Do White Guys Get Away With Beating On Women While Black Men Don't?
Interesting question in a piece by Ernest Hardy in the LA Times. Rihanna-beater Chris Brown has that dogging him still, while accused chick-beaters Glen Campbell and Charlie Sheen have been treated quite differently:
In her 1997 autobiography "Nickel Dreams", singer Tanya Tucker alleged that physical abuse was a staple of her brief early '80s affair with Campbell, when he was 42 and she was 21, with the violence often playing out in front of others.
Here's what she wrote of one especially brutal episode: "[F]inally Glen reared back his arm and brought his elbow down in my face, shearing off my two front teeth right at the roots.... I reached my hand up and felt my mouth, and there was a gaping hole where my teeth should have been.... I was without front teeth for a week, and from that time on."
Although Campbell denied Tucker's claims and was never prosecuted, he had discussed their stormy relationship in his own autobiography published three years earlier, "Rhinestone Cowboy," where he wrote, "We even fought during sex once or twice."
Not before, during or after the Grammys did anyone say a word about Campbell's alleged abusive past or suggest that he should not be allowed onstage because of it. Then why Chris Brown? Because it's recent? Because, unlike Campbell, he was prosecuted? Because Brown is his own worst enemy, prolonging the controversy with his behavior and his songs?
...If you Google the words "Charlie Sheen" and "domestic violence," the Internet gently weeps. Yet Sheen's well-documented fisticuffs-on-females (restraining orders from ex-wives; allegations from girlfriends and sex workers, alike, that he battered them) have not resulted in his name being synonymous with domestic violence except in an excusatory wink-and-nudge kind of way. A snickering humor trails his persona, as demonstrated in a "Comedy Central Roast" in his honor last year, where a lot of the night's humor hinged on his out-of-control rep.
Imagine the outcry if Brown made light of his public persona the way Sheen does with his new TV series "Anger Management."
"Historically and today," says professor Tamara K. Nopper, sociology lecturer in race and ethnic relations at the University of Pennsylvania, "it is presumed that black people are by nature a violent people and thus they get dealt with quite differently than when non-blacks engage in violent acts.
"The level of intensity and the degree of vigilance that celebrities and some in the general public show towards Brown is less about a concern for a black woman experiencing violence as it is a general obsession with and policing of what people assume to be the inherently criminal nature of black people in general."