Friday, February 17, 2012

Whitney Houston: Freedom Of Speech Or Crossing The Line?

I want to know when does freedom of speech turn into crossing the line? It has to be more than just yelling fire in a movie theater or saying racial slurs or hate talk. I have been hearing all kinds of comments about Whitney Houston since her death and some of them are disgusting and appalling. Just this morning, I turn on the computer and an article pops up about two LA talk radio hosts being suspended for there comments because the station feels they crossed the line and they were inappropriate. From what I read, they do this sort of ting all the time and as a punishment, they get a nice long weekend off from work.

What has me more than riled up today are the comments they made about Whitney Houston. Sorry for the overkill about Whitney Houston, but she has been in the news a lot and because of that, so many are taking the opportunity to take insensitive potshots at her. This time it’s John and Ken on KFI AM. Here is what they had to say:

Maybe their rhetoric attracts certain kinds of fans who like this sort of thing, but the station must have gotten complaints to distance themselves from their remarks and “punish” them to absolve themselves of wrong doing. Similarly, CNN made it clear that Nancy Grace’s remarks were all on her and they did not represent the opinions of the network. My question is, hasn’t freedom of speech gone too far? Just because you can say something bad, do you have to say it? Do people have no conscience, integrity, no ethical standards? What makes them think they can reduce a person’s whole life down to just one aspect of it? Yes Whitney Houston was addicted to drugs, she herself talked about it. It’s a disease, whether people want to believe it or not. But there was more to her than just that. Her addiction did not define her life or who she was as a person. She was a brilliant and immensely talented singer and actress who shared her gift with the world. She was a mother of a beautiful 18 year old daughter. She took in a young boy, Nicholas Gordon and raised him as her own son. She was the daughter of Cissy Houston and John Russell Houston. And in addition, she was a great humanitarian. Whitney gave back to many charities.  I feel that, that is the way she would want to be remembered and DESERVES to be remembered. I am going to copy a list of her charitable works right here. It comes from a document drawn up by the Congressional Black Caucus, which is honoring Whitney Houston and her life. The document includes all her career achievements, but here is a list of all she has done for others:

"Whereas Ms. Houston not only had the voice of an angel but a heart of gold, Ms. Houston’s humanitarian efforts are as impressive as her accolades;

Whereas Ms. Houston raised funds for numerous causes, including: children around the world, from South Africa to Newark, generated over $300,000 for the Children’s Defense Fund as a result of a 1997 HBO concert;

Whereas Ms. Houston supported Nelson Mandela and the antiapartheid movement and while a model refused to work with any agencies that did business with the then-apartheid South Africa;

Whereas Ms. Houston participated in a benefit concert that raised over $1 million for charities while bringing awareness to apartheid;

Whereas Ms. Houston worked tirelessly for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the United Negro College Fund, and the Children’s Diabetes Foundation;

Whereas Ms. Houston founded the Whitney Houston Foundation for the Children which cares for such problems as homelessness, children with cancer and AIDS, and other issues of self-empowerment;

Whereas Ms. Houston’s Foundation was awarded a VH1 honor for its charitable work;

Whereas Ms. Houston Founded the Whitney E. Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts to provide expanded arts-focused educational opportunities for its student body and the surrounding community;

Whereas Ms. Houston served as a spokesperson for a youth leadership conference;

Whereas, out of the generosity of her heart, Ms. Houston donated her portion of the proceeds from the release of the National Anthem as a single to the American Red Cross Gulf Crisis Fund and therefore was named to the American Red Cross Board of Governors;

Whereas Ms. Houston supported, performed, and visited many of our service men and women fighting in the Persian Gulf War;

Whereas The Whitney Houston Foundation For Children, Inc. agreed to donate royalties and net proceeds from all single sales of ‘‘The Star Spangled Banner’’ coupled with ‘‘America the Beautiful’’ to the New York Firefighters 9–11 Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Fraternal Order of Police”

Why is none of this being emphasized and all the focus being put on her drug addiction? I want to know what these people, who are so quick to criticize and dishonor her memory, have done in their lifetimes that even comes close to what Whitney has done for others? Maybe they aren’t addicted to drugs, but what the hell have they contributed to this world to make it a better place? Instead of appreciating the beautiful person Whitney Houston was, they take this time, the moment of her death, to reduce her life down to her addiction? Freedom of speech allows them to do that, but should we as a society tolerate and support people who abuse this freedom to malign another person. Is her drug addiction the only way we are to remember Whitney Houston after all she has done?

Let me ask John and Ken, Nancy Grace, Bill Reilly…and all the other big mouth, self-righteous, pompous asses, what have they done besides not get addicted to drugs? What have they contributed to this world besides hateful speech? What will they be remembered for? And who the hell are they to judge her worth as a human being? No one among us is perfect. No one. But we do know that, in her imperfection, Whitney Houston has done amazing and wonderful things, and that very few people on this earth can measure up to her degree of humanitarianism. We should be celebrating her life, not dishonoring it!

Here are two link where you can see what she is being honored for and the list of her humanitarian works. 
2. Black Celebrity Giving a more detailed list of her charitable work


  1. wow, I was not aware of all this, thanks.

  2. Thank you!! I'm happy to see someone publish the REMARKABLE things that Whitney Houston has done. She was an amazing, beautiful person and is greatly sadly missed.