The Talmud instructs it's followers to "Live Well. It is the best revenge." If this is true then Rihanna has the best hand... Now, don't get it twisted, I am not saying that Rihanna follows the Talmud. I don't know what her faith is and that is certainly not the core of this writing. I am talking about how we are seeing Rihanna all over the media these days and how this exposure can help bring productive change to relationships particularly in our communities...
I was backstage at the Grammy Awards when they announced that then-boyfriend Chris Brown was being sought by LAPD for kicking the beejeebers out of Rihanna. It was surreal. I was in shock, like the rest of the world when I viewed the illegally leaked photos of her injuries. I debated with folk over whether she instigated the attack. I gasped when I read the police reports of the incident. I was totally through when I saw those photos of Chris Brown frolicking on Jet skis and even more disappointed when I learned Rihanna was right there with him just weeks after the fight.
I wanted to see Chris Brown getting some jail time for this crime and certainly was disappointed, maybe a little angry when he got probation and was allowed to spend it in Virginia instead of the county in which the offense took place. Ahh the privilege of stardom.... I was pissed that the media and justice system leaked those photos of Chris performing his community service at the side of some road in Virginia. I just thought that was an obvious publicity stunt. If that was anyone in our neighborhoods, they would have gotten jail time, probation and community service.
I thought the interview with Larry King was a travesty and made me even more angry at him. I was a little more impressed with the interview with Sway because it gave the young man a chance to really explain himself and to offer some sort of remorse however; I just could not find any redemption in what he had done to this young lady. In the end, this young couple would have to work it out.
And now, Rihanna is all over the media. She is in the media now, because she has a new album. And as she goes about the business of her music, it is necessary for her to get out there and promote. And inform. She has to inform her fans of how she feels, what she went through and what's next for her... She is, after all, a huge international star. While Chris Brown is a big star, no doubt, Rihanna's star is a sun in the center of her galaxy compared to the pale light of Chris' r&b world... It is here that Rihanna could realize her greatest revenge. The revenge that she is a much larger personality than Chris Brown. The revenge is that her music is more widely accepted than Chris Brown. The revenge is that she is able to garner more potent media exposure to not only tell her side of the story, but to help provide guidance and a smidgen of advice to young women all over the world who are dealing with abusive relationships.
"There's greatness about her. Greatness as an artist, as a performer, as a person. There something about her that's so inspiring, as an artist, she's unclassifiable. You can't say she's [strictly] R&B or pop. She's more of an impresario." says one writer from MTV News. Rihanna is a global phenomenon and she has a propitious opportunity to help people on an unprecedented level.
Success is the best revenge. Living well, as the Talmud says, is the best revenge.
In the end, how will she leverage this season of media ultra-exposure as she builds on her super stardom to not only generate skillions of sales, but to educate young women across the globe about abusive relationships. How will young men react to the fact that, even if you're Chris Brown, it not OK to beat on your woman.
As tired as I am of this story, I hope and pray that the incident will result in a positive awakening in our community.