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I read with interest a story about the fight between Chris Brown and Drake that took place this week.  The battle involved bottles being thrown and one even busted the head of some poor woman who likely had no idea what she was getting into.  “Boondocks” creator Aaron McGruder has a name for these instances.  He calls them “N*gga moments,” where otherwise rational African American men get involved in a clearly avoidable confrontation over something really stupid.

So, here we have two perennial alpha males with enough swag and money to choke a horse, risking their freedom, their careers and their lives to fight over a woman who seems to want everyone to believe that her body is for public viewership.  I dare say that Rihanna won’t end up being the mother of their kids or anything significant enough for them to put it all on the line defending her honor.  They’ve merely had the thrill of being boy toys for a woman who flirts with every man she sees and is quietly positioning herself to be the next Whitney Houston.

Of course this fight wasn’t all about Rihanna, it was more about egos and liquor, which should never be in the same place at the same time.  If we discounted all of the homicides that have taken place with liquor, weed and egos involved, the black-on-black murder rate would drop to zero.   But instead of learning from the mistakes of others, we keep making the same mistakes over and over again.  The recent double homicide near the campus of Auburn University is a perfect case-in-point, where two college-educated black men both died fighting over a woman.

I’ve defended both Drake and Chris Brown in the past.  I disagreed with my good friend Dr. Marc Lamont Hill when he said that Drake’s music was whack.  I went on CNN to note that Chris Brown’s abuse of Rihanna, while certainly worthy of criminal prosecution, doesn’t make him a monster beyond redemption.  But even as I’ve stood up for these guys in the past, I also notice when they are acting like complete idiots.  Given that their egos and money might keep them from hearing what I have to say, this message is probably a better fit for other young brothers who don’t want to end up in bad situations.

The simple advice is this:  The downfall of most great men usually involves a woman.  A good, loving, nurturing and supportive woman can make you greater than your wildest dreams.  But a bad woman in the wrong situation can turn your life into a living nightmare.  Fighting over a woman is one of the many no-nos that men should keep in mind when it comes to protecting everything you’ve worked hard to obtain.  This doesn’t mean that you don’t protect your sweetie when trouble comes your way, but busting bottles upside a dude’s head “cause he fronted on you on Twitter” will only leave you dead, broke, sued or arrested.

Chris Brown and Drake can have nearly any woman they want.  Many of these women are more attractive and healthier than Rihanna.  But love is a drug that fools our brains into believing that the one we want is the one we need, and we forget that there are other fish in the sea.  The love addiction affects even the best of us, like Dr. Timothy Jorden, a trauma surgeon who is now on the run after allegedly killing his ex-girlfriend because he forgot that she wasn’t the only woman on earth.

The advantage to getting older is that I learned how to avoid some of these n*gga moments, and to never let a relationship cause me to do stupid things.  I also learned how to identify a good woman when I see one.  Rihanna does not appear to be in the “good woman” category.  Perhaps I would have been tempted to date her when I was 20, but now I know better, and so do most of my intelligent friends.

But this incident can’t be blamed on Rihanna, since she wasn’t even in the building.  In fact, she is probably in the arms of some other dude laughing at both of you.   Drake and Chris Brown might be on top today, but nothing is guaranteed, and the last thing you want is to lose it all over some kind of foolish nonsense.  #DontBeLameAndStupid

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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