You can hate him, but he’s still getting paper

Ashleigh Robinson

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Feb. 9, 2009. A text message from my cousin comes in. In it, she asks me if I’ve heard the latest news on Chris Brown and Rihanna. I was fresh out of a long day at school, feeling exhausted as I sat on the couch. I had no clue what she was talking about while I stared at the phone curiously, so I asked her. When she sent a text back, I nearly dropped my phone in horror. Chris had hit Rihanna and the damage was bad. My face froze as I stared at the message. Was this real? She had to be kidding. The Chris I had loved since 2005 couldn’t have possibly laid his hands on Rihanna violently. I refused to believe it.
My cousin said it was all over the news, and when I turned on the TV and pulled up the Internet, it was. There were terrible images of Rihanna floating around with a face bruised red, as well as a harsh looking busted lip. My eyes watered upon seeing her face.
Coincidentally, I was a huge Rihanna fan. When the two of them began to date, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Two of my favorite artists were a pair. Together they could make amazing music and become a powerful musical super couple.
The media began to paint Chris as a monster as the days droned on, and if I saw anything related to the situation, I ignored it.
Chris and Rihanna both grew up in abusive homes. No one knows what happened in that car besides those two. Even before that fateful night, the two of them could have battled before.
I didn’t overlook the fact that what happened was wrong, but my opinion on Chris and Rihanna didn’t change. I didn’t stop listening to their music. I didn’t stop being a fan.
Chris and Rihanna are both human, but society and the media place them on a pedestal that almost takes their humanity away from them.
Domestic violence against men is just as likely to occur with men as it is with women. Rihanna’s injuries were visible, but who’s to say Chris also wasn’t hurt physically?
After the incident, Chris released his third album Graffiti in which he lyrically expressed his sorrows regarding the situation.
In the remorseful song “Fallin Down” Chris sings, “Can you imagine the weight of a world placed on your shoulders, trapped in this world.” Later he sings, “Why is it so easy for you to blame? I’m only human, we’re all the same. I’ve given up everything in exchange for being alone.”
Chris also released a video to his song “Crawl”, where he is haunted by a famous ex-girlfriend, believed to model Rihanna, that always appears on TV and the red carpet. The video also shows how after the incident, the public turned away from Chris.
Two years after the incident, some people still aren’t willing to forgive Chris for his actions.
Negative outside opinions on what happened between the two are completely irrelevant and will remain that way. Those who can’t let themselves forgive Chris are simply wasting their time.
Chris is still selling albums, pushing out platinum singles, and succeeding at everything he does. It’s a waste of time to focus hate on someone who could care less about a hater’s opinion.
There aren’t too many people out there who care about someone’s negative views of Chris because his fans have forgiven him and as long as he has their support, as well as his family’s, no one else matters. The people that still care for some odd reason that Chris hit Rihanna are senseless.
Those people should put themselves in Chris’s shoes and see if they could handle all the negativity that has been thrown his way. Unlike Chris, I’m sure these people would crack under pressure.
For the people who can’t let the past stay in the past, why does it matter? What does the situation between the two of them have to do with you? Were you there? Did Chris hit you? Were you immediately affected by the incident?
I’ll never forget what happened, and I’ll never let it slide, but I will also never stop supporting Chris. In October, I’ll be going to the FAME Tour, which is Chris’s fourth headline tour. There are some people out there who think it’s ridiculous to support Chris and pay $100 to see him live, but to that I say it’s ridiculous to dwell on something that happened in the past, especially when it didn’t concern you.
Chris has paid his dues. He’s been under the scrutiny of the public eye, and sometimes he still is, but it’s time to let it go. While people sit around hating on Chris, there are 300,000 children at risk of dying in Somalia. There are people dying every day from deadly cancers. Someone right now at this very moment was just gunned down. And yet, the focus is still something that happened with Chris Brown two years ago.
It’s undeniable that Chris is one of the best artists out there, and he’s already a living legend. People can hate as much as they wish to, but it’s not going to stop the fact that Chris is an amazing artist, dancer, and all around person. Regardless of what anyone thinks, Chris is still sitting at the top of the game right now, and his reign will only grow from here.

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