Rihanna photo: portrait of abuse


I am not a celebrity news blogger. We talk politics here, but the Ike and Tina circus surrounding black recording artists Rihanna and Chris Brown became more surreal as a graphic photo showing the injuries inflicted on her by boyfriend Chris Brown surfaced on TMZ and I must comment.   The cocoon of silence protecting Rihanna was broken today after her publicist released a brief missive to the press:

At the request of the authorities, Rihanna is not commenting about the incident involving Chris Brown.  She wants to assure her fans that she remains strong, is doing well, and deeply appreciates the outpouring of support she has received during this difficult time.

Chris Brown, attempting damage control, issued a statement Sunday which read in part:

“Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired,” the 19-year-old  batterer said in a statement released by his publicist. “I am seeking the counseling of my pastor, my mother and other loved ones and I am committed, with God’s help, to emerging a better person.”

Brown added, “Much of what has been speculated or reported on blogs and/or reported in the media is wrong. While I would like to be able to talk about this more, until the legal issues are resolved, this is all I can say except that I have not written any messages or made any posts to Facebook, on blogs or any place else. Those posts or writings under my name are frauds.”

Brown, who has suffered the loss of lucrative endorsements like Doublemint, is said to be reeling from the cacophony of negative publicity, but remains upbeat that he will ultimately beat the rap. This incident is ugly, tragic, and unnecessary. These two have everyting most young people can dream of  and for it to be marred by a thoughtless act of gratuitous violence is really sad. As one brotha to another, I hope the Los Angeles DA will, like your hit song says “take you down.”

As for the beautiful Rihanna, I only have one thing to say:  Leave him, baby.  Don’t let this birthday be your last.

34 thoughts on “Rihanna photo: portrait of abuse

  1. I saw that picture today and was instantly deeply disturbed. I mistakenly thought that perhaps the situation between the two on Grammy weekend wasn’t as dramatic as it obviously was (you know how celebrity stories tend to become exaggerated in the media), but after seeing this battered face of Rihanna it’s quite apparent that things were out of control. To go through something like this in a private way would be difficult enough, but to have it played out in public must be excruciating for her. I would hope that Rihanna’s silence will be broken and she will file charges. Women need to understand that they CANNOT let abuse of any sort (physical or otherwise) go unchecked. Whether Rihanna wants this to be public or not, it is, and many other women (and men) in abusive relationships need to realize the only way to put a chink in the armor of abusers is to call them out on it and have them face the consequences. All of that being said, Chris Brown’s side has not been made public either, and there may well be more to this story than meets the eye, but in the face of this startling Rihanna image one can only jump to certain assumptions.

  2. i thought this picture should have been released IMMEDIATELY.

    I was getting enraged hearing Brown apologists trying to get him out from under what he did.


    And should go to jail.

  3. SoCal Muchacha,

    While we may never know the whole story behind the beating, it is clear that the boy has a problem. I think some time in a cell would clarify the situation for him. No celebrity get out of jail free card should be issued here. Like rikyrah said, “He beat her ass.” Period. He needs to pay for that.

  4. TNT

    Throughout the careers of Rihanna and Chris Brown, the sup-press and other media sources have awaited for ample opportunity to expose any incident….well, they are embarking with premeditated zeal.

    Unfortunately, both are now victims.

    One victim has endured physical violence and will experience extended mental pain. Advice from an Trini, the consitution of strength and wisdom requires symmetry of the heart and mind. You deserve better.

    The other selfinflicted victim, reinforces the public stereotype of a typical n- not for negro. This clearly illustrates a coward fulfilled with significant ignorance.


  5. I was raised by parents who love and respect each other. When I left their cocoon, I was shocked to learn of the prevalence of rape and domestic violence. I still don’t understand it. What I do understand is that we have to raise our children better. These two people are barely out of childhood. They need guidance, love and forgiveness. This young woman needs to be embraced and taught to love herself. And while it feels good to call for vengeance against this young man, all that will do is feed his beast. He also needs to be loved and embraced so that he will love himself. People who love themselves, I believe, don’t engage in this sort of sickness.

  6. Cliff

    “I was getting enraged hearing Brown apologists trying to get him out from under what he did.”

    Rikyrah, Chris Brown is just young and dumb.

    He is so young and dumb, that he does not know how to respect women.

    He does not know how to control his emotions.

    He did not know how to not turn into Ike Turner when he gets into an argument with his girlfriend.

    He does not have the experience of long-term relationships.

    He is still a “rookie” when it comes to dealing with women.

    Plus he has not taken any Di#k Control classes. 🙂

    I give him a pass, for being YOUNG AND DUMB.

  7. ph2072

    I agree with SB and rikyrah. In addition, it is my hope that Rihanna, and anyone else being subjected to abuse, seeks and receives counseling for this and the other challenges that go along with abuse.

  8. imhotep

    If he wasn’t done before, he’s done now. Put a fork in him. For her to be as quiet as she has been about it tells me she is really not that bright OR she did something that has kept her mouth silent about the incident. This looks like a job for a big brother, uncle or dad. Because if my sister came home looking like that, soon so would the person that did it to her, plus a broken arm (preferably the one he swung repeatedly at her).

  9. I’ve discussed this issue on my own blog and at other spots several times, but I want to say this.

    The picture reflects what happens when someone substantially larger hits someone substantially smaller.

    It’s terrible that the young lady was hurt in this manner, but I think far too many people have chosen to ignore the original comments from Brown’s camp that Rihanna physically attacked him because she was enraged about his infidelity.

    It’s unfortunate that she was injured so severely, but what blame does she bear if she did in fact initiate a physical altercation? I would like to hear that discussed more so we could encourage both men and women now to use violence when they are angry. Because, many statistics show that it’s a serious problem for both sexes, but it results in far more damage once men become violent.

  10. TripLBee

    Big Man,

    My two year old is in a phase now where he hits me. I don’t hit him back. I don’t mean to reduce Rhianna, a grown woman, to a toddler. But I’m not going to get in the habit of making excuses for men who beat women. Both of these folks need help. Period.

  11. ph2072

    TripLBee is right. Even if (and that’s a BIG if because I have yet to see or hear about his camp saying that she hit him) she hit him, he has no right putting his hands on her and being the bigger person (literally and POSSIBLY figuratively IF she hit him), he could have (and should have) easily walked away.

  12. I think it’s right to throw chris brown to prison……
    because why would he do such a monstrous thing to a kindhearted and beutiful singer?????

    To chris brown….
    I idolize you but you are so wicked…

    I HATE YOU!!!

    ill pray 4 you rihanna

  13. Trip and PH

    I’ve had this discussion many times. I think there is a problem in society if we assume that because men possess superior physical strength, they should be compelled to accept physical violence from women without responding. I find that to be illogical.

    Adults are adults. As adults, we are charged with being able to handle our impulses without resorting to violence. Yet, there is a disturbing undercurrent out there that says that women are exempt from this rule, while men must not only follow it, but if they respond to violence with superior violence, they are still wrong.

    The reports of Rihanna being the initial aggressor came out when the incident first broke and were reported on Bossip and attributed to Brown’s camp. I know that some might cast aspersions on Bossip as an untrustworthy source, but on matters of celebrity gossip, they are typically more reliable than traditional mediums. The account from the Brown camp was that the couple argued over his infidelity, Rihanna hit him and he hit her back. Considering the fact that he is much larger and stronger, it’s not surprising that his blows would do more damage. However, that does not make him more wrong, which is what seems to be the prevailing opinion.

    Just as men should not resort to violence when they are frustrated or angry, neither should women. If we make exceptions for women, if we create a space where they can respond violently without facing the full brunt of the consequences of that decision, we are creating a new inequity to handle the past inequities that men have fostered on women. Furthermore, I think this exemption does a disservice to women because it encourages them to behave in a manner that is uncouth.

    No one should respond violently just because they are upset. Nobody should have that power or priviledge. The threat of violence is a powerful deterrent, and at times it is a necessary one. Without the threat of violent uprisings represented by Malcolm X, the non-violent protests of Martin Luther King Jr. might not have had the same weight. Without the threat of spankings, some children run amok. (I am not comparing women to children.) I believe that if women believe there is a possibility that a man may hit them back, they will be much less likely to hit a man first. Just like I believe that if men know that striking a woman first will land them in jail, they will be less likely to throw that first punch.

    Finally, Chris Brown and Rihanna are only 19 and 20 respectively. I think that far too many people have failed to look at their ages when discussing this issue. I think if we all looked back on the dynamics between men and women at that age, we would not find it so hard to believe that this was a volatile relationship and in this particular instance things went too far.

  14. Big Man,

    It’s been confirmed that Chris Brown beat the hell out of Rhianna, a person who appears to be half his size. He is a punk. A punk who needs help, but nevertheless a pure and simple punk. No one in this blog is suggesting that he should have just stood around and let her beat him (if in fact she struck him at all). But regardless of whether she hit him or not, Brown had many options that did not including beating the hell out of a petite woman. If I beat my wife and went home to my parents trying to explain that she hit me first, they would hang their heads in shame and kick me out of their house. There is no justifying what this young man did.

  15. ph2072

    “I think there is a problem in society if we assume that because men possess superior physical strength, they should be compelled to accept physical violence from women without responding. I find that to be illogical.”

    These words NEVER came out of my mouth and I seriously doubt that TripLBee said anything to this effect either. I never said that men should accept that. What NEEDS to happen is that if they are with a woman who is childish enough to (try to) hit them, they need to walk away and leave for good, literally and figuratively. And why in the world would a man be with a woman who hit him in the first place (same argument goes for vice versa)?

    Once again, TripLBee has echoed my sentiments exactly.

  16. taterzzz

    I know that with regards to my husband he once told me straight up, “pls don’t ever hit me if we start to really go at it. pls for your own sake. i would never want to hurt you, ever.” He’s a hot head who, if provoked enough by someone will snap..now we have gotten into it many times screaming raging even throwing things(at our worst) but i remember what he said and i respect that b/c i myself can be a snap case and in the past, i used to slap my ex when my frustration level got so high i literally would start to shake and i couldnt see! I am a hitter, I admit it. however b/c of this and b/c i love and respect my husband i wont crose that line with him cuz he IS bigger than me and i’m not stupid. now i know some would argue what kind of relationship allows that level of rage and anger. i’d argue-any relationship where 2 red blooded humans are involved. it boils down to communicarion and respect.

  17. No one but those two know what actually happened, so I’m not assuming anyone’s totally innocent here. Not always, but usually it takes two to tango.

    As awful as Rihanna’s injuries appear, she may have been the first to aggress. If proven, she’d have a problem in a court of law. I’ve read her interviews telling how she grew up: a tomboy who went to military school and often fought her brothers – even damaging one with a bottle. This young lady ain’t no punk! At least she didn’t ‘used’ to be one. So who knows what went down prior to Rihanna acquiring the cuts and bruises.

    Conversely, taking a page from The Color Purple, ‘Mister’ is alive and well in America. A Jamaican friend confessed a few years ago that he’d been arrested for assaulting his then girlfriend. He said he lost it when his girl one-upped him in the lip dept., when her way with words wounded his manhood. He hit her to regain control, he said. They got back together, with her hoping to get his charges dropped, but local officials still pursued the case.

    The point is that ANYthing is possible in relationships, regardless of age or ethnicity. And for all the outrage, Chris & Rihanna may get back together. If that happens, Rihanna may even feel sorry for Chris and feel responsible for all the drama. Stranger things have happened.

  18. It appears that a lot of us make excuses for and struggle with violence. It’s sad, but I suppose we should get to work on ourselves to end this spiral of madness.

  19. ph2072

    You’re right TripLBee. Let’s also make sure to explain to our youths that this is NOT the kind of behavior to aspire to (doling out abuse and accepting abuse), that there are NO acceptable excuses for this, and that there shouldn’t be ANY struggle with violence except to decide where to go when leaving.

  20. “I am seeking the counseling of my pastor…

    Whoa, whoa, whoa! This mother fucka is seeking counseling from his pastor! I’m sorry man, and this is coming from someone in the seminary training to be a priest, your pastor ain’t gonna help you on this one. You need some serious fucking help from a god damned trained psychiatrist and counseling about male supremacy in our culture and how to counter that! Not from your fucking pastor!

  21. ph2072

    Jack Stephens – you hit the nail right on the head (well, minus the fuck Viqi part). I would even venture to say that some pastors are okay with this behavior (overtly or covertly) due to the very reason that you stated – male supremacy.

  22. We are in 2009 and there are still man beating like sauvage. Then this guy Chris come to excuse himself. The way you see Rhianna’s face already told you how brutal he is. He is only 19 and so violent. He is really not normal in his head. Poor Rhianna

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