For years the media has vilified Bobby Brown as if he was the Anti-Christ incarnate when it came to Whitney Houston. He has been accused of being responsible for her introduction to alcohol and drugs, which ultimately led to the demise of her singing and acting careers respectively. Speaking from a very personal place, I have a very hard time believing and accepting that one can be forced into using. Why? Because I’ve had a relationship with a drug user; PCP and cocaine and alcoholics in addition to growing up in a home where both cigarettes and marijuana was smoked, and have friends who also indulged in their drug/alcohol of choice. I made a choice not to try drugs even when invited to partake under the auspice of, “it’s just a try, you won’t get addicted” or “it’s fun; go for it”. Seeing people zoned out, acting silly, or even recklessly was of no attraction to me. Maybe my constitution is stronger than the average or maybe the control issues I’ve developed over the years prevent me from wanting to take part in anything that could ultimately take control over me is why I’ve never indulged. Or maybe, I simply don’t have any desire to put myself at the risks that both drug and alcohol use can cause. Whichever the reason, it falls back to being MY choice.
In the case of Whitney and Bobby, I think Whitney was likely to have already been exposed to either drugs or alcohol; if not both before Bobby came along. Whitney was the presented to the public as the Wholesome or Good Girl with her cute and playful image, which we all ate up like a tub of movie theatre popcorn. We didn’t question whether was we were being fed was actually a true depiction of something good for us; we simply went with the hype and moved on. Yes, Whitney was full of talent and gave us a much appreciated catalogue of hits we sang with all our might’s as we danced around our bedrooms or at a club. The talented amongst us used Whitney’s songs as talent show material as we vied for titles and notoriety. Whatever our attraction to Whitney was, we never really questioned the woman behind the image. We accepted that she was a local girl who’d scored big and made an otherwise unlikeable city; Newark, NJ a likeable place. No one questioned if she was really as nice as the media painted her to be and no one really said anything disparaging about her as we’d drank the coloured drink and liked the flavour very much. For those who may have known her personally since she was a local girl to some, they may have known or seen the uncut Whitney, but still so few; if any said anything to the contrary of her public image. Well, until Bobby Brown came along…
Bobby Brown was talented in his own right; having made his effervescent personality known as a part of New Edition and then subsequently on his own as a singer, dancer and sometimes actor. He was charismatic, attractive; well, back then, and presented the Bad Boy image for which he later became quite famous for. When he and Whitney got together and ultimately dated is where the proverbial fork in the road took form. Whitney’s attitude and behaviour began to be the opposite of what was previously sold to us. She became the good girl gone bad and it was all Bobby’s fault. He introduced her to the dark side were tumbled downhill like mudslide. They soon became major tabloid fodder and we watched them rise and fall like a wayward roller coaster ride; hating and loving it at the same time. No one wanted to believe that their Nippy as she was known to close friends and family could have voluntarily wanted to get involved with drugs and alcohol. Why would she? She had so much talent and ability, so why would she risk that? Was what the masses were most likely thinking. Well, here’s my two cents in the bucket…She did in fact want to. She made a conscious choice to take and continue to take drugs and drink in spite its dangers. She was Whitney Houston; Queen Diva, dammit and who was going to tell her otherwise? As I said, I’ve been involved with guys who had their vices and I chose not to partake in spite of their encouragement. If that’s what they were into, that was their business, but I wasn’t getting dragged into that rabbit hole for anything. Granted the celebrity life and lifestyle is wrought with drugs and alcohol, but there are those who do not partake. I think Whitney’s pairing with Bobby made it easier and more exiting to partake and participate. I think Whitney made that choice over and over again to continue her addition regardless of the negative effects. At some point, Bobby made a choice to seek and get help in order to overcome his addictions. So, if he could do it, why couldn’t she? Why did she continue this practice even after they divorced? Yes, addiction is different for everyone and it affects each person differently, but she had so much as stake; much more than Bobby did, yet she chose not to get help.
Bobby is not an innocent in entirety, so let’s get that said, but I stand by my thoughts that he did not introduce Whitney to drugs and alcohol; they’re easily accessible; even more so when you’re a celebrity and unless he held her down and forced her, Whitney was the one putting drugs into her system. Together they enjoyed the crazy drug and alcohol ride they were on. They thrived on the crazy that became their marriage and maybe even after, but Bobby is not to blame entirely. He, too, is a victim of his own choices for the life and lifestyle he lived. I think the media’s portrayal of him as a pariah is heinous and hypocritical as they’re the same ones who took pleasure and financial gain in their unrelenting stories of Whitney as they now post her accolades. I’m sorry; you can’t have it both ways. It’s a backhanded compliment at its best to condemn and praise in the same breath. Again, it’s agreed that Whitney was talented and yes, she was plagued with her share of demons, but as I’ve now said ad nauseum; she made those choice. Was Bobby a part of it? Yes. Was he guilty of her actions? Questionable, but he’s not guilty of the things he’s being accused of. It’s easy to blame the one who already has the tainted image, because denial won’t allow them to see otherwise, but lest they forget Whitney did go on national TV and radio and admit to having a drug problem. I can’t say I recall details of her interviews and in truth, I can’t really say I care; not because I’m callous, but because I see everyday people struggle with drug addiction and have no real means to remedy by way of rehab, but we have a society full of celebrities who have the access; yet do not go to rehab.
Bobby’s attendance at Whitney’s funeral was warranted as he and Whitney had a child together and the decision for his being there should have been left to her. We all know Bobby would not have been invited had Bobbie Kristina not been of legal age, but was reluctantly allowed to attend and was then treated like a pariah during the service. A lot can and has been said about Bobby Brown and while I don’t know him personally, I doubt highly that he would have shown out as they implied he might. Why? Because he already knew the media and family were expecting that from him so why feed into the already negative image they have of him. Furthermore, I doubt he would want to embarrass his daughter and cause her any more upset than she was already dealing with.
Bobby Brown reminds me a lot of my younger brother and maybe that’s why a part of me feels it’s necessary to defend him. My brother, like Bobby is attractive, smart, and talented, but chose to get into things that weren’t in his best interest, which led to his talents being squandered and his well-being compromised. Like Bobby, my brother was ostracized and treated poorly by those around him; family and otherwise, but somehow he managed to make it through and try to hold on to whatever ounce of dignity he had left in order to make the rest of his life mean something. He won’t make excuses for his poor choices and while he wishes he could have made better life choices; understands that those were his life choices and instead of focusing on them; choses to not give others the pleasure of continuing to demean him. People are fickle, which is an egregious understatement, but we’ll ride on fickle and move on. They love you while you’re up and kick you while you’re down and not think much about it. They would rather point out your faults and flaws instead of remembering any ounce of good you’ve done. They’ll cry Christian values, but do things that are not in conformance with Christian doctrine.
NO ONE is without fault or flaw and we can and will fall short, but let’s stop pointing fingers and placing blame and own what and whom we are. Whitney Houston was a talented and vibrant woman and she was also a woman with demons and issues to battle; accept it and move on. Bobby Brown was talented and he, too, was also a victim of his demons and issues, but at least he chose to try and mitigate his issues; give him that. Let’s understand and accept that he’s hurting too. He loved Whitney and they shared 14 years and a daughter together. Whether we approve of their marriage or circumstances is not for us to call. Allow Bobby some well-deserved peace. People need to stop disparaging him and allow him to grieve and live his life. No one considers how they would feel if they were in the position he’s in, so maybe that’s needs to be considered. My brother did things that kept us estranged for over a decade and I can’t get that time back and it pains me deeply, but it was necessary in spite of said pain. It was with great trepidation on my part that when we reacquainted, but now that it’s done, I’m happier for it. I don’t through is past in his face as he knows what he’s done and there’s nothing that can undo it. Forgiveness was given and accepted and we live and love for what we have for as long as we have it left to us. If I can do that and he’s my brother; maybe we should consider doing that for someone who’s 1) not our family and 2) not someone who we’re even affected by. The time we invest in the lives of celebrities could be better served in the lives of ourselves and loved ones as those are the ones we’re truly indebted to and affected by.
For this Lent, how about we give up being voyeurs into the lives of others and instead be participators and investors in ours and our own – Just a thought!
That is all!