By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Are they kidding?
The Boston Public Health Commission released a survey recently showing that nearly half of Boston youths say that the pop star Rihanna was responsible for the beating she received from boyfriend Chris Brown.
Seriously? What the hell is wrong with kids? Or at least Boston kids?
I've pretty assiduously avoided learning any of the details of the Rihanna-Brown dust-up because, well, I just don't care about lifestyles of the rich and apparently famous. But survey results like this send a chill down my spine.
Put aside the specific celebrities at hand and just contemplate that a boyfriend beat his girlfriend badly enough to send her to the hospital. Boston kids' reaction? 46 percent of the 200 Boston youths (ages 12 to 19) surveyed say getting beaten up was the girl's fault (51 percent blamed the boy, 52 percent laid blame with both). Unless the woman took a running start and charged headlong at his fist, it's hard to see what the 46 percent are talking about.
More? 44 percent said that fighting (as opposed to arguing) is a normal part of a relationship. Unless that 44 percent are in an intramural kick-boxing league, they need to reorient their views of what's normal.
My favorite? 52 percent believe that Chris Brown is getting a bum rap from the media. He tried to throw Rihanna out of a moving car, slammed her head against the car window, and then punched her in the face. I can see where that might be tough to spin.
My friend Lylah Alphonse has a good take on this:
Michael Phelps gets dropped by sponsors for toking up, but Chris Brown beats his girlfriend and is up for a couple of awards?
How did we go from telling our preschoolers "use your words" and "don't hit people" to this?
I can only hope that 200 is not a representative sampling of Boston kids, let alone youth nationwide.
On Facebook? You can keep up with Thomas Jefferson Street blog postings through Facebook's Networked Blogs.