We all deal with emotions differently. Some people cry, and some get angry. I uncontrollably laugh. It happens when I’m angry, sad, uncomfortable and all of the above. So, as you can imagine, during yesterday’s 57th Annual Grammy Awards, I was laughing my inner anger away. Not the good “I can’t breathe I’m so happy Beyonce won” laughter. But the red in the face, “I’m so nervous, is this actually real life” laughter.
No, I’m not talking about Kanye’s almost repeat of his infamous Taylor Swift interruption speech. I’m talking about the #ItsOnUs public service announcement by the President. #ItsOnUs is a campaign spearheaded by the White House to end sexual and domestic violence against women. Let me first say I think it’s great they gave the campaign an amazing platform of the Grammys to reach so many people. An estimated 28.5 million tuned in to this year to watch their favorite musicians. By telling America’s best artists to be leaders against sexual assault and domestic violence, it creates a domino effect that will hopefully decrease the cases seen on college campuses and beyond.
But here’s the ridiculous part: they felt, in the midst of a campaign creating awareness surrounding violence against women, it is acceptable to nominate Chris Brown, whom 5 years ago, during Grammy season, assaulted his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. They felt it acceptable to award Eminem, who in recent news claimed he would “rape” fellow nominee Iggy Azalea. The irony comes full circle when Katy Perry performed “By the Grace of God” immediately afterwards. The same Katy Perry who victim blamed Kesha, claiming her sexual assault accusation is due to “sour grapes.”
So while the President of the United States is telling us there is zero tolerance when it comes to violence against women, Chris Brown is in the audience sipping champagne, Eminem gets a shiny new award, and Katy Perry gets a round of applause. So it’s not really #ItsOnUs. Its more like #ItsOnUs except if you’re extremely famous and wealthy.