For the past three years—since his arrest for the felony assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna and the series of PR gaffs that followed, like violent outbursts, petulant rants, and homophobic slurs—we've been wondering what, exactly, is wrong with Chris Brown. His mother's Twitter feed might actually shine some light on the matter, as it makes for an excellent case study on how being completely uncritical and overly-adoring could help turn a little boy into a giant asshole.
Joyce Hawkins is her son's biggest fan. That's not merely a colloquialism to describe a mother's love for her child. Hawkins literally behaves like one of Brown's infamously devoted fans—known as Team Breezy—who regularly issue death threats to anyone (but usually women) they perceive as oppositional to the singer. Hawkins is the groups unofficial leader. Using the handle @mombreezy, her entire Twitter account is dedicated to promoting her son's career, interacting with his fans, confirming or dispelling rumors, publicly lavishing Brown with daily praise, reminding people that she and her son still have a relationship with Rihanna, and taking anyone who is remotely critical of her son's criminal history to task as heartless, unforgiving haters. And always in all caps.
In a recent series of Tweets, she flooded her 60,0000 plus followers' feeds with the kinds of affirmations that one would usually only find inside the most mawkish of greeting cards:
@CHRISBROWN THESE WORDS ALL DESCRIBE YOU!!!!!!!
But it's natural that mothers want to give words of encouragement to their children. There's nothing wrong with positivity, right?
Well, no. But Hawkins' acclaim is often aggrandizing and bordering on delusional, most notably when, two years ago, she Tweeted, "MICHAEL JACKSON DIED SO CHRIS BROWN COULD LIVE!!!!!!" She later deleted the Tweet (pictured left), and qualified her statement, saying that she simply meant that her son would carry on "Michael's legacy."
CHRIS IS NO WAY PERFECT BUT HES AN ANGEL FROM HEAVEN GOD SENT HIM HER FOR A REASON!!! HIS HEART IS FILLED WITH LOVE!!!!
CHRISBROWN IS GODS ANNOINTED!!!!
THANK YOU GUYS FOR ALL THE LOVE AND SUPPORT. GOD I PRAY YOU CONTINUE TO COVER AND PROTECT OUR ANGEL. THANK YOU FATHER.
It's no wonder the guy walks around like he's God's gift. He's had someone telling him that he is every day of his life!
Overemphasizing her child's good qualities might be what contributed to his cocky and arrogant attitude, but there's a deeper problem with Brown, beyond the obvious violence, that's rooted in negativity. Whether he's gloating from a Grammy win and telling "haters" to "fuck off" or shouting homophobic epithets on the street, it's quite clear that he is angry.
And Hawkins is angry, too. Not with her son, but with people who haven't yet forgotten what happened in 2009.
WONDER ABOUT THOSE WHO ARE QUICK TO POINT OUT OUR FLAWS BUT NEVER SEEMS TO HAVE ANY OF THEIR OWN. JUST A THOUGHT
She tends to get confrontational about it:
BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!! WE LOVE @CHRISBROWN AND THERE ISNT A DAMN THING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!
ITS ABOUT FORGIVING AND MOVING ON!!!!!! SOMETHING TEAMBREEZY KNOWS SO WELL!!!!!
JESUS SAID , ''IF ANY ONE OF YOU IS WITHOUT SIN, LET HIM BE THE FIRST TO THROW A STONE AT HER!!!!! HE SAID I WILL NOT CONDEMN YOU!!!!
KEEP SHINING EVER SO BRIGHT!!!! THANKS FOR NOT LETTING ANYONE BULLY YOU INTO EXILE!!! I ADMIRE YOUR COURAGE AND STRENGTH
WE AS ADULTS SHOULD ENCOURAGE OUR CHILDREN TO BE POSITIVE NOT JUST SIT AROUND BULLING THEM ON TWITTER HOW IMMATURE. GOD BLESS EACH OF YOU.
BETTER YET DO ANY OF U HAVE CHILDREN? I NEED YOU TO GO AND ATTEND TO THEM AND LEAVE MINE THE HELL ALONE
I CRIED TODAY NOT BECAUSE I WAS SAD BUT BECAUSE I THANKED GOD FOR ANSWERING MY PRAYERS. I JUST WANTED HIM TO COVER HIM THROUGH ALL HIS PAIN
HES MY BABY AND I LOVE HIM I WILL STAN FOR HIM FOR ITS WRONG TO CONTINUE TO HARASS HIM. ITS JUST SO IGNORANT TO ME.
It makes sense, then, that Brown seems to categorize the entire human race into two groups: supporters and haters. The title of his 2011 album F.A.M.E. was an acronym meaning "Forgive All My Enemies." Who are his enemies? The people who didn't like that he beat the shit out of his girlfriend? It's absurd that he even thinks that forgiving—not apologizing—is in order.
And it's Hawkins' Tweets like this one that really gets at core of what is so bothersome about Chris Brown:
NO MATTER WHAT YOU GO THROUGH ANGEL WE ARE HERE TO SEE YOU THROUGH. WE LOVE YOU!!!!! WE WILL LOVE IN SPITE OF.
In several interviews—most notably with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America—since his arrest, Brown refers to "the incident" as "everything that I went through" and "what happened to me." It didn't happen to him. He happened to someone else. His fists happened to Rihanna's face.
Of course, Hawkins isn't totally to blame. She probably did the best that she knew how. And Chris Brown is ultimately the one who is responsible for all of his actions and the choices he makes. He's a 23-year-old man—who has his mommy fighting his battles for him.
Image via Instagram