Chris Brown offers a fictional or non-fictional writer an ocean full of interesting character portraits and situations to fashion a treasure trove of stories from. When all is said and done, it’s not just Chris Brown providing the bulk of content, it’s everyone in his inner circle and even some that stand outside.
On Halloween, Brown decided to dress up as a terrorist. Without deliberately sounding judgmental, let me first acknowledge he’s grown man, who has a right to his choices. But something in me just can’t help but to ask why? You see, like it or not, in this day and age, terrorists have stood at a salient place of the most overarching change our culture has ever experienced. I’m talking about an image of apathetic violence that disregards all respect for human life.
To deliberately cast oneself in the image most recognized as full of intolerance, hate, and a propensity to take innocent life, it puzzles me to the extent of simply wanting to know why. Was the wearing of such imagery for one night, fun and worth it. I don’t consider myself judge mental even in the narrowest sense, but I believe somebody should have had the guts to tell Chris Brown, that the garments and makeup he wore that briefly transformed him into a Taliban terrorist, was not just a costume, it was a symbol not unlike clothing oneself with the garments of Adolf Hitler; and here’s why:
I can imagine that following World War II, the fact that the U.S. and its Allies won the war against Hitler’s evil empire as Good had defeated Evil, no one in their right mind at the time would have considered donning a costume resembling the dictator.
In comparison, the Taliban has not even been completely defeated, as they remain a threat to the quality of life for free human beings across the globe. Therefore, putting on a costume, uniform or anything that would transform one’s appearance, even for fun, to resemble a member of the Taliban or any other terrorist for that matter, could arguably be deemed as blatantly insensitive. Such insensitivity actually characterizes the personality of a terrorist; blatantly insensitive.
Now I know this is only my opinion, but I believe the choice to wear such an outfit could perhaps reflect the measure by which one values of a human life. Now I’m just speculating, and there’s no science to my claims. And I’m not suggesting that Brown doesn’t value human life; I’m simply arguing that such behavior might reveal the depth of one’s sensitivities.
The comparison with wearing an Adolf Hitler costume is even more revealing by simply searching the internet. With some change to spare, the number one worst Halloween costume in all of history is Adolf Hitler. Not only did Hitler launch invasions against 15 or more different countries and touch off a war which killed roughly 50 million people, he also set off to exterminate a whole race of people. This he came close to achieving, killing roughly 6 million Jews, which was most of the Jewish population in Europe. Another group might find Stalin, Chairman Mao, or Pol Pot just as offensive, so here’s a good Halloween-costume-choosing rule of thumb: don’t dress up as dictators or leaders who cause the deaths of thousands and even millions of people.
Now let’s compare the deeds of the Taliban and other terrorists groups like Al Qaeda with Adolf Hitler. Here again, a simple Google search should be sufficient. While in power, the Taliban enforced its strict interpretation of Sharia law. They were condemned internationally for their brutal repression of women.
Al Qaeda supported the Taliban with regiments of imported fighters from Arab countries and Central Asia.
The Taliban and their allies committed massacres against Afghan civilians, denied UN food supplies to 160,000 starving people and conducted a policy of scorched earth, burning vast areas of fertile land and destroying tens of thousands of homes during their rule from 1996-2001. A total of 2,998 Americans were slaughtered by attacks, which were planned in Afghanistan, as the individual planners were under the protection of the Taliban. The group specifically responsible for 9-11 was known as Al Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden.
In October of 2001, British Prime minister Tony Blair was able to connect bin Laden to Afghanistan’s Taliban Leadership and to his leadership of al-Qaeda. In the years leading up to the 9-11 attack, the Taliban government gave safe haven to bin Laden. The terrorist group and their allies have been responsible for 75% of Afghan civilian casualties in 2010 and 80% in 2011.
Today the Taliban operates in Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan. It is believed that one of their current major headquarters is near Quetta in Pakistan. According to a 55-page report by the United Nations, the Taliban, while trying to consolidate control over northern and western Afghanistan, committed systematic massacres against civilians.
Wearing a Taliban costume or any other kind of terrorist identity for the sake of Halloween fun can never be truly appropriate, just as partying in a costume resembling Hitler, 67 years after the end of World War II and after his death can never be a socially acceptable practice.
So why did Brown decide it was appropriate?
According to Joyce Hawkins, Browns mom, “Halloween is for fun, nothing more than just fun. Get a life please,” she wrote, adding, “So does this mean when we dress our kids as Satan we glorifying him or (is) it just out of fun???? … Keep smiling angel.”
Mrs. Hawkins advised her son to disregard the criticism.
It appears that Browns mom just doesn’t get it. You simply can’t compare mythical figures with the realities of death and slaughter that we find in history.
It wreaks in tone of a mother’s blind love and acceptance of a son’s behavior. Moreover, perhaps Mrs Hawkins has not or either cannot understand the deep pain such images can cause, as well as the upending terror it represents; not to mention the Taliban’s treatment of women. With Browns background, their treatment of women alone should have steered the star lengths and bounds away from purchasing a Taliban costume.
Anyway it’s done. Halloween is over and Brown and his companions have shedded the symbols of hate, fear, and Misogyny.
Given his history, you wouldn’t think Brown would want to associate himself with violence and destruction. But as is his usual “MO” the R&B hit maker may indeed like courting controversy: dressed up with beards, turbans and fake guns—seemingly trying to look like stereotypical Arab terrorists, Brown and his pals swung by Rihanna’s Halloween bash at Greystone Manor in West Hollywood.
And what do you know, they were just in time for a team Breezy picture; Brown holds a large (presumably) fake assault rifle in the air, surrounded by his crew draped in fake ammo.
Although Brown himself provided no commentary on his questionable costume, its been reported that guests were not so thrilled.
This latest incident comes just days after it was revealed that Brown had been snubbed by an Irish band whom he had offered a support slot to for his upcoming Dublin concert.
Dublin based group The Original Rudeboys were invited to support Brown at his forthcoming O2 Arena show in Dublin on December 3 but declined the invite as they didn’t want to be seen to condone Brown and the crime he committed against Rihanna.
Speaking to TV channel RTE, Sean Walsh of The Original Rudeboys said: “Even though it’s a huge opportunity to play in the O2 with a major hip-hop star and a substantial fee was offered, we are completely against Chris Brown’s assault on Rihanna… In addition, with our latest single ‘Blue Eyes’ being about domestic violence, it goes against everything we are about as a band and supporting Chris Brown would send out the wrong message to our fans.”
Talk about sending the wrong message, Browns choice for a Halloween costume sure makes the Rudeboys’ case for them.
TMZ goes as far as to say, for a guy with a history of violence against women … a penchant for destruction … and an explosive temper … it’s no surprise Chris Brown decided to be a Taliban fighter for Halloween.
A number of media outlets also seized on the surprising imagery, with the New York Daily News referring to the look of the costumes worn by Brown and his friends as “stereotypically Arab terrorists,” and other outlets, from E! Online to the Huffington Post and BET also suggesting the costumes were meant to evoke terrorism. The latter posited that Brown and his crew were, “dressed up as Osama Bin Laden and his terrorists.” The Los Angeles CBS affiliate didn’t go quite as far, though, suggesting that the 23-year-old singer was merely dressed as “a member of the Taliban.”
While Brown’s public persona has never recovered from his assault on his then girlfriend Rihanna, choices like the costume he chose to wear on Halloween doesn’t help to enhance his image any.
It’s frustrating to see such a talented person as Brown become blind to a symbol that embodies a kill em all mentality. That’s the statement wearing a Taliban outfit communicates. I can only imagine the pain one night of Halloween fun may have caused the people Brown interacted with on Halloween night. Surely for them, it wasn’t fun, in fact it wasn’t even fun-ny.