STD.  She went and got herself pregnant. (!!!!!) She should have …

I dislike the contempt for Chris Brown.  He is not the personification of evil.   He learned as he lived and now he’s living what he learned.  There is rage in all of us.  Wrong?  Absolutely.  A monster?  We don’t know.

The excuses people are making for both parties is equally misleading.  Your wanting him to be a good guy.  Wanting her to be wrong or the reverse doesn’t change the truth at all.

Beyond the bare facts, I don’t know what happened between these two.  But neither do most of the folks who are weighing in.

I do know this.

We don’t know all the facts.  Again, we don’t know all the facts.  One more time.  We don’t know all the facts.

This matters.  When we try to use an event like this to educate people about domestic violence, that’s honorable.  But we’re still using the players involved as pawns.  Do you want to be someone’s trick, even for a good cause?

Do you think you know who’s to blame?  Not so fast.

Judge not …

This Bible saying always felt deeply true to me.  But I didn’t always understand how it worked.  I think I have a take on it now.  It’s not necessarily that others will judge you – although they may.  It’s more that we sentence ourselves to jail because we fear receiving the judgment we dished out.  There is nothing sadder than someone who languishes in a prison cell holding the key.

I wonder …

If those images would have been released if Rihanna were a young, attractive, “good girl,” white woman

If Chris Brown were darker, heavier, more street, would we judge him differently

If our distrust of women will ever abate

If mindless, fact devoid chatter will ever go out of style

If we’ll ever pick up the key laying in our laps

If we’ll think a little bit less about celebrities and a little bit more about the screams next door

To Chris and Rihanna,

We like your music but we don’t know you.  We’re praying for and pulling for you but we need you to:

get some real help, far from prying eyes

get yourselves out of the line of fire.

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About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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