Monday, November 26, 2012

Chris Brown, Jenny Johnson and Twitter (Find Peace, Not Hate)

Three years later, Chris Brown is still a pariah. Still a poster child for domestic abuse, entitlement and the “bad boy” rebel America loves to embrace/hate/associate with maturity. His youthful defiance and musical comebacks have earned him more detractors. Everything he’s done since Grammy Night 2009 has been amplified more.

I write here not to defend Brown, something I’ve done every year since I’ve been blogging. I’m writing to ask people one question. Why does he still concern you? Why does everything wrong he does matter to you?

I could make the argument that people aren’t giving him space to grow and change. Which is true. But Chris hasn’t done himself favors with some of his decision-making.  We already know some of them but here’s other things he hasn’t done either.

He’s not bowing down to folks. He’s not apologizing 24/7. He’s also at the age where young men are trying to figure themselves out. 19-25 are those years of understanding yourself and being comfortable with you are.

I’m not condoning his stupidity. I’m only saying if his stupidity doesn’t affect you, why care so much? He’s not the first or only person to be like that. You don’t demand a grown Charlie Sheen stop acting like a 20-year-old. If you do, then we’re in the same boat. But I got a life to live that’s in front of me.

One thing I’ve learned the last two years is to try and concern myself only with those things that affect me. Of course I still read as much as I can and be aware of what’s going on. Celebrities don’t move me.

I saw the same thing with people following or mentioning LeBron James to call him out after leaving Cleveland. Or Michael Vick 5 years after his dogfighting case. If you feel a certain way about them, fine. Just go spend your time doing something else besides raining hate on them.

That’s what I’ve done with R. Kelly. Since he was acquitted on having sex with that underage girl on tape, I’ve deleted his music from my iPod and made a conscious decision not to support him. I don’t care what he’s done since and it’s been cool keeping him out of my mind. I’d rather thrive on peace on mind than go out of my way to harass or even constantly joke at some celebrity who doesn’t care about me.

So I have no love for Jenny Johnson. No sympathy for her being shut down by Chris. If you poke a hornet’s nest for so long, you deserve to be stung. That goes for anybody who thinks they can talk to anybody on Twitter the way they can. If somebody cusses you out, that’s your fault. There’s evidence to show that Jenny has been cracking on Chris since 2011 and that Chris blocked her as a result.

After ignoring it for so long, he responds and he’s the bad guy? Explain that to me. Oh and Johnson – who I’ve seen on Twitter for 2 years and have no idea who she writes for – just got extra publicity for this.

Maybe my issue is with the media trying to paint her as sympathetic and Chris as the aggressor. You only focus on the person who talks the loudest and not the person who started it. This isn’t Chris’ fault for once. Sure he could’ve avoided it and sure Jenny could’ve just shut up. Takes two to tango, folks.

There is no excuse to talk to anybody and not expect him or her to respond. If you think Chris Brown is a terrible person, fine. Ignore him. Put him out of your mind. Shun him. But keep on responding and you deserve whatever you get. Meanwhile the object of your anger gets to keep living as if you don’t exist.

That also applies to folks who have targeted Johnson with death threats. You aren't helping the situation with your hate. She doesn't deserve that. 

Twitter has made me realize people can tee off on celebrities/personalities with no fear. There’s more direct access so people can either feel closer for positive/negative reasons. But nothing is more sad than seeing people throw darts at somebody on Twitter all the time.

There’s nothing as entitled as thinking you can talk to anybody any way because they are there. You wouldn’t stand for it yourself or to your loved ones. It says more about you that you would go that far than it does about why you’re doing it.

Now we have a society where people are making their voice heard much easier and louder. It’s exposed some folks are more intelligent than they are but also some folks as weak-minded and petty. Twitter isn’t the problem. It’s the people who use it and reveal how sad they are trying to be funny. Sometimes it can be funny but mostly it screams I want attention.

So while we watch folks analyze Chris “going off” again and Jenny Johnson be the “latest victim”, don’t be fooled by the way the media is framing this. You might not like or have forgiven Chris Brown, but don’t tell me he doesn’t have the right to verbally respond to folks who push him.

I still wish he got some deeper counseling. I wish he made smarter decisions and didn't act like a jerk. But at the same time, it's his life and his choices. We’re better off letting him be not because he deserves it but because you do. You are the ones who control how somebody affects you.

Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, Charlie Sheen, Chris Brown, Taylor Swift. Whoever it is that may irk you (and me) for whatever reason, put them out of your misery and free yourselves. They’re living their lives and you need to live yours.


  1. I think we, as people, have a tendancy to make things about us that have absolutely nothing to do with us. Then we take those things that aren't about us, personally. It's a curious tendancy that I see on Twitter a lot. It actually fascinates me.

    I can't comment on Chris Brown, specifically, because I don't have a strong enough opinion. I think he's vile, but I couldn't care less about what he says. He doesn't occupy my thoughts. His story (and the reaction to it) is complex, though, and I do believe it warrants discourse for a number of reasons, but in a way that is beneficial.

    1. I agree with you Sarah and I think that's what we have do. I don't particularly like how Chris has acted lately and at the same time, I try not to bother myself to care. We're all guilty of probably caring too much about something and I think if we just step back and say "it's not that important" or "consider the source", we'd be much happier and peaceful.

  2. I agree, my friend.

    I don't support Chris Brown. I also think he is vile (^^). So I choose to not listen to his music or let him occupy my head space. I have a slight clue as to what this whole Twitter battle is between him and Jenny Johnson (didn't even know her name until I read your post), but only because I heard a blurb of it on the radio this morning, before changing the station.

    He seems to have lost his way, majorly. His actions don't affect me directly- so I don't really care about how he chooses to live his life.

    But indirectly he serves as an example of how a man should not act- in his past with domestic violence as well as his present with his violent reactions. If he should find grace and peace after all of this, good for him. Until then, this is all the attention I'm giving this debacle.

    1. Your last paragraph is why I love you so much my friend. I felt in 2009-2010 that he could be a great example of how to handle your mistakes and grow from a bad situation. Now, I've lost faith and just hope he finds peace. I think Chris and Rihanna could have taken this situation so much higher for folks to learn from but then again, they were 19-20 when it happened and I realize now it's hard to expect more from them in the public eye as they're embracing what they're seen as instead of shaping something better.

      It's all nonsense. I wouldn't have cared much about it either but I think it says a lot about how pop culture has gotten too gossipy and people feel they can say anything to anybody over Twitter/Facebook. That's what fascinates me most - how we always look at who gets angry instead of who causes it.

  3. Because domestic violence has "nothing to do with us" or it's "their problem to sort out" we have taken part in allowing it to happen in our society. We need to stop ignoring it for the sake of our own "peace". We need to call it out, break the cycle, tell everyone that any kind of violence is not ok. Chris Brown or your neighbour, if you see domestic violence then don't ignore it. Call it out. Call the police. Don't pretend it doesn't happen or doesn't affect you.

    1. I agree with this. I'm not condoning domestic violence with this particular incident because I don't see a correlation with an argument with two people, one of whom happens to have abused someone. I'm only saying that if you want to advocate for domestic violence, don't call out people who have done it in the past. What progress does it make beating a dead horse when we can nip future cases in the bud early?

      Impact the present by teaching kids to process their emotions. Evaluate how we as adults respond in anger to situations. Condone videos like one I saw earlier last month of a rapper beating down a young woman. But to continually bash Chris isn't fighting the good fight. It begs the question of if you're truly fighting to prevent domestic violence or just reminding him he's a former abuser (same applies to Charlie Sheen/Mel Gibson/R. Kelly).

      I know not everyone will agree. But for me, it's why I don't spend my time wondering how he'll screw up next or act like a jerk next. I got my life to care about.

    2. I agree. Domestic violence has hit close to home for me and we need to talk about it. But, we need to talk about it in a way that serves victims, makes people aware of its prevalence, what can be done to prevent it & report it, and support those it affects directly - even upon reconciliation.

      Jennifer Johnson didn't help anyone in her attack on Chris Brown on Twitter. Her actions didn't serve any cause, though she probably claims otherwise

  4. How do you look for data for your new entries and which exact search engines or techniques do you often turn to?