Stop breaking out the capes for domestic abusers

Blind loyalty in defense of public figures that have explicitly bad evidence against them is one of the most baffling things about today's internet culture. By and large, the loudest defenders have often never met the celebrity they're "reserving judgment" for "until all the facts come out." For the majority of people, unless you're connected like that, our favorite entertainers are complete strangers. We may feel a certain familial bond to the person after consuming portions of their life through music, interviews, podcasts or other various mediums. They may share some personal aspects about themselves, but we don't truly know these people. It's a one-sided conversation where a fan receives a perception of the celebrity but not the whole sense of the person. Knowing someone's entire discography and watching all of their interviews can't be a qualifying basis for starting a statement like "I know Person X would never do that because..."

I'ma keep it real with you chief: they don't really give a fuck about your ringing endorsement for them. They'll show the same lack of care towards a fan as they did when they committed that flagrant act.

Domestic violence is a disgusting occurrence that has happened behind closed family doors for centuries. The wide-spread visceral reaction to the video of former NFL player Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee in the face sparked a national conversation about the topic. Since then, great progress has been made in terms of the public discourse, but it's still far from perfect. For how far we've come with extensive coverage to promote awareness of the topic, and deterring domestic abusers with shame and harsh penalties, it still feels like we're miles away as a society.

Graphic police reports are instantly dubbed as embellished. Video evidence is met with asinine hypotheticals to justify the violent actions. Trying to find ways to discredit a victim of a domestic violence claim should never be the first thought to come out of one's mouth. Yet here we are in 2018, wondering what the abused did to the aggressor to provoke them, rather than using that energy to condemn the abuser.




Rapper Fabolous [whose real name is John Jackson] was arrested Wednesday on charges that he punched a woman seven times in the face and threatened the victim’s dad and her brother in Englewood.

Court documents show the alleged crime stemmed from an earlier incident on March 7, when Jackson while in Los Angeles on a business trip “became enraged” when he found out via Instagram the victim was also in Los Angeles.

The victim was later punched by Jackson seven times in the face “causing severe damage to her two front teeth.” She ended up losing her two front teeth, according to court documents.
That woman is Emily Bustamante, Fabolous’ longtime girlfriend and most importantly, the mother of his children. It’s clear that whatever occurred on that day lead to the loss of teeth after a man struck her in the face. Just when you thought that the details couldn’t get more disturbing, there was actual footage of Fab’s rage:

Damning evidence that supports the claim, but we still have some fucking weirdos that want to sympathize with $300,000 fictional scenariosignorant loyalists will still try to deflect blame away

There can be a crystal clear 4k quality surveillance footage that shows "Rapper X" putting hands on his woman and defenders will still say "let's not jump to conclusions yet, we don't know the whole story." Shut. The. Fuck. Up. And. Pay. Attention. There's no benefit in being a loud Devil's Advocate in domestic violence relations. Creating fictional narratives to explain the behavior is only detrimental to the progress that was already made. Allegations should not be treated lightly or undermined with a #freethehomie hashtag 5 minutes after the news breaks. Fabricated stories and embellished narratives from the victim is a possibility; immediately jumping to this conclusion every time is an unhealthy approach to discuss the topic.

Boldly caping for all actions by your favorite musician, as if they aren't infallible, is madness. Leave that nostalgia in the past and face the facts of today. Over the past couple years, the new wave of young up and comers - some but not all from the SoundCloud generation - have been the most flagrant culprits of domestic violence and other reckless shit.  Disputes that have produced vile police reports, arrests with formal charges, and...more fans? Controversy seems to have a promotional effect on whoever's in the eye of the storm. This increased attention may be great for the controversial artist because more eyes and ears get exposed to their product leads to more revenue and fame. Lost in the shuffle, as they often are, is the voiceless victim clamoring for help.

Many times, the cries for help are drowned out by defenders of the hit-maker, claiming the victim is only bringing down a star on the rise for their own monetary gain. "We stan" mentality can be turned off for a minute when considering the entire situation of a delicate matter. Fear of public backlash (or getting blackballed), embarrassment, fear of future attacks, attempting to keep family life stable, and a myriad of other reasons why victims of abuse don't report or won't go through with charges. When news of this breaks, in the eyes of the rabid fan, their hypothetical was justified. Confirmation bias. Capes weren't meant for the villainous people in positions of power who abuse their leverage. Capes were meant for the heroes who carry themselves with an ethical demeanor and selflessly defend the defenseless.

There's a whole conversation to be had about separating the art from the artist; enjoy the music at face value but not the human being behind the work. These lines have been getting increasingly blurred over the past several years. Media personalities and music organizations have had a tricky time covering rappers and their domestic violence disputes. Certain stories that would have dominated a news cycle or a Twitter feed get brushed to the side or grazed lightly because of an affinity towards the person of topic. I understand the relationships have to be groomed and protected in the media landscape, but that's bullshit. If we're ever going to make real lasting strides against the normalcy of domestic violence and other types of assault, openness and transparency is key.

We owe it to not only the victim suffering the physical and emotional abuse, but to the rest of the family members that might unexpectedly catch a stray. The bad psychological effects on young children could really harm their growth during a crucial developmental stage in their life. The stress felt by parents and siblings when they know their loved one is in an abusive relationship and could be subject to fatal harm at any moment.

We all have had a woman of great significance in our life at some point; mother, sister, girlfriend, wife, grandmother, aunt, cousin, teacher; the list could go on forever. Slide anyone from the list above into a situation where her abusive significant other is threatening their life with a weapon.

After you read that police report and see pictures of a battered face, how multi-layered is your background of an Inception-like narrative? How quick and loud are your "free the homie" chants then?

The only "how" that should be posited should be how can we prevent this from happening again.