I’m not the biggest fan of Chris Brown, musically or otherwise, and so when the news came that he had been denied a visa and banned from entering Australia, it didn’t really change my life in any way, shape or form.
Chris Brown made headlines in 2009 when he was convicted of domestic assault on his girlfriend at the time, Rihanna. After threatening to kill the singer and strangling her several times, he found himself on five years probation and most recently, unable to enter Australia. Whilst many cry this decision is unjust and a further punishment to Brown (a man who has apparently now ‘done his time’) I can’t help but feel that five years picking up litter and cleaning graffiti doesn’t really cut it. Yes, people can change and criminals can be rehabilitated, and no, our mistakes should not define us for our entire lives, but entering Australia and gaining a visa is a privilege Australia has a right to be selective about.
Brown’s reaction to rejection was that of a victim turned preacher, taking to Twitter to state that his coming to Australia would do more good than harm as he would be able to educate children on domestic abuse because children listen to and admire rappers. Whilst I’d like to think I follow my mum’s advice as opposed to Eminem’s, I do admit that he has a point. Young people are influenced by those they see as ‘cool’, and parents and teachers don’t fit into that category, whereas Chris Brown might. But if this is so and Chris Brown really does have the youth’s eyes on him, surely the lesson that Australia is sending out to the world by rejecting his visa application is better than one allowing him in?
Whether domestic abuse is wrong is not subject to your social status and the effects of it are by no means temporary. Rihanna didn’t wake up on the day Chris Brown had finished his probation and forget all about the attack or find the emotional damage he had caused her to be gone. If the consequences of domestic abuse have no expiry date then I refuse to see why the punishments should to, perhaps then Brown would take more responsibility with his actions.
Furthermore, if Brown really wants to help prevent domestic abuse and sees himself as an influential vehicle to do so, maybe he should stop rapping about violence and women like they are pieces of meat? I mean, if like he says young people really are more ready to listen to him than their parents, perhaps the lyrics ‘Girl you better not change your mind, no is not an option’ isn’t the greatest of starts. Just a thought.
So whilst some girls will be crying into their pillows over their beloved rapper turned convict not making an appearance in their country, I know for a fact I wont be losing any sleep.
Jessica Readett, BA International History and Politics