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Chris Brown’s latest arrest evidence of violent character

Chris Brown never ceases to amaze me. On October 27, the singer and his bodyguard were arrested on a felony assault charge in Washington, DC after allegedly breaking someone’s nose. After spending the night in jail, Brown had his charge reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, and was released with no bail.

Perhaps now Brown’s true colors are really coming out, if you were not already horrified by his actions in 2009. Chris Brown is still on probation for his domestic violence conviction—which is also a felony—from that year when he attacked his girlfriend of the time, Rihanna. Four years is a long time to be on probation, but I still remember seeing the photos of Rihanna’s brutally beaten, pulverized face on the Internet. The two had supposedly been arguing one night, and it ended in violence.

Brown, who was just 19 years old at the time of the attack, turned himself in to the police and had to miss the Grammy Awards. (Rihanna missed the award show too, as her face was swollen and covered in bruises.) In a recent interview with The Guardian, Brown said that if it weren’t for this “incident with Rihanna,” he would be much more famous and successful now. “Bigger than life,” he lamented.

For me, Chris Brown’s character has always been dubious. I don’t quite enjoy his music, but after he abused his girlfriend I knew I would never be a fan. (It also did not help his case that he lied about doing his community service after his conviction, thus prolonging his probation into the present day.) Despite his insistence that he has grown up and changed, I am skeptical, and he is now facing possible jail time.

In 2009, many real fans defended their beloved “Breezy” almost immediately, saying that Chris Brown didn’t mean to do such a thing, is really a sensitive guy, and has anger management issues. In some dark corners of the Internet, I remember seeing that a few very delusional Brown fans claimed “Rihanna was asking for it.” The domestic abuse incident was in many ways reduced to a battle between “Team Rihanna” and “Team Breezy,” with people arguing over whose music was best. It seemed as if we were dealing with the dueling fictional rivalries from Twilight or some equally frivolous soap opera, and not the events of humans’ lives.

Just because these people are celebrities does not mean their actions can be trivialized. They are not just ants we watch through a magnifying glass (the magnifying glasses being tabloids, of course); they are real humans and their actions have consequences. What Chris Brown did was wrong, and we cannot deny that. If you like his music—which I personally don’t—I suppose that is fine, but being a fan of his single “I Can Transform Ya” does not warrant supporting his illegal, disrespectful, and outrageously violent behavior. You have every right to download Chris’ latest album, but remember when you do that you are indirectly supporting “Breezy” and his entire image.

It is important to keep this in mind with any celebrity, politician, or public figure: everyone should be held accountable for his or her actions, however popular he or she may be. I do intentionally single Chris Brown out as one such celebrity because of his consistent bad behavior, but this should really be a rule of thumb.

After his recent arrest Chris Brown checked into a rehab facility. The singer is supposedly looking to “gain focus and insight” into his violent behavior, Brown’s representative said in a statement, helping him to “continue the pursuit of his life and his career from a healthier vantage point.” CNN sees this move as Brown blatantly trying to avoid jail time, since he does not appear to have a substance abuse issue, but I hope (against hope) that that’s wrong. Maybe this most recent arrest will be Brown’s last, and he will change his ways, thus becoming more worthy of his fans’ devotion.

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Chris Brown’s latest arrest evidence of violent character