Dear Tell All: I was appalled to see Chris Brown performing at the Grammys last weekend. It was only three years ago that Brown beat up his girlfriend, Rihanna, right before that year's Grammy ceremony. "I'm going to kill you," he reportedly said while smashing her in the face. The pictures of a bruised, bloody Rihanna sickened the world, but Brown got off with a slap on the wrist - community service and few years of probation.
The entertainment industry has been even more forgiving than the legal system. Brown was immediately welcomed back onto talk shows, Saturday Night Live and various awards shows. His label has allowed him to keep making music as if nothing ever happened. In the meantime, reports surfaced about additional domestic violence incidents with Rihanna, and last year Brown went into a window-smashing rage when a Good Morning America host had the nerve to ask him about the assault. I guess such inconvenient questions would get in the way of Brown and his label making millions more dollars, and we can't have that, now, can we?
The capper is that Brown got to go back on the Grammys, which he sullied only three years ago. The message comes through loud and clear: There will be no serious consequences in this country for a man who beats up women. He will even win a Grammy and get a big ovation.
Dear Angel: On top of Brown's other problems, he's not a great musician. When singers like Frank Sinatra or James Brown acted abominably in their personal lives, we couldn't kick them off the national stage even if we wanted to - they were one-of-a-kind geniuses who had earned their place in pop history. But Brown is just a hack pushing the latest product.
It's bad enough to have to see an abusive creep like him on the Grammys. But having to see an abusive creep who's nothing special as a singer - that's just incomprehensible.