Chris Brown’s History of Violence

“You say a few hateful things, they don’t let you within a few hundred yards of the Oscars. You can literally beat the shit out of a nominee and they’ll ask you to perform twice at the Grammys.”

Seth Rogan

The latest charges brought against Chris Brown (singer, dancer, Twitter-quitter) were dropped from felony assault to misdemeanor assault yesterday. And we’re not sure whether to breathe a sigh of relief or one of infuriation. Yes, innocent until proven guilty. Yes, fair trial for all. But it used to be that a person’s word was actually worth something – could be trusted. Breezy on the other hand, has proven that not only are his words some of the most ephemeral to be found anywhere inside the Twitterverse, they also, scarily, seem to carry about as much weight inside his own head.

After doing this to Rihanna’s face in 2009, Brown appeared on Larry King Live  (ironically, the show was pre-recorded) and claimed that he didn’t remember what happened the night he hit her. The day before the show was aired, and after the media had caught wind of some of the content in the Larry King interview, Brown issued a statement saying, “Of course I remember what happened” and cited context as the reason for the misunderstanding. He had apparently been worn down throughout his interview with King and wanted to move on so he opted for the I-forget card. Sweet move, Chris.

Truth: 0 Chris Brown: 1

“I take full responsibility for my actions. What I have to do now is to prove to the world that this was an isolated incident and that is not who I am and I intend to do so by my behavior now and in the future.”

Chris Brown, Rolling Stone, September 2009

Let’s admit that whenever you have to hire a crisis management team, as Brown did in 2009, you’re never in a really great position. And let’s recognize that that team will probably make you say some things simply to quell the shit storm you’ve created – but taking full responsibility and claiming to prove to be a half decent human being doesn’t sound like it should be much of a stretch. For Breezy however, it’s been a rough ride.

In 2010, Brown produced a slew of homophobic tweets aimed at former B2K singer Raz-B. Said Brown afterwards, “Words cannot begin to express how sorry and frustrated I am over what transpired publicly on Twitter. I have learned over the past few years to not condone or represent acts of violence against anyone.” Already this sounds like someone crying wolf.

Brown appeared on Good Morning America in 2011 and purportedly erupted into violence in his dressing room during a commercial break, incensed that he’d been asked about the Rihanna incident. According to the show, Brown apparently decided the appropriate thing to do was take off his shirt and confront several members of the show’s staff before storming out (still sans shirt of course) and then tweet  “I’m so over people bring this past s**t up!! Yet we praise Charlie Sheen and other celebs for [their] bullshit.” Of course, the tweet was deleted moments later so it’s possible Chris isn’t even sure it happened at all.

In 2012 there was the altercation with Drake at a nightclub that left 8 people injured. This year alone, Brown has been involved in three different high profile incidents including a confrontation with singer-songwriter Frank Ocean, an alleged hit and run in L.A., and last weekend’s assault in D.C. during which he once again is alleged to have dipped back into his homophobic roots. Oh, and he recently stopped following his own mother on Twitter because they got in a fight. This guy has come a long way

Responsibility: 0 Chris Brown: 2

Winner: No one
There’s no one out there hurting Chris Brown’s image more than Chris Brown. Whether it’s in the real world, the Twitterverse, or inside his own head, nothing seems to be moving in the right direction. The real question however, is why do we keep supporting someone who continues to live so far outside of reality? Someone who sees to understand so little about accountability?

So maybe the sigh we’re letting out when we hear about Breezy’s latest embattlement isn’t for him at all, but for us. After all, his shame is our shame as long as we continue to revel in his downfalls. To look forward to his latest transgression. To pay attention to him at all. 

Chris Brown’s just 24 years old and yet he’s capable of making us feel so tired.