Black Community Bitter About Chris Brown
Parents, kids and stars incensed over alleged Brown-Rihanna abuse.
Feb. 18, 2009 — -- 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.
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."