Chris Brown, the Britney-esque pop singer and dancer, who was charged with felonies for then-allegedly viciously beating his then girlfriend, pop singer Rihanna several months ago, has been given a plea deal by those tough as nails prosecutors in LA: Brown admits to felony assault, serves no jail time, receives five years of probation, and performs six months community labor AKA community service.
That's it. Not a day behind bars for beating the hell out of a woman.
And don't give me that speech about innocent till proven guilty. Don't tell me, you, like me, have not mentally convicted people before the fact when their guilt seemed apparent.
I'm not talking complicated mysteries, in which there is "reasonable" doubt. I'm talking those scenarios when someone walks in on a blood-soaked woman as she plunges a knife into a man's chest while cackling in a nutty way "die, die, die!" I'm talking the drunk driver with no passengers in his car, who climbs out of the driver's seat at the accident scene, as two dozen other drivers watch. Or, in this case I'm talking the boyfriend who acknowledges he was the only person with his girlfriend the evening bruises, cuts, and black eyes materialized on her face - the injuries shown in this picture, the boyfriend who through leaked text messages and such admits culpability, the boyfriend who acknowledges in his plea that those injuries were not sustained through a mysterious fall down a stairwell.
Why a plea deal? Why not no deal? A spokesperson for the LA County DA's office says Brown's deal is in line with what other first-time offenders in similar crimes get in Cali. Did I miss something? Brown was not charged with assaulting another man in a fistfight. He was charged with assault for beating a woman.
If this were philosophy class, the analogy would be that the tiny-brained reaction to Brown's admitted assault would be to give him a minor punishment 'cause others have gotten minor punishments for the same thing in the past. The logical thing to do though would be to stop giving minor punishments to men who beat women (and the less frequently occurring and less frequently reported women who beat men), and instead raise the punishment bar on all such offenders!
Prosecutors, you want to give deals to first-time offenders? Give those deals to the 13-year-old who steals a DVD from Target, or the harried mom of five, who injures her back and then gets so badly hooked on pain pills she falsifies a prescription slip to get more. But folks who assault or kill or commit crimes with weapons or deal drugs to or sexually assault children? No deals.
By not making an example of Brown and ending with him its admitted long practice of coddling first-time woman beaters, prosecutors in LA have condoned domestic violence, and have done nothing to quell the popular belief that if you want to get a slap on the wrist for committing a crime, then get rich, get famous, and go West young man!
I'm too pretty to go to jail. But I'm not famous, so I can guarantee you if I went to LA and beat the hell out of a woman, I'd get locked up faster than your head would spin...from me slapping you silly, of course.
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PS. As an angry black man, who sometimes expresses his frustration via tough love to the segment of young black men who are misguided by tough home lives and disingenuous entertainers they admire, I'm even more ticked off by this prosecution decision, because it furthers the urban legend that the hip and cool can get away with anything. You know what some young guys are thinking right now? Wow, Chris Brown is untouchable! He's teflon! So cool! Not the message to send to young men who are already facing an uphill battle on the road to professional success and social acceptance. Don't twist my words. I'm not talking all young black men. Plus, I know that assault knows no racial boundaries. But let's be blunt: I'm showing tough love to the young guys who look like me, 'cause they need it (from me) most. And don't bother scolding me, 'cause I'm not apologizing for a single word. Chris Brown's a punk and a bad example.