Jail time might save Chris Brown's life

OPINION - Chris Brown faces the reality that he may have to stay inside of a jail cell well into the fall as a result of a delay in his trial over an assault charge in Washington D.C...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Today Chris Brown was ordered to stay inside of a jail cell for an additional 131 days over an assault charge in Washington D.C. He will receive credit for 8 months already served.

Earlier this week a judge allowed five photos related to that case to be released. The merits of those claims appear to have been proven in court, but one thing is for certain: Chris Brown doesn’t know when to leave well enough alone.

As someone familiar with terms like “prison industrial complex” and sayings such as “Run, fool! Them laws are behind us!” I would normally never argue that jail time, or at the very least, the threat of spending time incarcerated, might actually be a good thing for anyone, much less a Black man.

Chris Brown has proven himself to be special, though. Granted, not in the way Bobby Brown is special, as Chris Brown has never created anything as good as Don’t Be Cruel. Still, as it relates to his years and years of legal trouble, alleged acts of violence, reported substance abuse, and a string of juvenile antics (including attacking Good Morning America’s furniture, treating Twitter like his personal punch bag, etc.), I can’t help but wonder if maybe some time locked in a room all on his lonesome could do him some good.

That’s why I roll my eyes as hard as Chris Brown pop locks in his latest mommy-issues themed single “Loyal” when I read commentary from the likes of Ne-Yo, who told TMZ last month: “The legal system likes to make an example of celebrities. That’s all it is — they’re making an example of him. It’s not right, but it is what it is. Chris gon’ be all right. He’s gonna be all right. He’s stronger here [in his head] and here [in his heart] than people know. If I know nothing about Chris, I know that he’s a survivor and he can take care of himself. No matter what, he’s gonna be all right.”

Stans – including relatives – may curse me out for saying this, but Breezy has had it a lot better off than many would suggest. He doesn’t enjoy the sort of privilege the white Charlie Sheen has, but his celebrity and wealth kept him out of his current predicament far longer than it would with anyone else of his hue. In that respect, he is Lindsay Lohan with a good right hook, and at this point in his life and career, even some of his most ardent supporters are becoming exhausted with him.

And for some of us, we can look at Chris Brown’s plight and relate to it on a more personal level. Last fall, around the same time Chris Brown allegedly went upside someone’s head, I was awakened in the middle of the night by a call from someone in jail. Someone close to me who has been in jail more times than I’d care to think about. I distinctly remember telling him after he was bailed out, “If you end up in prison, I’ll put money on your book, but I’m not visiting you there. I’m tired of you messing up. We are all tired of you messing up. You’re either going to get it together or you’re not. Figure it out.”

That is essentially where Chris Brown is right now, though to be fair to him, he may have finally learned his lesson.

Just this week, when asked about her friend in an interview with Power 105.1’s “The Breakfast Club,” Teyana Taylor said: “He’s doing good, man. He’s in good spirits. It’s his birthday, man, he’s in there on his birthday. But, his whole spirit, like, when he get out, he gonna be good. He’s not in there bitter and harping. It is what it is. He’s becoming a better man.”

When he’s released several months from now one hopes that he’ll continue to be a better man. But make no mistake: Chris Brown is where he is because of Chris Brown. Even if you weren’t born into the best circumstances, there should come a point when you see the error of your ways and change accordingly.

Chris Brown has faced the threat of jail so many times that perhaps he became immune to it. So as much as I hate the idea of any black man having to go to jail to learn their lesson, maybe that’s what it takes.

Michael Arceneaux is from the land of Beyoncé but now lives in the city of Master Splinters. Follow him at @youngsinick.