Whitney Houston, One Amazing Crack Ho: An Open Letter to John and Ken

Until now, I have not written about Whitney Houston, largely because so many others have. However, recently when a friend told me that Los Angeles radio hosts, John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of KFI AM 640 had referred to Ms. Houston as a "crack ho," I could not remain silent.

"Here comes the crack ho again...look at that, she's doing handstands next to the pool. Very good crack ho...And then you find out she's dead. It's like, really? Took this long?"

Wow. Classy, right?

In recognition of John and Ken's classiness, which obviously makes them much better than two crack hoes, I have written them a nice little letter. If you know these guys, please feel free to pass it along.

Dear John and Ken,

Despite your suspension and public apology, I am still extremely disturbed. Although I am far too upset to present you with a breakdown of the societal structures that led to the advent of the "crack ho" and the subsequent ignorance that is the hackneyed crack ho joke, I am not too angry not to present you with this letter. Nevertheless, if an in-depth analysis of relevant societal structures is what you need, then you might start by fetching a copy of Dr. Tupac Shakur's 1992 Doctoral Dissertation, Changes.

In my world, where you have an open invitation, there is no such thing as a "crack ho" or even a "ho." My friends and I prefer the terms "people who have been victimized by the crack epidemic", "people involved in prostitution", and "victims of prostitution". It might seem a bit crazy, but we actually like to think that these folks just might qualify as human beings and that many did not become involved in these circumstances by choice, or simply because they did not have anything better to do.

As I stated in one of my tweets the night of her death, Whitney Houston was much more than a singer and she certainly was not anyone's crack ho. Each time she sang a song, won an award, or broke a record, she literally helped to enhance the "sense of pride" of African-American girls who had previously seen few artists who looked like them reach a comparable level of superstardom. Furthermore, Houston's reach extends beyond African-American females to people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, including the boys and men whom you would probably call little sissy-faggots for singing her songs.

There are far too many young people who, instead of engaging in junior crack ho activities, spent after school hours refining renditions of "I Will Always Love You" with the help of a voice coach or mentor (because they wanted to sound exactly like Houston) to minimize Whitney Houston to a crack ho. In addition, there is a countless number of people who, because they almost hit one of Houston's famous notes and won a talent competition, were left with an enhanced sense of self-confidence, a known protective factor against the risks that many young people face, to ever minimize Whitney Elizabeth Houston to a drug-addicted prostitute.

Lastly, I was going to include a list of Ms. Houston's formal philanthropic efforts in order to lend further support for why she isn't a crack ho. However, after listening to and reading the personal accounts of how her work touched and will continue to touch so many lives, a list of her formal philanthropic efforts became irrelevant to my case. Simply belting a tune over the airways, in a way that only "The Voice" could, was enough to earn her the respect of never being called a crack ho or any name other than the one her parents gave her ever again.

John and Ken, your comments lead me to believe that you're whack -- you know, like crack. However, instead of minimizing you to crack hoes, I will just hope that you can learn from this unfortunate experience and use the fruits of your knowledge to teach others henceforth.

Warm regards,

Erin Harper

P.S. Allow me to leave you with this video -- I like to call it "The Antithesis of The Crack Ho".