Chris Brown’s incident with Rhianna predates my blog. The recent episode with Robin Roberts does not. Yet I felt like people who were more informed than me would handle the telling, retelling, and Monday-Morning-Quarterbacking of the flustered young singer and his thrown chair and churlish temper tantrum.

Then Rosie O’Donnell entered the fray and stirred up the hornet’s nest like only she can. This occurred on her XM Radio show on Stars Channel 155. My impression of her synopsis was that she assumed he may have felt ambushed by Robin Roberts who had already interviewed him on the abuse of Rhianna, so therefore it may not have been expected that it would be addressed in the short segment meant to introduce his new album. Furthermore, that he had paid his debt for something that happened when he was still a teenager. Plus, she spoke of the need for compassion towards a young man who grew up in a violent environment where his fear morphed into this unleashed rage. Rhianna’s possible contribution to the altercation was hinted at, lyrics from the song ‘S&M’ and quotes from an interview where Rhianna apparently admits that she ‘likes it rough’, were read. It was Rosie’s opinion, and her take on the effect of childhood trauma on young adults.

Overcoming our childhoods often seems to be the sole focus of our lives. Perhaps that was her point.

Then Michael Musto, a blogger for the Village Voice, took Rosie to task on her thoughts about this whole episode, and many people verbally attacked her and called her out saying she was anti-women and worse.

That is what bothers me. When did we become a nation who had to pick a side on everything and stay there? When did we stop analyzing all possibilities? When did we decide to vilify everyone who disagrees with us?

Did this happen during the Clinton administration when we divided over the sex scandal? Or was it during the Bush years when the war mongers cried out; “you are either with us or against us’? Or have we herded ourselves into corrals? Do television shows such as ‘The View’ serve us when they perpetuate the cat-fighting stigma of opinionated smart women?

Is it possible to hold two opposing thoughts in our minds simultaneously, and trust that the truth is usually somewhere in between?

Can we agree that Chris Brown’s propensity to violence is both wrong AND a consequence of his background? Can we not see that Rhianna was a victim of abuse AND that she is parlaying that into PR heaven with her duet with Eminem about violent relationships -‘Love the Way You Lie’- and her ‘S&M’ song? Can you be a pro-choice republican or a conservative democrat? Is everyone wrong when the opinion they possess is different from the one you have? Does playing devil’s advocate give you more insight or just cause to throw stones? When did we lose the ability to understand the real advantage of debate?

Name calling, hate speak, vilification! No wonder we have become a prozac nation. It’s a full time job staying politically correct, tactful, and glossing over everything to the point that no one can surmise what it is we truly think or believe, including ourselves.

Ms. O’Donnell’s view points may not be so rosie, but she is allowed to have them, express them, and is usually quite receptive to the opposing theories. If you disagree with her, it’s ok. Edison called his failed light bulbs roaring successes as he learned all the ways not to make them. Maybe we can open our minds just far enough to entertain a different take on issues and then our positions become well-rounded, thoughtful, fair and much, much rosier!

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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