Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Whitney Houston Oprah Interview pt 2: Drugs, Alcohol & Violence

Whitney gets into her drug use - partially. I can't help but notice (after watching this more than once) how she deflected the question and zoned in exclusively on ex-husband Bobby Brown. Not that we aren't curious but....here's the thing: there are times we suffer because of the actions of others. There are times we suffer because of our actions. When we've compromised ourselves we have no control over how the ramifications of those actions (choices) will play themselves out.

She describes a very volatile relationship that she's only hinting at. While I have no sympathy for Brown I have to ask whether Houston gets to be "classified" as victim or active participant in her destruction. They allowed their daughter to witness their destructive behavior her entire life and that absolutely will have a negative impact on her without professional intervention. Houston has been very fortunate to have any number of people, powerful people supporting her and taking a vested interest in her success and welfare. I don't think other women in her situation usually fare as well.

What do you think?

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Kia said...

Whitney's interview with Oprah proved to be a cautionary tale of how selecting the wrong mate can ruin your life. The abuse and drug use not only took years from Whitney's life but destroyed her voice in the process. You can tell Whitney will never be at her peak again. I've heard her recent performances and sadly the angelic voice that the world fell in love with is no longer there. She’s struggling to reach those high notes that were an effortless task in her youth. For the life of me, I can't understand what Whitney saw in Bobby Brown when she could have had any man in the world. However her story is common place for so many Black women who settle for mediocre men. Bobby Brown appears to be the type of creature from hell that would be jealous of his wife’s success and took his own short comings out on her. But since Bobby is a DBR he treated his wife with distain instead of being loving and supportive partner. He should be proud that the world adores his wife. It’s a privilege to share such a lifestyle with the person you are supposed to love. My heart was literally breaking for Whitney when she said she took her wedding vowels seriously. You can hear it in her voice that she really wanted the marriage to work despite the fact that Bobby didn’t value her. What's really profound about the interview, and something Black women need to really pay attention to, is how Whitney described lowering herself and her standards to appease Bobby Brown and make him feel like a "man." This tactic is commonly used against Black women, quilting them into feeling bad for actually striving in society. I believe that Whitney’s chronic drug abuse was the result of trying to get down to Bobby Brown’s trashy leave. Whitney as a coke addict allowed Bobby to feel like a man; Whitney at her very best was a threat to Bobby’s pathetic man-child ego.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Muse: Yes Whitney's story is a cautionary tale and very revealing as to how a lot of African American women think. I also wonder if Whitney has struggled with her orientation because I remember the speculation as to the nature of some of her relationships. Trying to be something you're not leads a lot of people to substance abuse.

Kia said...

Faith you are right, entertainers have the right to pursue their craft while being true to them but society makes it so difficult for people to be authentic. We turned Whitney into a living doll instead of acknowledging and RESPECTING that she is a human being with flaws and imperfections like everyone else. We have a tendency to idolize people and the minute they make a human miscalculation, society is so quick to stigmatize and discard them.

I wonder what type of damage has already been inflicted on Whitney's daughter. Bobby Christina has a philandering father who reproduces without a purpose and witnessed her beautiful mother being treated like garage. Will Bobby-Christina repeat the same dysfunctional patterns as her parents? I know a few years ago Bobby-Christina was getting into trouble on MySpace because there were pictures of her and her adolescent friends smoking weed and drinking alcohol on CAMERA! Yikes. She’s a young girl who should be reading, playing sports, dolls, or doing kid things, not experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

But to answer your other question Faith, Whitney is a victim as well as an active participant in her destruction. Although I’m not a parent, I believe that one should do everything to protect their child. There is no doubt in my mind that Whitney loves Bobby Christina but the fact that she subjected her daughter to such a toxic home environment makes her an active participate in any damage inflicted on her daughter. Whitney is also a victim because so many of us have fallen for the charming man who stirs up ours passions and makes life exciting but lacks character and true depth. However we as women can’t get caught up in just emotions. Allowing your emotions to lead is the devil’s play ground. We should love but also use our brains and logic to critically evaluate how a potential partner will enrich our lives.

tryin2understandurside said...

I see Ms. Houston as both a victim and an active participant. As I read the excerpts from the interview at Oprah.com, the image of Bobby and Whitney's girl witnessing this never left me. That child did not ask to be brought into that situation.

Also, as easy as it is to blame a lot of her problems on selecting the wrong mate, I can't help but wonder if she is leaning a little too much on Bobby as a scapegoat. From the interview there was a lot of "Blame It On Bobby" going on. It's as if she is still trying to perpetuate the poor little princess image to the pop market and sell albums.

My opinion may change as I read more and this could be some old "save the black man" mentality that I need to get rid of. Yet, something tells me there is some reverse sexism going on and well...she's throwing Bobby under the bus!

Esmeralda said...

i finally was able to watch the interview and i wish nothing but the best for whitney and her daughter. i'm proud that she was able to confront the addiction and move forward with her life. i want to commend her mother for never giving up on her daughter! when bobby cristina said that words couldn't explain how proud she was of her mother, there is no doubt in my mind that it was sincere. "i've been there through everything...but i stay by her side" that coming from a 16 year old... regardless of what she may have seen or what whitney allowed her to see / be around, they appear to be stronger because of it.

all my love to whitney and her daughter. may the Lord continue to bless them both and guide them always.

don't look back whitney, just keep moving forward!!

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

tryin2understandurside: I can agree with your assessment. So many of us experience situations where we're victimized but then turn around and participate in oppression, either our own or against others. I suppose it's the thing that makes us human but it's definitely messed up. It's an interesting aspect of human nature.

Esmerelda: Welcome and thanks for the feedback. It will be interesting to see how Bobbi Kristina navigates her way through life. She has access to therapy so hopefully she'll be okay despite her parents' foibles.