Black Community Bitter About Chris Brown

Monique Wright-Williams had always forbidden her three girls from watching hip-hop music videos because of the way they portray women as "hoochies or sex objects," she said.

"I don't ever want them to think of themselves as a sex object," she told ABCNews.com.

The music of Chris Brown, though, was different. Marketed as more of a Jonas Brother than a Lil Wayne, Brown won the approval of both mother and daughters. Wright-Williams' oldest daughter, Solange, a 17-year-old college freshman, plastered her room with pictures of the 19-year-old R&B singer and affectionately referred to him as her "husband."

So when the Syracuse, N.Y., family learned that Brown had been arrested last week for allegedly beating his pop-star girlfriend Rihanna, the news came as a shock.

"I'm obviously disappointed," Wright-Williams, a youth services agency director, said. "He was in a good position to serve so many young black children well. Whenever anybody who is in a good position to have a nice impact on my children, and children in general, tumbles and falls in such an important way, it's here we go again."

Perhaps. The fall of a teen idol is familiar territory. But the swift and critical public response to Brown's arrest from the Williams family and other members of the black community has come as something of a surprise to some people.

African-American Celebrities React

Gayle King, editorial director at O, The Oprah Magazine, rejected Brown's recent apology in which he said in a statement that he was "sorry and saddened" and "seeking the counseling of my pastor, my mother and other loved ones."

"Right now, I can't think of anything that makes me support anything that Chris Brown is saying at this time," King told the entertainment news show "Extra" Sunday. "And my heart just aches for Rihanna."

At first, "Hustle and Flow" star Terrence Howard came out in support of Brown, saying, "It's just life, man. Chris is a great guy. He'll be all right. And Rihanna knows he loves her, you know? They'll be all right."

Support for Rihanna

The actor later retracted his remarks, calling them "insensitive." And, apparently, Brown's troubles hit close to home for Howard. According to the Smoking Gun, police and court records show that Howard was arrested for a similar but previously unreported alleged assult on his estranged wife. Howard pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.

Kanye West told Ryan Seacrest last week, "I was completely devastated by the concept of what I heard. ... I feel like that's my baby sis. I would do any and everything to help her in any situation."

Rap mogul Jay-Z, who discovered and mentored Rihanna, reportedly "hit the roof" when he heard about the alleged fight, according to Us Weekly magazine.

"Just imagine it being your sister or mom, and then think about how we should talk about that," Jay-Z said of 20-year-old Rihanna. "I just think we should all support her. She's going through a tough time. You have to realize she's a young girl, as well. She's very young."

And it's not just African-American celebrities who are outraged. Actress Rosanne Barr lashed out at Brown on her blog Monday.

"Chris Brown's lies and excuses make me want to beat the crap out of him," Barr wrote. "You dirty bastard. I hope you go to prison for 10 years."

Reaction Good for Black Community?

The criticism, especially from the hip-hop community, comes as a welcome surprise to black writer and NPR analyst Juan Williams (no relation to Wright-Williams).

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