Chris Brown Has Anger Issues
I have to admit, the headline sort of writes itself, in part because it’s as obvious as can be. Chris Brown has made a name for himself alternately with some fairly well received rap albums and his penchant for finding or creating trouble. He shot to national fame not for his music, but rather of beating then girlfriend Rihanna in his car. For that offence, he received community service and probation in lieu of prison time. The probation isn’t up, and Chris Brown has been back in trouble multiple times.
I could go on and on about his offenses, or his offensiveness if you prefer, but that really isn’t my point. He is essentially a young angry black man with the money to try to skate for everything bad he has done. He is not just a musician / rapper, he is also a poster boy for what is wrong in the US legal system.
Probably and community service for domestic abuse is in itself a crime, a punishment that effectively lacks punishment. Chris Brown figured he was even above that, and according to the prosecutors in his case, he faked the community service with help from family members, and that backfired. His community service was a sham from start to finish, so much so that the courts ordered him to do another 1000 hours of community service. It’s suggested by some that he may not be anywhere near that number, and is due back in court November 20th to deal with it.
More recently, he got caught up in a fight and possibly homophobic remarks, which lead to him spending an overnight in jail, and may contribute to him getting his probation revoked, if there is any justice. The reality? There is little justice, which is why Chris Brown is a poster boy for much of what is wrong.
Beating his girlfriend to being bloody should have landed him in jail without exception. No community service, just a nice jail term to be served out. Quite simply, violent felonies, no matter circumstance, should be met with the full power of the law. Yet, so often this type of violence is treated like a parking offence, pay a small fine, agree to park nice for a year, and go on your way. That type of “it’s not important” treatment of these cases just leads to more. If there is no real risk in the behavior, then it becomes acceptable.
Moreover, the case points to a US justice system that is fundamentally broken. Chris Brown should have already been toss in the pokey after this community service was blown, there shouldn’t have been a negotiation for another break. But a system that keeps granting breaks, exceptions, ways out, apologies, and half hearted rehab attempts only adds to the issues at hand. Chris Brown likely will not learn until Chris Brown actually has to pay for his misdeeds, and that is done sitting in a 4×8 cell and thinking about it for a few years. The US justice system allows people to ignore the court, to ignore rulings, and allows them to get away with it repeatedly. It’s a huge failure.
Until the legal system stop playing softball with angry, agressive people like Chris Brown, society as a whole will suffer. I can live without his music, especially if it means we get to live without his violent ways.