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Friday, March 20, 2009


The New York Times has a very disturbing follow-up to the Chris Brown-Rihanna domestic violence case. After the initial excoriation of Brown many youngsters, especially teenage women, have been able to not only forgive Brown, but reverse the blame on to the victim. What happened to the sisterhood? Where are the young feminists?

Some of the commentators in the Times blame hip-hop culture, Tricia Rose, who teaches African-American culture at Brown, said, “This is the air that hip-hop breathes. The celebration of a stereotype of an aggressive, physical, often misogynistic masculinity that often justifies resolving conflict through violence. It can’t be held responsible for this, but it can’t be ignored.”

Where are the hip-hop stars? Rather than rushing to Brown's side to declare their support, they had better take hard look at the critique of their music (and the accompanying implicit critique of their lifestyle and worldview.)

Meanwhile, the Times notes in a number of public forums from Facebook walls to school assemblies a disturbing number of young women either back Brown or blame Rihanna. All the more reason, the Clarion Content strongly urges you to talk to your kids about this incident, especially if they were fans of either Brown or Rihanna.

One hip-hop star who has got it right, sadly from personal experience of domestic violence is former Salt-n-Pepa rapper, Sandra 'Pepa' Denton, "At the end of the day, your life is on the line when you're dealing with abusive men, and your life is more important than any man. Don't rationalize or internalize abusive behavior because love doesn't hurt."

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