Thursday, February 22, 2018

Where does forgiveness end and apparent insanity begin after domestic violence?


Rihanna and Chris Brown hours before the incident.

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There has been much heated debate stemming from the remix of Rihanna's latest song, "Birthday Cake".

The song on its own might be fine but the uproar centres around the fact that she did the remix with none other than Chris Brown — the same Chris Brown who pummeled her in the early hours of February 8, 2009.

You see, the song is sexually charged and many are asking the question, "How do you do a song like that with a guy who hurt you so severely?" Bear with me. Let's look at the unfortunate history.

After the incident, Brown stated in a press release, "Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired."

On June 22, 2009, Brown pled guilty and accepted a plea deal, getting five years of probation, one year of domestic violence counselling, and six months of community service. The judge retained a five-year restraining order on Brown which required him to remain 50 yards away from Rihanna, 10 yards at public events.

On July 20, 2009, Brown released a two-minute video apologising to fans and Rihanna for the assault, expressing the incident as his "deepest regret" and saying that he accepted full responsibility. In the video, Brown said he wanted to speak out earlier about the case but was advised by his attorney not to until the legal ramifications were settled.

In September 2009, Brown spoke about growing up in a household where his mother was repeatedly assaulted by his stepfather. He said that whenever he heard the details of his assault on Rihanna, he is "in shock because first of all, that's not who I am as a person, and that's not who I promise I want to be." He also claimed that it was "tough" for him to look at the photographs released of Rihanna's battered face and that it "may be the one image to haunt and define me forever" but he still loved her.

In February 2011, at the request of Brown's lawyer, a judge modified, with Rihanna's agreement, the restraining order to a "level one order", allowing both singers to appear at awards shows together in the future.

There is a point I'm getting to but bear with me. Now let's review excerpts of the song and get to the REAL burning question.


Come and put your name on it (put your name on it)

Come and put your name on it (your name)

Bet you wanna put your name on it (put your name on it)

Come and put your name on it It's not even my birthday

But he wanna lick the icing off

I know you want it in the worst way (the worst way)

Can't wait to blow my candles out

Ooh baby I like it, it's so exciting

Don't try to hide it

I'mma make you my b****

(Chris Brown)

Girl, I wanna (expletive) you right now (right now)

Been a long time, I've been missing your body

Let me-let me turn the lights down

When I go down, it's a private party

Ooooh, it's not even her birthday

But I wanna lick the icing off

Give it to her in the worst way

Can't wait to blow her candles out

I want that cake, cake cake….

(Chris Brown)

Doggy want the kitty

Give me a heart attack and throw it back

Now watch me get it

And I knew this but you the s***

Damn, girl you pretty

Blowing out your candles, let me make a couple wishes


Remember how you did it?

Remember how you fit it?

If you still wanna kiss it

Come, come, come and get it

Sweeter than a rice cake, cake worth sipping

Kill it, tip it

Cake, fill it

If you sexy and you know it

And you ain't afraid to show it

Put a candle on my (expletive) back, baby, blow it

Love the way you do when you do it like that

Show up with the stats, bring the racks on my racks

Wrap it up, wrap it up, boy

While I take this bow off

Talk that talk, yeah, I know I'm such a show-off

Daddy, make a wish

Put this cake in your face

And it's not even my birthday

Some people are livid over it, not because it affects them personally but because it lends to a topic that women can relate to.

Some women may think hypothetically about being in that situation. You are probably thinking you'd want nothing to do with someone like that again. If you're a mother — especially with a daughter — you'd be angry beyond words because you wouldn't want your daughter to even think of that guy who hurt them that way.

So personalise it somewhat. Is it 'acceptable' to be so intimate, whether by words or actions, with someone who almost killed you? Yes, we have heard about forgiving but where do you draw the line?

Would you think that Rihanna trivialised the incident somehow by doing a song like this? Or would a previously abused woman gyrating intensely on the guilty guy at a fete three years later mean she trivialised her attack?

If it was your daughter, would you feel that you should get over it or would you have been beyond infuriated that your daughter would 'hook up' with her attacker, no matter how indirect the union?

At the end of the day, Rihanna and Chris are collectively the hot topics within the entertainment circuit and they are gaining monetarily because people love the song but skim the surface.

Is a woman 'crazy' for doing something like that or is she 'cleansing herself' by forgiving and 'moving on' on her own terms? How do you view that? What if it was your friend, sister, aunt, best friend? I think, honestly, I'd be peeved that she'd even want to be around him but I might resign myself to the fact that it's her life.

This is not to judge Rihanna. Think about it in the world that you know. If this was a personal situation with you or a relative or loved one, what would be the 'right' thing for her to do? By maintaining contact, does that make the man feel that he 'got off'? I am asking because there is a part that I don't understand.

Give me your take because I'm not sure if a man in this situation should have his cake and eat it too.