Did Race-Baiting Kill Whitney Houston? Plus Sarah Palin On HOPE And CHANGE

Two big events this weekend. First, Sarah Palin.

The Hot Airs are asking “Why Isn’t Sarah Running?:

“Her CPAC speech today was a barn-burner, hitting every conservative, small-government point and pumping out soundbites that will no doubt resonate in the public dialogue for days to come. Some of my favorites:

Drain the Jacuzzi!”

“This government isn’t too big to fail, it’s too big to succeed.”

“We don’t want an economy built to last, we want an economy built to grow.”

“This is Obama’s Washington.”

Other Hot Airs laser focused on another line from Sarah Palin at CPAC: “The door is open …”

“The former Alaska governor — who frequently appears on national TV before a natural background that looks pretty remote from D.C. — really hit her stride midspeech as she denounced “the permanent political class” and knocked the District.

“Often, politicians come to D.C. denouncing it, but, after a year, they decide it’s not a cesspool, but a hot tub,” she said to laughter.

It’s up to voters to drain the jacuzzi, she said, before she declared that the grassroots will do just that — by sending more Tea Partiers to Congress.

“This time, Establishment,” she said (and I’m pretty sure she looked sternly over her glasses at just that moment), “we expect them to get leadership positions in Congress.”

Her closing sentiment? “The door is open.” It’s hard not to find that sentence provocative — especially given that she repeated it throughout the speech — but she seemed to have meant it in the sense that the door is open to defeat Barack Obama and to take back the nation. The crowd considered the alternate meaning, too, though, to judge by chants of “Run, Sarah, run!” Who knows what might happen before this long primary ends?”

For us however the best line from Sarah Palin was the one about Hope and Change:

“Palin’s speech got the biggest reaction of any at CPAC — much more so than any of the presidential candidates. The audience gave her standing ovation after standing ovation and some even yelled “Run Sarah run!” — more telling of the GOP field’s inability to connect with voters than any poll.

Palin zeroed in on President Obama. The current state of the economy “is not a failure of the American people,” she said. “It is the failure of leadership. We know how to change that, oh yes we do. Oh yes we can,” she said, echoing Obama’s campaign line.

“Hope and change – yeah, you gotta hope things change.”

“He says he has a jobs plan to win the future. WTF, I know,” Palin said, spelling out W-T-F.”

“Hope and change – yeah, you gotta hope things change.” Can’t say it better than that.

* * * * * *

The death of Whitney Houston was the second big event this past weekend. The Grammy Awards are on tonight and they will turn into a memorial for the great voice. Over the next weeks more memorials will saturate the airwaves until most every ounce of emotional resonance is drained from this sad event.

Already Al “leave no corpse unexploited” Sharpton has tried to insert himself into Houston’s coffin with unnecessary pronouncements. Sharpton will not be alone. Just about everyone everywhere will join in and pronounce judgement on this festival of funeral. Most will denounce Bobby Brown and drug use. The great drug of celebrity and fame will come in for attacks and analysis as well. We’ll throw in our own incendiary question: Did race-baiting destroy or even kill Whitney Houston?

In the most widely read article about Whitney Houston’s death we read about how Houston “ruled as pop music’s queen until her majestic voice was ravaged by drug use and her regal image was ruined by erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown”. We read how Houston was the “golden girl of the music industry.” A recording and movie star. “She had” we were told “the perfect voice and the perfect image: a gorgeous singer who had sex appeal but was never overtly sexual, who maintained perfect poise.” Then came drugs, plummeting sales, wack behavior, and a ravaged voice.

Houston we now all know was Aretha Franklin’s goddaughter as well as “the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston and the cousin of 1960s pop diva Dionne Warwick.” She was a star:

“Houston first started singing in the church as a child. In her teens, she sang backup for Chaka Khan, Jermaine Jackson and others, in addition to modeling. It was around that time when music mogul Clive Davis first heard Houston perform.

“The time that I first saw her singing in her mother’s act in a club . . . it was such a stunning impact,” Davis told “Good Morning America.”

“To hear this young girl breathe such fire into this song. I mean, it really sent the proverbial tingles up my spine,” he added.

Before long, the rest of the country would feel it, too. Houston made her album debut in 1985 with “Whitney Houston,” which sold millions and spawned hit after hit. “Saving All My Love for You” brought her her first Grammy, for best female pop vocal. “How Will I Know,” “You Give Good Love” and “The Greatest Love of All” also became hit singles.

Another multiplatinum album, “Whitney,” came out in 1987 and included hits like “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”

So what killed Whitney Houston? Was it race-baiting that drove her into the arms of Bobby Brown?:

“The New York Times wrote that Houston “possesses one of her generation’s most powerful gospel-trained voices, but she eschews many of the churchier mannerisms of her forerunners. She uses ornamental gospel phrasing only sparingly, and instead of projecting an earthy, tearful vulnerability, communicates cool self-assurance and strength, building pop ballads to majestic, sustained peaks of intensity.”

Her decision not to follow the more soulful inflections of singers like Franklin drew criticism by some who saw her as playing down her black roots to go pop and reach white audiences. The criticism would become a constant refrain through much of her career. She was even booed during the “Soul Train Awards” in 1989.

Sometimes it gets down to that, you know?” she told Katie Couric in 1996. “You’re not black enough for them. I don’t know. You’re not R&B enough. You’re very pop. The white audience has taken you away from them.”

Did the race-baiting beast kill the beauty? Is that need to reject the white audience that embraced you in order to be “likable enough” “black enough” the elemental cause of Houston’s death? Is that what led to Bobby Brown?:

“Some saw her 1992 marriage to former New Edition member and soul crooner Bobby Brown as an attempt to refute those critics. It seemed to be an odd union; she was seen as pop’s pure princess while he had a bad-boy image and already had children of his own. (The couple had a daughter, Bobbi Kristina, in 1993.) Over the years, he was arrested several times, on charges ranging from DUI to failure to pay child support.”

Whitney Houston herself rejected all the anti-Bobby Brown theories. She said “their true personalities were not as far apart as people may have believed. When you love, you love. I mean, do you stop loving somebody because you have different images? You know, Bobby and I basically come from the same place. You see somebody, and you deal with their image, that’s their image. It’s part of them, it’s not the whole picture. I am not always in a sequined gown. I am nobody’s angel. I can get down and dirty. I can get raunchy.”

Unlike many of the people we write about we never met Whitney Houston. We never met Bobby Brown. Their lives were/are their own to live. We’re not going to dissect the issue of whether or not Bobby Brown is the devil in this story or whether Whitney Houston was on a path she would have found on her own. It’s none of our business even if it does sadden us when great talent is wasted.

But there is no doubt that Whitney Houston was attacked for “selling out”, being “too white”. And that is something we have deplored. [By the way, anyone want to see Barack Obama compared to an evolving monkey? Check out the racist New York magazine cover.]

Movie star Samuel L. Jackson in an Ebony Magazine interview this week stated that “I voted for Barack because he was black. ‘Cuz that’s why other folks vote for other people — because they look like them … That’s American politics, pure and simple. [Obama’s] message didn’t mean [bleep] to me.” Congratulations SLJ, you are crude and vote on skin color not content of character but at least you are not lying about your motivations or fooled by phony “hope and change”.

The (birthday celebrating) women at PUMA PAC have a refrain, a warning: Vote For Women. Perhaps they are right. Perhaps that should be the sole consideration in this new political world polluted by Obama and his race-baiting acolytes. Just vote for women.

We never supported Hillary Clinton just because she is a woman. Perhaps though that is the only consideration we should have from now on.