Gawd, I Miss Love

Okay, so why haven’t I talked about the Rihanna and Chris Brown Train Wreck/Topic A/Soap Opera/Mess of the Moment?

Rihanna and Brandy Norwood laughing it up in New York Friday evening, March 13; they later had dinner with JayZ and wife Beyonce (Courtesy: TMZ Photo Gallery)

Rihanna and Brandy Norwood laughing it up in New York Friday evening, March 13; they later had dinner with JayZ and wife Beyonce (Courtesy: TMZ Photo Gallery)

It’s hard to talk about people that I don’t even listen to on the radio, if I listen to much FM music at all during the week. At least I could talk at length about Michael Jackson or Paula Abdul’s problems. This certainly isn’t my generation…

Rihanna, 21, and Chris Brown, 19, are still essentially children in my view. They may be free, black, and over the age of 18, and they may have made a lot of ducats for their respective record companies, can drive their own cars and can possess their own homes, and pay for expensive toys and clothes and trips. They are, however, still children going through the motions of adulthood, because their minds are still those of children. Especially when it comes to the circumstances surrounding and including Rihanna’s battering.

Showbiz children know that they don’t have to use their minds for very much, just their bodies and their voices to get by. They rely a lot on their handlers, managers, or parents. For example, Chris Brown began his serious career when he was 12; Rihanna, 15. Which means Brown left school before he completed junior high, and Rihanna, high school. The actors or actresses who attempt or complete a college education have something more on the ball. Jodie Foster, of course, immediately comes to mind. Others are Sean Penn, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Forest Whittaker, Ashley Judd, Denzel Washington, and Ashton Kutcher.

What does more education have to do with maturity? Receiving a diploma doesn’t necessarily bestow wisdom on someone, but it certainly provides the means for wisdom rather than the closed environment that a young entertainer negotiates. School is not something to be endured or avoided, but opens one to various experiences, classes and types of people, and interests. It is, like religion, another way to look within, not outside the self for answers.

What distresses me, and a lot of other conscious women and mothers who demonstrated in the streets, or wrote letters to the editor, or discussed with family and friends about domestic violence during the Seventies and Eighties is not just the battering, but the observation by many young people that “Rihanna brought it on herself.” You idiots, I keep thinking. What the hell are you doing to yourselves? This ain’t a game. Somebody is going to end up dead. Is that all you can understand? I don’t doubt that a majority are young girls, who would sound just like Celie condoning Sophia being beaten by Harpo in The Color Purple.

The Boston Globe submitted its findings Friday from a survey conducted among 200 Boston-area youth between the ages of 12-19, and half strongly maintained that the young singer was responsible for her facial injuries and near- strangulation. If these teens haven’t gotten the word at home or at school that violence against women and girls, no matter who instigated what, is not to be tolerated, then the street is definitely winning the battle.

Of those questioned, ages 12 to 19, 71 percent said that arguing was a normal part of a relationship; 44 percent said fighting was a routine occurrence.

The results of the survey, conducted by the Boston Public Health Commission across the city and equally among boys and girls, are startling for local health workers who see a generation of youths who seem to have grown accustomed, even insensitive, to domestic violence.

And if men, being the stronger, are desensitized to the damage and murder that they can wreak on women, what will they do as policemen? As soldiers? As husbands to our daughters and nieces and granddaughters?

When toddlers and young children are told by parents and guardians that fighting and hitting each other would be met with spankings and other punishments, of course, it takes more than just one encounter for them to know that the adults mean business. Unfortunately, the mothers and fathers (or boyfriends) may be showing the kids exactly how not to act as men and women.

These days black boys and young men are particularly wary about how they are perceived by their neighborhood, if not their schoolmates. If they are perceived as “punk”–that is, soft, sensitive, or even gay–then they run the risk of being abused or beaten down by other “harder” young men who think with their strength and masculinity. (Don’t think that other children of color or white children don’t mimic this behavior.) And under no circumstances must a young man allow a young woman not his mother to beat up on him and win, although in some cases, some black men have indeed beaten up or killed their mothers and grandmothers. This hyper-masculinity, this constant checking and rechecking of who and what is more male, and which used to be seen as a short phase among African American youth comes straight, I believe, from prison culture.

Regarding Rihanna’s ‘fight’ with Brown: I see her as pitching a tantrum, not trying to fight him. There is a difference. Perhaps I am wrong, but there is no way in the world, unless Rihanna used a weapon to equalize the fight, that this little (thin and small-boned) woman was going to “whup” to a standstill her taller and heavier and stronger boyfriend. Brown could have yelled at her to stop it or she would get them both injured (he was driving), pushed her aside without hurting her, and/or simply found a parking space for them both to cool down.

Did Rihanna have a right to touch him? NO.

Did Chris Brown have a right to touch her? NO.

I’ve heard and read seemingly older black men and women question not only their children’s values, but those of Rihanna’s father and Brown’s mother. More than one old-fashioned father, on blogs for African Americans, wrote that he would have personally kicked Chris Brown “dead in his ass” for roughing up his daughter(s). They wondered openly whether Ronald Fenty was worried more about money rather than his daughter’s well being, after encouraging the pair to stay together and work it out. It has also been remarked upon that Brown’s mother, who had been a subject of domestic abuse herself, has remained disconcertingly silent about her son’s treatment of his girlfriend. I’ve read from several sources that Joyce Hawkins has never been happy about Rihanna. If so, Hawkins’ silence is indicative of a black mother trying to save a black son at the expense of a black woman. And you have no idea how tired I am about that continuing dismissal.

I’m not going to go there about the insinuation that Tina Davis, co-manager of Chris Brown along with his mother, has had an on-again, off-again sexual relationship with her client. If it is true, nail is going to meet coffin swiftly, because it means mother pimped child to predatory manager in order to get child rich and famous. Not that such a thing hasn’t happened before, but there is no proof or confirmation. Furthermore, this is not something to laugh about at all.

So what do I mean when I say, “Gawd, I miss love”? Because this shyt has absolutely nothing to do with love at all. It means two ignorant and childish people are fighting over power and control over each other. They may sing about love, but they don’t know anything about it. Love is not going back to someone who has beaten you up or threatened to kill you. Love is not telling someone to shut up. Love is not verbal put-downs. Love is not giving a girl a fat lip. Love is not calling each other all sorts of names at decibel levels. Love is not Ike and Tina Turner. Love is not Mike Tyson and Robin Givens. Love is not Juanita Bynum and Bishop Thomas Weeks. Love is not Riddick Bowe and his first two wives, Judy and Terri. Or just a few days ago, gospel singer BeBe Winans and his ex-wife Debra. In other words, love is certainly not about pain.

Love is feeling good about each other, and wishing each other well, even when it doesn’t work out. Love is knowing what boundaries are, and not crossing them. Love is showing the children how. Love is someone not even wanting anything or anyone to hurt you physically or mentally. Love is a smile, a murmur, a taste, a caress. Love is thinking about the other person, and not what you can get from the other person. Anything else is considerably less than love and more like grasping and control. And that’s why I miss love, because it is getting harder and harder and harder to find.

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~ by blksista on March 14, 2009.

5 Responses to “Gawd, I Miss Love”

  1. […] Because, definitely, that wasn’t love. From O.J. and Nicole Simpson to Billie Holiday and Joe Guy, Jimmy Monroe, and Louis McKay, etc. , to James Brown and his myriad relationships, legal or extralegal. […]

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  2. I didn’t even know some of this stuff (Joyce Hawkins allegations, etc.). It will be real interesting to see how this plays out, when Chris and/or Rihanna decide to talk in a formal interview. And I wholeheartedly agree with you about your comments about what love is, and is not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The allegations and rumors were getting pretty wild for a while. I think that it is dying down. I truly think the nadir was about his manager being his lover, when it was revealed that she was the one who had messaged him on his cell.

      They ain’t doing a song, either. This piece of misinformation came from the Chris camp.

      What is true is that they are staying away from each other for the moment.

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  3. Wow. You said a mouthful there and I most heartily agree.

    Liked by 1 person

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