Chris Brown could be my son. I mean, really. He’s a handsome guy. So is my son. He’s amazingly talented. So is my son. He can dance his butt off. So can my son. His singing can make even a grown Mama pay attention. My son has a beautiful voice. He is a Golden Boy. So is my son.
Except — right now Chris Brown’s looks and talent are overshadowed by the actions of this past weekend. And the question we’re asking is: How did this happen? How did this beautiful talented guy end up the center of rabid attention for beating his gorgeous girlfriend? I mean, he doesn’t look like a thug. He doesn’t appear to be the kind of guy I warn my daughter about. But there’s more to each of us than our appearance. There’s more to us than even we know. Right now I’m pretty sure even Chris Brown is asking himself, “What happened?”
I talked to my son, Simeon, about the situation as we drove to school today. (I was driving. He’s got his permit, but I’m more comfortable behind the wheel.) “Did you hear about Chris Brown and Rihanna?” I asked. “Yeah,” he responded, that’s messed up. She had bite marks and stuff.” “Wow,” I said, “that had to be a lot of rage for him to lose it like that.” We were quiet for a while as we crossed the bridge. “Son, ” I said, “If you ever find yourself in a situation where you feel like you’re losing control, walk away. Really, man, unless you are struggling for your own life there is never any reason to hurt a woman.” Sim nodded, grunting. We talked some more about men who hit and the women who leave — or sometimes stay. He said, “I know some girls right here at school though, who keep getting beat up and they keep going back. That seems stupid.” Yeah, I guess it does. But I can’t begin to understand their stories or what deep inside them leads them to make the choices that they make. They probably aren’t sure themselves. I doubt even Chris Brown knows what rose up from some place inside him that led him to hurt someone he cared for. He could be my son. But he’s not. I can’t reach out to him. But I can reach my son and tell him to walk away. That every woman is somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister. I can tell my son that a man is responsible for his actions. He is someone who protects, not someone who we have to be protected from. Chris Brown and Rihanna are in my prayers. My son is in my prayers and in my house.