Letter to the editor: We need to stop condoning abuse


The 54th Grammys took place on Feb. 12 and showcased some really troubling aspects of our society. No, I’m not talking about Katy Perry’s crimped blue hair, but rather Chris Brown and our attitudes toward abuse.

It was right before the 2009 Grammys that Chris Brown beat up Rihanna, and, since then, Brown hasn’t been invited to the event. This year was the first time he was invited back. He performed and won a Grammy.

Ken Elrich, a Grammy producer, commented on his return, “I think people deserve a second chance, you know. If you’ll note, he has not been on the Grammys for the past few years, and it may have taken us a while to kind of get over the fact that we were the victim of what happened.”

Yes, you read that right: Elrich refers to the the Grammys as a victim of Chris Brown’s violent frenzy. I am pretty sure the victim in this case was Rihanna. 

Brown, after all, physically abused her, whereas the Grammys had to oh-so-terribly abstain from having him perform because he chose to beat the crap out of his significant other. 

Not to even mention the fact that said significant other is also a musician who attended the Grammys. And yet Elrich saw no problem in entirely discounting what she went through and calling the Grammys the victim. 

But wait, there’s more. During the Grammys the Twitterverse erupted with Grammy commentary, including various reactions to Brown’s return. One recurring reaction, chronicled in a Buzzfeed article, was some variation of “I’d let Chris Brown beat me anytime.” 

As if this wasn’t messed up enough, a vast proportion of the comments to the Buzzfeed article reprimanded the girls featured for being so damn stupid. But, really, isn’t it more troubling that we as a society treat abuse in such a way to make all those girls think abuse is a joke, or that if a man is talented or sexy, abusing his woman is not a big deal? 

Then, this morning “proud of Breezy” was trending on Twitter. And, honestly, I’m confused. 

What exactly are you proud of him for? Coming back to perform and win a Grammy after being banished because he admittedly abused his girlfriend? Benefitting from society’s nonchalance about abuse? Does make him brave, or triumphant somehow? 

Brown admitted to abusing Rihanna. He saw some consequences for his actions — though not enough — one of which was not being invited to the Grammys for three years. 

Now those consequences are over and people are proud of him? People tweet that they’d let him hit them? The producer says the show was the victim? 

Personally, I feel much more shame than pride. I’m ashamed of the Grammys, Chris Brown and the way we as a society react to abuse. 

The only person involved whom I’m proud of is Rihanna, who was the real victim in all this and still had the courage and strength to come and perform at the show. 

One might say she should have boycotted the incredibly messed up message the Grammys are sending, but I say that she shouldn’t be denied her chance to showcase her talent at the biggest music show of the year. 

All because other people have misplaced priorities, kudos to Rihanna for not letting anyone or anything keep her from being rewarded in honor of her talent. 



Julia Wejchert

Class of 2012