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Rihanna's example: forgiveness


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February 22, 2012|By Nikki Lynette, For RedEye

Nikki Lynette is a Chicago musician and ChicagoNow blogger. Here is an excerpt of a column she posted Wednesday.

I remember my mom using makeup to cover up bruises my father had inflicted on her while drunk and/or high. I remember her pretending as if everything was fine at family events. I remember the arguments that almost always led to fights, and in spite of having lived through that hell the night before, my mom still woke us up on time, got us washed, dressed, fed, and off to school every day.

The years of drama that my mom dealt with as my dad's wife gave way to years of drama while trying to get away. It was hell for her. But in the end, after he became clean and sober and apologized for what he had done, she forgave him. They became friends. They were able to talk on the phone for hours and laugh together. My mom forgave him because she felt she was not a victim and holding on to anger and hurt wasn't going to do any good for anybody.

Some would argue that this set a negative example for her daughters, right? Honestly, I think my mom's decision to forgive is part of the reason why I have far healthier relationships than a lot of girls my age. Not only do I not hold on to past hurts, but I am able to walk away from a situation that isn't good for me without having any hard feelings. So I can understand why Rihanna can forgive Chris Brown and decide to do a song with him.

As a female entertainer myself, I can't help but think that maybe it was empowering for Rihanna to be able to remove the victim stigma that has been associated with her ever since the beating went down. Who wants to be a famous victim?

Have we considered for a moment that perhaps she is over it? And I know it pisses a lot of people off to think that she'd get past the violence ... but guess what? You don't get to decide how a person heals. You don't get to dictate for Rihanna who she is allowed to forgive.

I respect Rihanna for her decision to forgive Chris Brown. Maybe you should, too.


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